Atomic Bob Records Presents First Annual Music Showcase
It happens to be what we do best. I would first like to thank everyone who came out and made this event possible. Without you there would be none of this and it’s important to associate a purpose with a reason to come out and show support and this is exactly what we did.
The First Annual Showcase from Atomic Bob Records wasn’t something that just happened. It has a background with a group of students that had worked really hard to get their work up to performance level. The benefit side of this was for Team Nicholas and the American Liver Foundation to help fight Biliary Atresia and fight cancer. I would like to thank Jen and Alma for really putting a lot of effort into making this event as benneficial and effecient as possible as well as all the parents who came to support their children, as well as my students that came out not to perform but show support, the students that made contributions to the cause but couldn’t make it, and all of the friends, relatives, and members of the community that came out to show their respects. It meant a lot to me!
The events leading up to the show, in my opinion, seem to be almost just as important as the show itself. The promotion for the event really started at the American Liver Foundation Annual event for Team Nicholas during the Liver Walk this year. Everyone there was invited to the event at Queen Bee’s in North Park a month later. From there I made sure that eveyone in North Park, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Coronado, and as far north as La Jolla and Del Mar Heights knew about the event using flyers to poster the towns with. About 3 Facebook Event pages were made and I made sure to let everyone on Myspace within a 500 mile radius know to come as well. I let my students pass out flyers to their friends and made sure to let them know it was all ages and could invite anyone they wanted as well. We made it out to the American Liver Foundation and got posters and banners from them as well as their support for Team Nicholas.
I guess you could say all that was the easy part. The real work was done in the weeks leading up to the event where students bonded together to get songs done, recorded professional backing tracks to their own songs, created a diverse setlist of the students own choices, and created solo pieces that they could perform themselves.
The setlist started that day featuring yours truely on bass, homaging a solo to the late Cliff Burton who tragically died in a car accident on September 27th, 1986 (which happens to be my birthday, ironically). The next piece was a banjo work that gave respect to great blues slide players on my converted “ban-tar” AX-50 which was tuned in open G. The last peice that I did was on my ESP KH2 signature model guitar (which happens to have turned 17 years old this month) and demonstrated my MTV hit “Follow the Revolution” and finishing with the 2nd song that I recorded here in San Diego back in 2003 called “Cryptic”.
I invited the drummer of the day Gabe out to do his song thar he wanted to perform for Team Nicholas which we happened to perform at the Liver Walk for the last 2 years called “I Just Wanna Run” by the Downtown Fiction. Gabe has been working hard on this one and I would also like to thank his family for donating the drum kit for the event. Gabe stayed on drums for the next track which we had also done a a previous Liver Walk called “Wonderwall” where I was able to bring out my students Sophia and Olivia to play along with a backing bassline that we had made using ProTools.
Olivia stayed on stage and invited me to play along side her so that she could sing her song “The Show” by an artist named Lenka. One of the most interesting things about the performace with Olivia was that she had a great voice and it really made an impression with the crowd. Previously, I had recorded a piano line to accompany the song for the event but it didn’t really seem necessary for the live show and still worked out wonderfully.
Olivia W. exited the stage and was followed by Olivia B. who came out for a couple songs. The first one we did following Olivia W’s acoustic piece was an acoustic verison of Rise Against’s “Sing Life Away” which we also ommited the backing track for (minus the harmonics in the intro, I just thought they sounded too cool not to use). Olivia had previously wanted to do a song called “Decode” by Paramore as a 2nd song, however had made a last minute decision to do a song in Drop C tuning by a band called A Day to Remember known as “Have Faith In Me”. I was able to make a backing track the night before and it worked out perfectly during the event. And well, what do you know… Olivia followed through with her original decision to do “Decode” and did a great job finishing her set.
I brought Nate and Matthew out to the stage to rock the classic metal track “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath… which I was originally going to play lead on, but Matthew needed to use my amp so I sat back and just hit the “go” button on the backing bassline I had created. Now, out in the crowd the bass sounded just fine and I was impressed with the way that the recording came out. But I realised that this didn’t transfer over so well as a performer on the stage. It was really tough to pick out the bassline and keep up with the changes in the appropriate spot, so after the initial impression I got when they had finished I decided to get on drums and give them one more crack at the song to an actual rhythm they could jam to and it worked out ten times better! Matthew took a break and I kept Nate out to show off some of his lead skills for his rendition of “Man In the Box” by Alice in Chains which I recorded the backing bassline in standard tuning. From what I heard from some other students and people coming up after the show, Nate did awesome and people were very impressed with his lead skills. Everyone did great, but speaking about lead guitar playing alone is the reason for the additional comment. I had also made a backing track for the Lamb of God song called “Redneck” which was originally made to be played by an additional guitar player who just couldn’t make it out, so after a minute or so I just pulled the track and invited Matthew back on stage for one last round through the first song I ever learned on guitar… “Seek & Destroy” by Metallica. Everyone made it through with flying colors and I was proud of how well the song came out.
As a finale, I invited all the performers back on stage to get a picture taken together and thanked the American Liver Foundation, made sure everyone knew about Team Nicholas, talked a bit about DayJams rock camp, plugged the cupcakes, and covered all the bases that I thought needed to be covered.
All in all I had a great time doing it and am very pleased with everyone who made a contribution! You guys are great!