Shine: Lots of Fun (The Abridged or Cliff Notes Version)

The Saturday for Summertime Music at Shine arrived.  We loaded in, set up, performed a sound check, and started into our set.  Adjusted our sound.  Restarted our set.  That is the really shortened version of what, if you check our blog over the next couple of entries, was a much longer -- possibly boring -- story.

The audience on this evening included a number of local musicians.  At least four were current nominees for Sammies -- Sacramento Area Music awards.  Several of the musicians knew surf and retro instrumental rock and play (or played) in surf bands.  Additionally, members of Aloha Radio drifted in and out during our set.  They too knew instrumental surf.

Looking out at that audience brought home just how little experience I actually have and the short period that the four of us have played together.  That realization plus the set up and sound check process must have been sending signals to every nerve in my body.  Why else would Becky say on the drive home, “You were overly animated at the beginning of the set”?

That was a first.  Was it better than the usual funeral director demeanor?

We overcame my nerves and a few glitches to play an entertaining and fun set.  We mixed recognizable songs with our originals.  The audience sang along with “Runaway.”  Rocked out to “Surf Party.”  Showed approval of “Squad Car” and Becky’s cranking the siren to start the song.  Commented on and sang along with “California Sun.”  Along the way, we mentioned and promoted Shine and Aloha Radio.  I even used the distorted channel on the amp for our Link Wray medley.

We finished “Jack the Ripper” together, thanked the audience, and took down our equipment.

As we moved off the stage, Aloha Radio moved on.  Their experience and preparation showed immediately.  They had equipment in cases and on rollers.  By the time I had worked my way around the room thanking folks for attending, Aloha Radio’s sound check was underway.  Wow, that was efficient and quick!  Young and professional -- quite a combination.

The sound check was done, and Aloha Radio started its set.  All vocals.  All originals.  The focus of the band was Lauren, whose long blond hair flowed, flew, flipped, and flopped as she sang.  In looks, she was the epitome of a Southern California surfer girl.  Young.  Tanned.  Fit.  Blond.  Attractive.

Alex, who co-wrote the band’s songs with Lauren, played his Strat with precision.  Unlike our brand of surf music, his guitar style was softer to complement the vocals.  The sound was not reverb-drenched.  Lauren announced that their music was influenced by what they heard on the beach which included pop, surf, and reggae.

The band held the audience's attention for an entire set and tweaked its sound on the fly.  Everybody had fun.  The band was having fun.  Photos were being taken; video being shot.

The focal point of some of the men in the audience became clear when Lauren was adjusting the PA and Alex said, “Sometimes, we three cave men up here get too loud.”  Somebody in the audience yelled out, “Are there three guys up there?”  Everybody laughed.  If I had not known better, you could have convinced me that that was a plant.

Aloha Radio finished up.  People hung around, talked, and congratulated the band members.  Sales of Aloha Radio’s CD and other merchandise were brisk.  Some folks walked out with CDs, stickers, sun glasses, and tank tops.  Meanwhile, Shine’s staff worked on closing up.

The evening had been a real success.  Maybe Aloha Radio will come back to Sacramento.

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