Theredeye King and The Gypsy Kings

Well I'm old it's official, I saw the crowd last night and realized that if I was there I must be one of them.  I admit I'm not a fan of Gypsy Kings, nor do I like that spelling of gypsy now that I look at it.  It could have been a better show then it was, they didn't convert me last night and it's hard to say who's fault that was.  

Firstly the croud was lacklustre, luke warm at best.  A cool Saturday night in Tijuana at the Audiorama.  It was not a sold out event, in fact when we arrived, there was hardly anyone there.  The gates opened at 8:15 and the band went on at 9:20 and was off the stage by 10:45.  Even this was too late for the old timers, mostof us were ready to leave and kind of resented the stragglers chanting for an encore.  Of course the big hit hadn't been played so they had to come back out for it.  I think as a touring act they need to rethink their performances in relation to the audience.  Day time shows people.   Then it can be that high energy event that stimulates the rest of your day.  I used to work nights and to go to shows, whether as a participant or a fan meant often that I would have to stay up for close to 24 hours to catch the headliners act.  I have fallen asleep at more shows then I would like to admit.  That's probably why I stopped going to live shows.  Aside from Covid stopping the world, it's long past my bedtime.  Forget the months building up to the event the last day is the worst, you know you have to be able to stay up till midnight and drive home in the dark.  Every guide book says not to drive in Mexico after dark and Tj is still the fourth most dangerous city in the world.  I think the danger is the roads.  First they are full of baches, terrible drivers and most streets are unmarked with neither lines nor signs.  They have somethiing they call the intelligent crossings where oncoming lanes split and then you have one direction running down the middle while in the other direction they are flanking both sides.  Try looking at that intersection in the dark with no lines on the road and cars going in every direction, it's quite normal to make a left turn from the right lane or vice versa here.  I had encountered one of those intelligent crossings in the daylight already but that doesn't help much in the dark.  It might be that I rely too much on gps and don't really get out of the house without a particular destination but Tj is a confusing city.  There's no direct route anywhere and traffic and road closures make it so you have to go a long ways out of your way to get to where you want to go.  We can blame the geography as much as the complete lack of city planning.  Clearly no one foresaw this city booming the way it has in the last 100 years.  

The biggest detriment to the show last night was the sound.  It was an important reminder to me about the mix and remembering to not lose sight of the crucial element that made the song stand out in the firstplace.  I feel that as a musician I'm guilty of the same sin, we could call it the Use Your Illusion syndrome.  As a musician I tend to view my own songs as being too simplified.  A few chords and some words, shit how is one any different then the last, how would another musician look at this song, what can I add that shows I'm not just a writer of pop songs but a real composer.  A producer.  And what was a song becomes a production and in trying to showcase musical talent you lose the audience who was drawn to the simplistic beauty of the thing in the first place.  That's why all the top forty hits are four chord wonders in the key of C.  The mix was off last night.  What should have been a show of five guitarists playing and singing in harmony became five guys miming the strumming actions while the piano, bass and congas rocked along to the drums.  It was all voice and drums at the sound booth went I finally got there to see if maybe we were just sitting in a bad spot.  I might have missed that calling in this life, I think I would be a good live engineer.  But I will use what I learned last night and apply it to my own musical pursuits.  

I was working on a track yesterday I call Just A Bruise.  It's really about the spacey guitar tone yet I recorded this over the top lead guitar over the rhythm track and lost what made the song in the first place.  It's a four chord wonder and most of the time it's just triads not full chords.  Before we went out last night I had been in the process of looking for layers to add to what was no a long solo and vocals.  I had gotten as far as the trumpet.  Must be the Mexican influence that trumpet is my go to instrument to put of songs.  I always have to talk myself out of it but I should probably roll with my gut and put the horn in every song.  Or take last nights lesson to heart and remember the critical elements that made the song stand out enough to not only be written down as a song but then for me to continue playing it for four years and be inspired enough by a guitar tone to go yes, it's time to record this song.  I am trying out the Milkman Amps Creamer plug-in on Logic, it was inspiring, made me miss my real Milkman Amp.  I kept it, one of the few things that I held on to, but it's stored at my sisters back homee right now.  I'll be there in three more months.  I have one more month on my visa before I have to walk across the line to renew my permit.  

Hard to believe it's been a year since I left Canada already, or close enough, almost a year here in Mexico, always within a few hours of the border.  How much havoc can you wreak in ones years time?  It depends on how many dogs you start out with.  I'm just a catalyst for change, I didn't bring the chaos, the chaos was already here, I just shone a light on it by adding my own.



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