Wouldn’t you know it. Right when the weather that had been unruly and keeping everyone snuggled together inside broke, Carl and I would be playing a show at The Three Blind Mice Irish Pub.
Or course, when we took the stage, it was about seventy degrees outside, and nearly the perfect antidote for people sick and tired of even this mild, Michigan winter.
So, on this Friday evening, more people than usual gathered around their houses and garages, and forgot about going out for an adult beverage or two.
That’s ok, or course. We understand. Just makes for a long evening, when it is slow and pokey at the pub.
We began in earnest, lathering the lucky patrons with a heavy dose of our version of musical sunshine. They responded and interacted with us, as we have come to expect over the years.
Our two-part harmonies washing over the crowd with accustomed auric saturation. For the first two sets, the pub was responding in kind with energy, enthusiasm and platitudes of hearty smiles.
Then it got slow as the crowd thinned. A new trend we have noticed as of late. Many people do not stay up or out like they did years ago.
Back in the seventies, when we were playing a bar, the staff would have to turn the lights up at the end of the night to even get the attention of the crowd. At 2:30 every joint we played was full to the rafters and then some. Smoke hung heavy in the air, people were bleary-eyed, but still not even dreaming about going home.
With the advent of stringently enforced drinking-and-driving laws, those days are long gone. People now venture out earlier and go home earlier. People adapt, change, get smart. It is a different world out there now, and we as entertainers need to adapt as well.
Several of the venues we play now have adapted to the new-world realities as well. Often, we will begin playing at 6:00 or 7:00 Pm. Patrons can still go out, eat, drink and have an adult beverage or two, without having to look over their shoulders on the way home, for law enforcement laying in wait.
For us, this year, the crowds have bene thinning around 11:30 or 12:00. After that is hit or miss. The majority of revelers are on their way home of for the night at that time.
That is why Carl and I start sooner and trot out the “good stuff” in our repertoire in the first sets as well. People are out and ready to be entertained earlier too.
It is a learning process. One that hopefully we can adapt to and successfully master.
On most night, we can say that it is quality more than quantity when it comes to our interactions with the customers as well.
The place doesn’t need to be packed for us to find a treasure in the audience. So many nights, we have the honor to be able to spend time with several wonderful people, who thankfully take time to communicate their shared love of the music we play.
In the end, that will be the part we remember the most. How me made someone’s night by playing their personal favorite. Or better yet, playing a song that they had never heard before, to the delight of everyone in their party.
We did our best this Friday. We sounded good, and had some fun conversations with some great couples.
Upstairs was a new band to us. The Hideaways were playing on the big stage. Three young guys playing honest music. Several songs echoed the power trios of the sixties, right down to the nonchalant attitudes. They played Stones, Cream and Hendrix with all the furor of gleeful explorers, discovering musical gems left behind by ancient rhythmic heroes.
Another wave of revelers filled the pub for our last set. Playful and happy with themselves, we launched a few musical rockets over their heads, but nothing exciting enough to make them look up from their infatuated I Phones.
We shall be back in a couple of weeks. We look forward to our nights at the Mice. Spring is here, long live the rockets, phones and rhythms of the green.