Sunday, July 25, 2010

moosebutter and Moving On....

Friday was a work day for Tim (and for me, some. It always is when I come down to shows).

He had to collect people from the airport, introduce cast members who had never met and run rehearsals so they could sing together, set up sound and do the sound checks (always trickier when it's an outdoor venue--they never sound good for all-vocal groups).  We thought: boring workday. Typical. Nothing special.

Brother-in-law and nephew thought: a chance to see what a touring band does for real.

They thought it sounded really cool. We couldn't see why. This was baffling. Just as baffling as the fact that the neighbor boy wanted to come over to meet Tim. Why would a kid want to meet Tim? He's not famous. Really.

Anyway, it took me a little while to grasp that the mundane normalcy of our life is kind of exotic to most people (especially ones who live 9-to-5 kinds of lives). So Brother-in-law and nephew went along as moosebutter gathered and prepped the show.

Then sister-in-law and nieces and all my 5 kids started out several hours later to do my part of the job. First, collect food for everyone (7 pizzas this time, which pretty much got devoured despite the group having been fed by the venue AND having gone to lunch for some get-to-know-you time).  Feed the kids and then find the dressing room/green room (this time in a nearby building because the show was an amphitheater show on BSU campus). Tim ran past (literally) and asked for batteries for the mics. Normally my job, I was glad to hand the cash to sister-in-law and let her do that one. It's not easy to find a store with 5 kids in a strange city, but this is her home turf, so it was an easy job for her.

In the green room, everyone extra sat down while Tim and the guys went to work and so did I.

The guys' job: finish dressing and run (again) the last few tricky numbers that could potentially trip them up the most.  My job is to catch loose ends: fix up the comp list, track down missing whatevers (batteries, pitch pipes, water, etc). It's also to give final feedback to the guys. Sometimes it's songs, pitch, sound mixing, notes from the last show. Sometimes it's being a house manager, handling ticketing and audience issues and working with the venue (which is, generally speaking, a pleasure--people who work in venues are fantastic). Sometimes it's being a go-between, running errands between rooms or between the guys and the sound guy or the guys and the venue. This time it was costumes (we had two sets: mixed or all matching?).

I used to do a lot more, but during all of that I'm also doing regular mom stuff getting 5 kids under 9 ready to sit through a show (or TWO shows in this case)--so potty breaks, drinks, making sure everyone understands the rules of whatever venue we're at, finding appropriate seating (where 5 kids won't distract too much), etc.

So we headed over to the amphitheater and made our way up to the grass at the top. The amphitheater was already full of over a thousand color-coded teenagers, there for a week-long summer camp for LDS teenagers.  My kids found seats, and we set up lawn chairs and strollers up above the top row of teens.

And the show went on. Moosebutter did a fine job. They aren't as young as they used to be, and I've seen that show hundreds of times, so I was really taking notes on things instead of enjoying the show. But the kids in the audience seemed to enjoy it. Richard Steighner, the guy who was singing bass AND percussion, was BRILLIANT. He has more "sounds" than any vocal percussionist I've ever heard, either live or in recording. He's the first percussionist whose solo didn't bore me. He's really incredible.

Part way through the show, my 4 yo came up and said, "Can we go home now?" 3 yo was already running up and down the rows of teenagers giving every person "five"--he made it clear across three rows, some more than once, before I caught him. Not long after, 1 yo got fussy, 7 yo came up and started coloring with crayons instead of watching the show, and eventually even 8 yo was ready to go. Before the show ended.

After the first show, we dashed down to the stage and let the kids run, fed the guys again (pizza and grapes), finagled more water for the guys (it was HOT), gave a few notes (I usually bite my tongue, saving most of the notes just for Tim so he can pick and choose what are notes just for him and what are notes for everyone). And then back up to the top for the second show.

Second show of the night was for a college-age LDS audience. Since most of the college-age LDS kids were counselors at the teen camp, the audiences was skimpy--50 people or so. So moosebutter ran the show more relaxed, doing an extended (and really good) requests section. Richard is really skilled with requests, and since the bass/percussion is the backbone of requested songs (which the guys often are making up on the spot), it was really fun. There were some great comic moments. The guys do hilarious Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga bits. My favorite are when they take 6-12 requests at once and blend them all together. Fantastic fun.

They ended with a disco medley that was incredible. I've seen them do this before, but this time it was the first time I've actually wanted to dance to a cappella music. It's been my complaint for years that a cappella music is never danceable, when it should be.

After the show, the usual hangups. We sent some people home in the van with sister in law, but couldn't fit all of us. So the two littlest kids and I stayed to help/watch clean up. It wasn't hard to break everything down, but in the meantime, someone had locked not just the dressing rooms but the entire building they were in. So all the clothes, the keys to the car, everyone's computers, etc. were locked up. It took a long time to sort that out (and, bless his soul!, Richard did it instead of Tim having to do that, break down sound, clean up, deal with the contact person for the show, etc.).  There had been some miscommunication somewhere along the lines and there were no sleeping accommodations arranged for the guys. Sister in Law volunteered her house, where we were sleeping. So Richard came back and slept there. The other two guys had met some girls (they're single, and this is actually really common after shows--although I doubt the girls realized that), so they went to hang out and then spent the night at one their aunt's house near the airport.

Eventually, we got everything worked out and headed home. Got there before midnight (translate this to mean: it was a smooth load-out and things moved pretty quickly). Then we sat up eating ice cream and talking for a long time. It was fun.


Woke up and packed up and drove down to Lehi, UT again to crash at my  mom's house for the night. At least, me and the kids are crashing for the night. In the midst of our trip to ID, a contract Tim's been working on was renegotiated, and he has to spend all night tonight editing video, and maybe most of tomorrow, depending on how smoothly things go.

Then we drive most of the day tomorrow because Tim has a show in the morning on Monday in Colorado.

Not looking forward to that drive. Today's drive was 2 hours shorter than tomorrow's will be, and I was in serious fibro pain for 4 hours of it. Hopefully a good night's sleep will help (minus the stresses of a show).

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