As I was hauling my gear backstage I ruminated about how the tips of my fingers were burning. Why were they burning? I committed the rookie mistake of over practicing before a show.
When I was rehearsing for this set I pulled one of the older songs from my catalog. Sometimes new ideas come up when I play a song that I have not played in a long time. I took one of my older, faster tempo songs (Excuse Me Amelia) and played it at a slow tempo and added a difficult turn around. Then I over practiced hence the burning fingers.
Not being one to really learn a lesson, I committed a second rookie error by not being prepared when it was my turn to go on stage. I have a fairly specific pre-show ritual that I follow and I thought I had plenty of time: Time to grab a beer, time to chat with a people in the audience, time to go back stage and tune my guitar, time to warm up with some scales, time to organize my set-list, time to meditate for a moment, time to drink that damn beer. Time can go by fast when your not paying attention. I just finished tuning my guitar when I heard my name being introduced. With burning fingers, not warmed up and not really ready, I grabbed my cheat sheets, my beer, my bottle of water and headed out to the stage.
1. Excuse Me Amelia (off of my Sand Genies CD)
2. Tiger Lily (Luna Cover)
3. Whiskey and Gin (off of my Torrents CD)
I was really happy how 'Excuse Me Amelia' came out as a slow tempo acoustic. I wasn't sure of it being an opener but I needed to keep it separate from 'Whiskey and Gin' since both are in the key of E. I'll likely keep it as an opener or closer in the future. 'Tiger Lily' was a good follow-up since I had a fairly long story to tell behind it to give my fingers a break. 'Whiskey and Gin' was my closing song 10 years ago but I think I'll move it more into the middle of the set once I get back to longer gigs.
Overall, I was happy with the set. I received decent applause, managed to get rid of quite a few CD's that I brought and then proceeded to party like a middle aged rock star* for the rest of the night. My fingers burned for naught since, on the fly, I decided not to include the difficult turnaround in 'Excuse Me Amelia.'
* Middle Aged Rock Star defined is approximately eight beers over a four hour time frame and a