rock show, in utero!
When I was younger and less-traveled, complaining about my lack of visits to non-East-Coast states, my mother would tell me about how I went to Ohio once. When she was pregnant with me. I insisted that said Ohio visit didn’t count. Well, tomorrow night, tiny itty bitty growing baby will have his/her on-stage rock show debut, something that I will always insist definitely counts.
A few things have been on my mind about the show. Last week, we had a band practice on Thursday night. Practice started at 7pm, and the two hour drive in the rain to the practice site allowed no time for stopping other than a quick pit stop for gas. I got home from work, changed clothes, grabbed my gear, and headed North, already running 15 minutes late. And when you’re paying $20/hour at a rehearsal space, time is money. I pulled into the parking lot at 7:30pm to find most of my other bandmates also running late due to the bad weather. There I was, setting up my gear quickly, when it hit me how exhausted I was from the rainy drive, and during all of the hustle, had forgotten to eat anything or pick up any water. Meh, I thought. I’ll grab a bite to eat afterwards. No worries – I’ve done that before dozens of times. A few songs later, and I found myself lightheaded – I politely excused myself, hurried to the bathroom for an opportunity to sit down, and drank some water from the bathroom sink. On my return, the drummer was munching on some trail mix he brought to practice – he offered and I ate, to a drastic and immediate improvement. What a difference a few peanuts and a dehydrated banana chip makes. We finished the set and called it a night around 9pm, and I headed home, via the Burger King. I apologized when I got home… “Honey, I’m sorry I fed your baby a Whopper Jr.”
It was definitely an awakening about how I need to really listen to my body, and even when it’s not saying anything, make sure it’s rested, fed, and hydrated. It’s working hard in there – it’s the least I can do, really. It’s not like my symptoms are obvious. It’s not like I have sneezing or coughing or chicken pox or something that someone would notice and say, “Hey, you ok?” My body is relying on me to say, “Hey, you ok? No? Yes? Okay, let’s sit you down anyway.”
Fortunately, tomorrow’s rock show has a lot less rush to it, which will definitely allow for more physical care-taking. Load in is at 9pm, which allows for plenty of time to pack up, head out, get dinner, and rest up before we hit the stage. Mind you, we hit the stage at 10:45pm. Approximately one hour and 45 minutes after my normal bedtime. Approximately two hours and 45 minutes when I’d like to collapse to the bed, but politely stay up one more hour. No doubt, it will be a long night. We’ll play until about 11:45pm, after which I’ll be hopped up on the adrenaline rush of being on stage. We’ll load out, and I’ll drive to my bed for the night at a very-hospitable-friends’ house. That’s the plan.
This is probably the last rock show for a good long while (well, at least seven/eight more months), so if I can make it through tomorrow night, it’s smooth sailing from here on out – no more long practice drives, no more late rock star nights. I’ll have a story to tell him/her about performing for 150 people, and pictures as proof. And as much as I’ve enjoyed the rock and roll lifestyle, I already can’t wait to get back home on Saturday and nest a little with my wife, our dog, and itty bitty rock star.