Last Sunday, I performed a gig with the Smoketet version of Smokestaxx.
We are one of the regular bands in rotation at the Coyote Bar & Grill in Carlsbad, California.
Part of the thrill of performing here is the fact that this is an outdoor venue under the stars, with customers gathered around the open fires for warmth and ambience. There’s a huge patio area with the band set up in front of a large designated area for dancing.
This outdoor venue is very nice during the Summer months, when we get a lot of tourists as well as the locals who love to listen to the bands. During the Winter months it can get pretty cold at night, but there’s still a good-sized crowd gathered around the fire pits.
However, this past Sunday, the forecast called for rain! And it said there was a 64% chance of rain on my smartphone.
So, I remember the sky was blue above us as we were setting up between 4pm to 5pm. But, soon enough, the clouds started rolling in, and it’s surprising just how fast clouds can roll in.
Just as we were starting our first set, a few drops were trickling down but we continued to perform and we finished our first set with no apparent precipitation that would cause us to stop.
Things were fine during our break. No rain.
Then we started our second set and, right away the raindrops started coming down ever so lightly.
I can’t remember the exact time but perhaps 10 to 15 minutes into our second set we were officially getting soaked, as the rain was coming down heavier and more consistently.
I believe our bandleader Jon called it around that time. Our instruments and amps were getting soaked. There’s always a fear of getting electrocuted, of course. And the fear that our instruments and amps will malfunction.
We were even rained on consistently as we took down our musical gear and while we were loading our equipment into our vehicles.
Despite the rain, and despite the fact that I was just getting over the flu, I had a wonderful time gigging in the rain! We got to go home early, but I was actually eager to continue on.
Side Note: I just want to mention that, when cymbals are totally soaked, when you strike them with a drumstick, they pretty much go plop! All that moisture just makes them lose all “sustain”. They are literally dampened!
All this reminds me of the time I performed quite a few years ago at the Coyote Bar, when it started raining cats and dogs 10 minutes before the end of the last set. I remember hitting my crash cymbal and all this water splashed on my face. Some people in the audience witnessed that and got quite a laugh out of that one. You had to have been there. I never forgot that one.
Ah, the joys of being a working musician!