Looking to Improve
As we roll in to March there is an awful lot for the Bandits to look forward to. The most obvious is a plethora of gigs on the schedule, which you can find on our shows (link) page. However, while we like having steady performances on the docket--and we certainly don't mind the money that comes along with it--a major goal of ours continues to be putting together a group that is musically fantastic. We're not there yet--but with every passing show we have reasons to be encouraged.
Sometimes these "encouraging" moments come from unlikely circumstances. On February 15 we played at Turtle Creek Tavern in Gahanna. They have a great stage, they have their own sound system and they employ a sound engineer--which are all major perks for a band. As we didn't have a demo yet, the sound guy also offered to record our show for a very small fee. All of this was great--until we pretty much bombed the show. While I think all of us could admit that we might have basked too much in the afterglow of an excellent show at the Grandview Café two weeks before, the larger problem was definitely that my amp was completely on the fritz, and I let it consume me, to a point. I couldn't just let it be and relax. I fretted over it all night, and in the end it didn't do anyone any good. Sometimes I get cranky when I'm on stage. It's a weakness.
What's worse, though, is that the recording turned out to be total garbage. It's not that we played poorly, per se, but the instruments were taking up such different sonic space (in part because my amp wasn't getting any low frequencies and a whole bunch of other music-y things that aren't worth going over right now) that every mistake came through clear as day. So--instead of sounding like a recording with a lot of energy and the feel of a live show (which might come with the expectation of a mistake here or there)--it sounded more like a studio recording of a band that didn't know how to play very well. Not flattering at all, and certainly not usable as an advertisement for the band.
However, the bright side of this debacle, as JT so deftly pointed out, is that with the recording sounding as it does it becomes a fairly effective study tool for us. None of the mistakes we made on the recording are due to a lack of ability--but I know I can speak for myself at the very least when I say that they can come from a lack of good judgment from time to time. When you have the instrumentation we have, and we're trying to make these songs as faithful to the originals as possible, sometimes we try to add parts at the expense of others--and the wrong choice is made. Sometimes less really is more.
BUT, like any good band would do in this same situation--it was obvious by the time that we returned to the Heritage Lounge in Reynoldsburg the following Friday that everyone had done a little studying and we had refreshed some of the things that were missing from the gig the previous week. We pretty much killed it that night, and we got hired on for a few more dates to finish out the year at Heritage (thanks, Mandy!).
Things are still moving forward and looking very good for us. Most importantly (and representative of the fact that we must be doing a lot of things right), we're having fun--and hopefully that translates to the experience you guys have, too.