SHOW: El Mocambo – Acoustic Syndicate

(Back-dated to date of performance)
The El Mocambo upstairs was WAY nicer than the last time I was there (we’re talking several years ago), with mirrored walls, nice ceiling lights and speakers, and a stage at one end instead of the centered (but awkward) location it used to be at. Actually, mirrors are usually the worst thing you can put in a live music club for sound, but the trade-off here was the gain of artificial space.
I found out that the organizers had to pay $100 just to use the space, which is cheap as far as renting anywhere in Toronto goes. But many live venues are also in fact free to play at. The clubs really just want you to bring people out. Sadly, the rental fee didn’t include a house sound guy, which was evident through some occasional feedback and troubled mixes. But this was totally DIY, so a big fat “A” must go out to whoever was at the controls.
Supreme Organizer Jay Cleary added me to the list of acts for his first of hopefully many future evenings of the Acoustic Syndicate. I went on 2nd. I played 4 songs and gave out a free cd to the fellow who correctly identified the Green Party as the “best” Canadian political party (whatever “best” means) before I sang The Green Anthem. Do you think I’m politically biased? Naw!
I was feeling rushed to play my songs quickly, so I ran out of breath a wee bit while singing during my set. Must… learn… …to… …relax…
My performance of my slightly-silly song Seekers didn’t really go over all funny-like with the crowd like I had hoped, making me think that I should have whipped out only my delicate singer-songwriter tunes instead. But nay.
I stayed for about a half-dozen more performers. Some were “green” in terms of stage experience, some were decent. “Fin” followed me, along with some names I remember like Ben (somebody) and Little Girl. Todd from Trucks Leaving was on before me. It was a common mix for a singer-songwriter evening. Actually, I think I was the oldest dude there, next to a dad who came in to see his daughter play and who promptly left after her performance (along with the daughter).
The crowd appeared to be content and were attentive. The mood was good, the vibe was good. People were enjoying their drinky-drinks, and there seemed to be a fair number of couples hanging out. It was great to be back at the Elmo, where I’d played many times before in other bands as a drummer.
(Feel free to comment on this show, especially if you were there…)