Performance Log: One Hot Weekend in Ocean City, Maryland! (Part 1)

Hey everyone!

Sorry that I haven’t posted anything in a couple of weeks, I went through a ton of writer’s block and I decided that I needed to step away for a while.

But now that I’m here, it’s time to talk about a trip of mine that happened a couple of weeks back on the weekend of March 27th through the 29th.

It all started with a message from my friend and fellow bandmate from Los Swamp Monsters, C.J. Benoit. He mentioned that the page had a message that presented a gig opportunity for us at the House of Rock .

When he mentioned that it was in Ocean City, I got excited! Even before I decided to become a musician as a child, I had always wanted to perform a real show in Ocean City, and with that chance coming, it was really hard to pass this offer up. So, I said yes.

My head was swelling with anticipation, and by the time Friday arrived, I was psyched beyond relief!

I know what you’re thinking: “Marshall, how can you be psyched over a long road trip involving just one show?”

FEAR NOT! For I have the answer right now!

Through the help of a family friend, C.J. also had us booked to play over at Johnny’s Pizza and Pub. At first, I didn’t know what to think because I hadn’t been through that part of Ocean City in a while, but then when I saw the logo of the place, it made me really happy. Johnny’s Pizza was one of those places that I always wanted to visit since I was a kid, but I never had the chance. I had heard a lot of great things, so the fact that I was able to go there for a performance was an added bonus.

So, we pretty much played a rock and roll version of Tetris when we loaded the car up, but somehow everything fit JUST enough, and we were off! It was smooth sailing for the most part, but when we ran into traffic jams from hell, we decided to go straight to the first venue because we were afraid that we’d be cutting it too close if we stopped at the condo that we had arranged in Wilmington, DW.

When we arrived at the place, I almost had to do a double take. My GPS put us in a strip area that had me thinking that we were going to be stranded at a farmer’s market. All that we saw was a liquor store and a pizza place jointed next to it. The thing that was a little suspicious though was the purple alleyway. I thought to myself: “There is no way that THIS is the place!” But to my surprise, after CJ called the guy that offered us the show, he confirmed my wild assumption.

I was afraid to look on the inside, but I was about to be floored.

The Ocean City House of Rock had an amazing atmosphere! There were rock mementos everywhere and the stage reminded me of a 1980′s arena rock atmosphere! The drums had an amazing design on them and the stage was very sizable. The environment had me excited after my moment of doubt a little while ago.

So…. friendly staff, wild environment, awesome touches, it sounds like the recipe for a great build up for the show, right? Well…. overall you would be right.

However, we ended up getting delayed for a little while because the venue had trouble with its lighting rig, so that ended up delaying ourselves from performing on that stage for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

Once we did get up there though, it was pretty smooth sailing! C.J. and I complemented each other well in our song choices, and the set turned a lot of heads in the audience to our direction. What I DIDN’T expect though was for someone to leap on the drum kit, and when the owner of the place climbed up and started accompanying our songs midway through the set, I felt a mixture of hilarity, adrenaline, and confusion.

I can honestly say that this has never happened to me before in terms of a full-fledged performance, but it was a welcome change of pace! Once the mixed emotions kicked away, we were all jamming out and having a great time. By the time the set was finished, I felt really satisfied with how we did. It was a great welcome to Ocean City and I couldn’t wait to do the next show!

But even with that momentum that was given to us on that night, let’s just say that not everything went as smooth as I thought it would. While we were watching the headliner perform, two things happened unexpectedly:
1. The guitarist’s amp went out on him. (Ok, not a big deal, shouldn’t be that big of a problem, and it wasn’t.)
2, There was a bar fight (PROBLEM.)

Problem #2 resulted in having the authorities come by and force the show to end early, which was a shame, because the night was right and felt really good! Aside from the few snags that happened, the first show was fantastic!

I’ll talk about the next show tomorrow, so stay tuned and keep rocking out! But if you hear sirens, you may be rocking out a little TOO much……. Have a great day everyone!

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