I am going to let you in on something i just found out tonight, in the hopes that you put the information to good use sometime in the future.
When you are invited to play an “acoustic night” at a college bar, you actually are not being asked to come and play acoustic music. The request is much nearer to: “Please come and provide a soundtrack for this crowd of drunk wanna-be frat guys and their not-quite pretty girl friends. Be advised that these men do not like the sound of an acoustic guitar unless it involves the sweet strains of Mr. Dave Matthews, and that they like listening to the songs of chick singers less than they like toothy blowjobs. Do not seek to entertain their girlfriends, as they will be too busy trying to look vaguely pretty and acting as though they are interested in talking to their increasingly intoxicated boyfriends. In light of these facts, we’re really asking you to come and play a half hour of cover songs that drunk guys know the approximate words to, and if you were planning to play originals they should be in the style of the esteemed Mr. Matthews or Bob Marley, may his soul rest in ganja-filled peace. And, no, they are not kidding when they yell ‘Freebird’ or ‘Stairway'”
“Splinter” and “No Second Chance” fell totally flat despite the fact that they are both very electric modern-rock affairs even when stripped down to one guitar. After half-hearted clapping for the latter song i deadpanned “don’t let me interupt your drinking experience; I am here to augment your drunkeness,” which didn’t even raise a chuckle from the audience but thankfully ended their patronizing clapping. In one last attempt to catch anyone’s attention i played “Under My Skin,” but at this point no one was vaguely listening to me with half an ear, so i decided to just have fun and ignore everyone for the rest of the set. “Up & Down” came out better than it has before despite messing with the timing a little, “Trouble With Poets” was nearly perfect,” “Lost” was nice to hear high up but definitely loses all of its viciousness, “Never Say Goodbye” came and went without much fanfare, and i was asked to play one more song while the next band got set up so i played a very very mean version of “Hold on Me” rather than what i was asked to play.
Yes, that means i subjected one poor unsuspecting audience to the terrible trio of breaking up (Spl, U&D, HoM), but i didn’t even mind. I can certainly keep playing “acoustic nights” to firm up my on-stage bravery in the face of tepid apathy, but if i want to get any kind of reaction at all i suppose i have to actually find some people who like folk music. Imagine that.