Well, once again you beautiful people continue to amaze us with your support and energy at our shows. Last night (which happened to also be my birthday) we played for three hours and fifteen minutes to a sold out Tonic Room and couldn’t have had more fun. From seeing family and friends that have come out and supported us at several shows in the past to meeting new people that had never seen us before, it was a blast singing and dancing along with each and every one of you. If you have seen us play before, you may have noticed the ongoing battle I would have during the night of trying to switch from singing to playing the sax and getting the bell of the saxophone into the microphone propped on a stand on stage. While playing, it’s almost impossible to see where the bell and mic are at as the neck of the saxophone sits right in front of you and blocks any view. So, often times, I would actually not have the bell near the mic and would only be able to hear those sweet sax licks myself. Even when I was able to find the mic, I would be stuck stationary in the exact spot I was standing. Last night was the first night I got to personally try out my new saxophone microphone (thanks Mom and Dad for the gracious birthday gift) and I couldn’t have been happier with the results.
But a highlight for me last night came when I was able to pump the new mic up all the way and move around while playing my parts in Get Down Tonight. The new mic is clipped to the bell and allows me to not have to search for a mic or stand in one spot throughout playing, so it was a whole new feeling having that mobility. Get Down Tonight is a personal favorite of mine that we play, and getting to move around a bit (and stare at Brunner, who can’t stand the awkwardness of me staring at him during a song) was a really fun aspect of the show.
For those who have come to a lot of our shows, you probably had heard a number of the songs we played last night before, as they are some of our favorites to play for everyone. But there were a number of them that we have only played for private shows or had never played live before. The three we played for private shows were the three Disney songs we grouped together in the middle of the set: I Wan’na Be Like You, You’ve Got a Friend in Me, and I Just Can’t Wait to Be King. We had originally learned these for back-to-back shows we played in January; a Disney themed holiday party at Lakeshore Beverage (a beer and beverage distributor near River West) and a winter dance for GiGi’s Playhouse Tinley Park (a Down Syndrome Achievement Center my sister, Beth, works at as Site Director).
The other new songs we played were five new songs that each of us individually picked as a song we wanted to add to our catalogue (a catalogue that is well over 225 different songs now) and two other songs we all thought would be fun to add. If you didn’t recognize them, or had drank one too many to remember what they were, here they are:
Mike’s pick: There She Goes – The La’s
Brunner’s pick: Killer Tofu – Doug & The Beets (From the TV show Doug)
Scott’s pick: Hand’s Down -Dashboard Confessional
Joe’s pick: All I Want – Toad The Wet Sprocket
Tim’s pick: Unbelievable – EMF
Two additional adds: Just What I Needed – The Cars; Your Song – Elton John
We had a great time getting to play these new songs as it keeps the set new and fresh for both the crowd and for us as musicians. There is a bit of nerves/excitement to playing something you have never played in front of a crowd before, and seeing the positive reactions for all these songs was great. I will personally never forget hearing everyone singing along to Your Song as I started playing the piano. That song was much quieter than most of the songs we play, and when the crowd started to sing I could actually hear everyone’s voices clearly, which we can’t typically hear when we are playing live. I flubbed a few chords early on as I was too busy listening to all the beautiful voices and I apologize for it; 100% focus next time.
I want to close with a few huge thank yous to some very great people. First, to Ou Bai, my co-worker and photography master. He came out on a Friday night after work to take photos of five idiots during his free time and we can’t wait to see some of the shots he got. Second, Donnie Biggins for once again booking The Big League Boys to play at the Tonic Room. We personally love playing the Tonic Room because it allows our fans to be up close next to us and reminds us of playing house shows back in our college days. Thank you Donnie for letting us play there once again. Next, Kyle Werth for once again making an incredible poster for us to promote the show. Finally, all you beautiful fans for coming out and spending a night with us. There is nothing we enjoy more than seeing all of you singing along or dancing (or conga lining!) and it makes all the practice, long nights, lugging equipment around, and damage to our livers worth it.
I’ve had some pretty good birthdays in the past, but I think this one might take the cake. Thank you all for making it a fun one and for once again supporting The Big League Boys. Keep an eye out here on the site and on social media for when we are playing next!