Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ashland + MSC = True Love

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It was a total gamble. Even as we were setting up and the crowd was taking seats on the green, no one had any idea if the Oregon Shakespeare Festival crowd would dig the Metal Shakespeare Company. (The odd pairing is captured nicely in this localCut post.)

I was told an average crowd at the Green Show, the opening act for the evening's plays at OSF, is about 300. Ours was certainly that big, some estimated larger, and that many people seated looks a lot bigger than our usual standing crowds.

Claudia Alick, the producer of the Green Show (which, until she took over last year, was always a hanky dance show), introduced us and asked the audience to cheer if they liked Shakespeare, then to cheer if they liked metal. The second cheer was louder.

It sounds cliche, but as we took the stage, everything was in slow motion. I'm used to playing drunk with sweaty people knocking the mic into my teeth, but in the summer afternoon atmosphere, I was able to think about the music while I was playing it, plan my next dance move and look around at people's faces. They were smiling.

I don't play guitar on our power ballad, and during that song I walk around the crowd and touch people. This went over really well. I don't think people are used the performers breaking the fourth wall.

Afterward we sold about 30 CDs, most of which we wound up autographing for people ranging from age 8 - 70. A photographer ran up to me and said, "You're going to be in the paper tomorrow!" And sure enough, the third page of the Ashland Daily Tidings was devoted to us.

As a result of the article, there were a lot of people there the next night to see us. Matt said he thinks it was one of the best shows we've ever played.

Since OSF hospitality knows no bounds, we got to watch a superb country-western take on Comedy of Errors after our set. It was really elaborate and had lots of physical comedy. I was taking notes for when our band becomes a Vegas show.

In fact, Ashland was quite the taste of Vegas. We couldn't walk around without being recognized and complimented. We also partied with other performers. Othello, Desdemona and Iago closed down the Beau Club with us and I got a press quote from Peter Macon, who plays Othello and loved our show, "Zunes! Those guys fucking shred."

Photos by Thom Larkin of the Daily Tidings.

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