Last night my trio played at Roxy & Duke’s in Dunellen for Campfires Fest 2018. This was my first show there since April 2015 and I really wanted to come back with a bang.

But as they say: Man plans, God laughs.

My pedal board decided to not work at all while doing soundcheck. Chris and I tried nine ways from Sunday to get my effects going somehow but ultimately he said “Just plug straight in the amp, adapt and move on!” So this was the first time I played without effects…what a way to play the new album live!

I must say it was interesting playing the songs without any covering, so to speak. Yes I need the sounds to enhance certain parts but the rawness of the Orange half-stack really screamed and I loved it. I missed stepping on pedals but at the same time it was almost liberating not to tap-dance all night.

Some songs like “Turn To Rust” and “Message For Mercury” really benefit from the wacky sounds; however, in their naked state, the songs held up well. I proved to myself unwittingly that the songs are strong, without all the “jape” (that’s an Eddie Van Halen term, not mine).

I have to give MAJOR props to Chris and Ronnie for really pushing the songs even harder live, as everything sounded and felt intense. Chris’ bass tone is huge, and Ronnie hits the skins like it’s his last day on Earth. Those guys had my back and drove the music incredibly well.

I played well, all things considered. Without the wah, Whammy, and other noisemakers, I had to resort to just raw nerves and whatever energy I could muster. It was tough at first but I found the sweet spot and let it rip.

Driving home in the monsoon at 1am is another story…


**OF COURSE I plug everything in here at home and the board works?! UGH!! Ah well, what can you do?