A Very Belated Post about the Halo show at the Court Tavern

Okay, so I forgot I didn’t post this oh…uh…almost a month ago. I wrote it on the sly from work, and then I forgot about it completely. Now, as hiking weather gives way to suffocating heat (seriously guys, I have central air, but my bedroom still gets pretty darn warm due to the vent not being enough for the room it’s in and there being none on the side of the room nearest the window, which is where my chair and bed happen to be. The past several days have been an unbearable sauna.), I look back and go ‘oh, shit. I never posted that. I thought I posted that.’

So, what comes below was written ages ago, and I’ve forgotten most of it, and I might not even still think the things I thought at the time, but whatever. So here goes…

Yet again, the universe conspired against me trying to get to a Halo Called Fred show. Those of you who’ve been following my blog know my track record for seeing their shows reads something like: torrential downpour, dad’s birthday, entire town of Piscataway closed – drove halfway across the state getting wrong directions from traffic cops the entire way, scheduling conflict. Oh, look another scheduling conflict. And, that one time that I just felt like I was going to die.

In other words: things always go swimmingly.

Seriously though guys, the fates conspire, and this past Saturday was no different. Once again I had a scheduling conflict. I’d been planning on probably going to the Halo show in New Brunswick, also got invited out with friends to an outdoor movie. Being well and truly broke, the latter was tempting only because I didn’t have to pay a red cent to do it, but in the end, since I missed most of the Steampunk set I did decide to go see Halo in the end, and just, you know, get creative with the odds and ends in my cupboards this week (mostly joking, things are not THAT dire, but the parking fees in New Brunswick border on extortion.).

So, yay, going to a concert. It’s a beautiful day. I went for a nice hike earlier in the day and got some nice photos of the reservoir. I couldn’t be bothered to do anything about my kind of ratty ponytail, and the closest I got to makeup was unearthing a tube of emergency chapstick, but whatever. Everything from here should be fine, right? Wrong. The GPS on my phone suddenly decided to flake out on me for no reason. That’s right, the phone, which was tracking me properly IN THE WOODS a few spare hours earlier (the same exact woods it refused to track me in last week) suddenly couldn’t find me on a major highway. For no reason. So, I had to go in the old school, death defying way: pull up a direction list and read them as needed while driving.

…and we talk about how cell phones are dangerous.

Whatever, I got there. As for getting home at the end of the night? I read street signs I used my internal mental map and shoddy memory to guess my way home, which went surprisingly well, because I can tell you some hilarious stories about what happens when you trust street signs in New Jersey.

Anyway, I got there. Ratty ponytail, faulty GPS, hiking clothes n’all. (To be fair, though, my hiking clothes and my ‘whatever, I’m presentable enough to be seen in public’ clothes are the same clothes.)

Onward to the concert!

First up was Love Gas


I knew less than nothing about this band going in, so my summation is pretty brief. If you want to walk into a dive bar and feel like you’ve been transported back in time to 1997, Love Gas is probably your jam. That’s not a bad thing. The 90s were a good time for music. But, as I was watching the show I was trying to put my finger on what about them seemed oddly familiar. About half way through it hit me that they sounded like every band I forgot that I used to love when I was sixteen and was just SO SURE I would be listening to for-like-EVER. Ah, sixteen. In any case, once that thought weaseled into my gray matter it stayed there and made the rest of the set feel weirdly nostalgic.

After that was A Halo Called Fred followed by Trio of Madness


I’ve talked about them on the blog before, so I guess there’s not really a lot to say that hasn’t been said before. They hit a few of my favorites and some new stuff. The sound guy was very excited that he figured out how to properly mic the tupperware, which, come to think of it, is probably a delicate science. Never thought of that before, but as I struggle just to get sound balance between a guitar and my voice, I have a newfound admiration for sound guys. They’re basically the unsung superheroes of music.

I find the difference between sets at bars and sets at geek events interesting. At geek events, there’s really no need for Halo to preface with “we’re geeks” because, uh…no shit. A bar? That’s a whole different atmosphere to navigate. Still, I got to see a full set, which makes up for my Steampunk World’s Fair driving fiasco.

And, I talked to some of the band this time. Okay, they talked to me, and I managed to respond without unwittingly giving off any seriously curmudgeonly vibes. Social skills: Leveled up 0.000001%. (Why can’t I just talk to actual people the way I talk on my blog? Oh, wait. I’m a crappy blogger who only comments on about 1% of the crap I read. Never mind.)

So, I thought I was in for a pretty ordinary bar concert experience, really, but I sort of got called up to the stage because “I know you play guitar, you have an entire blog about playing guitar!” Okay, I have an entire blog about a) LEARNING to play guitar. B) it’s more like a fraction of a blog since I also talk about ukulele and take pictures, and do poetry, and go to concerts and occasionally actually touch my bass….so it’s more like a fraction of a blog about kinda/sorta playing a little bit of guitar with a side of doing a whole fuck ton of other things. But, I guess, one COULD consolidate all that down to “you have a whole blog about playing guitar”. Technically. Haha.

The end result of this is that I ended up getting up, and realizing only belatedly ‘I’m a lefty, wth am I supposed to do with a right handed guitar?’ The answer. One note. Low E. Over and over again. This was kind of a bizarre learning experience for me on the grounds that I’ve never played any instrument with another person/other instrument…ever. (That said, who knows if cowbell guy had ever played anything ever, so I am choosing to believe I was not alone in my general feeling of totally clueless. Lol) And, then there I am with an upside down right handed guitar, which I have not attempted to do since I popped my lip open on a squier trying to make that work(because, you know, as fun as bodily injury is and all…) on a stage with the band I went to the show to see like ‘fuck it. Whatever. This is all totally normal.’

So, I guess I had a sort of impromptu lesson on listening to other instruments and just doing that. Pretty sure that only works on the fly if you’re only playing one note, though.

For further social skill level up points, I had an incredibly brief conversation with another person who had a similar name to mine without managing to scare her off, either. Maybe I’m getting better at this dealing with people who don’t live in the computer thing. Does guitar give you an automatic +1 on social skills?

Life, you are so weird.

(BTW, just in case I’ve never mentioned it – if I ever take a photo of your band or your venue that you want to utilize, go for it. If you’re in the picture, I figure that gives you rights to do whatever the heck you want with it. If you’re not a member of the band or have anything to do with the venue, just ask first. 99.9% odds I won’t care.)

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