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Here’s my story for today.
I was performing downtown and it was windy and cold. Fortunately the KCBIA was kind enough to provide a tiny space heater. Unfortunately I had nothing to set it on so all it did was warm my feet. It’s very hard to play guitar with cold fingers so I had to stick to my simpler songs and even then I stumbled a bit here & there when I couldn’t feel what I was playing.
As one might expect, I like my music at a reasonable but certainly not quiet volume. Chris had to work so there was no bass guitar, but I did bring my laptop to play out the electronic drums. It was nice to mix some solo-acoustic songs by adding some drums here & there. The only problem was that with all the motorbikes and missing mufflers it was sometimes hard for me to hear the drums well enough to keep time… I had to restart a song once when I couldn’t make out where I was… no big deal.
I made it through my alloted 2hrs and cleared out my gear so that Treena could take over with her keyboard and sing some songs for the city. I helped a little with the setup and offered to mix her sound while she played her first song. She was playing through a small peavey amp and I had to crank the vocal channel to 10 just to get a decent balance with her keyboard. After a minute, things were sounding good so I stood back to enjoy her song. She was doing that classic “Jet Plane” song and it’s a fairly long song. That’s when things got interesting.
I’m happily listening to Treena when a lady, whom didn’t appear to thrilled, came up and asked me to turn her amp down. I was a little surprised and proceeded to tell the lady that it’s no my call. She says something about having a conference call with a supreme court in a few minutes, and insists that since I was adjusting the balance I can turn her down. I say no and that I think it’s not at all loud. I again say it’s not my show and that it’s not up to me, I was only helping by adjusting the levels. She goes on to say that this isn’t a concert and persists so I tell her I think she’s being rude. That didn’t help as she was quick to turn that one around on me.
Eventually she gives up and starts to head back to her office which is right behind the tent where Treena is nearing the final chorus of her song. She shouts over her shoulder something about “You’re not the only person in the world” to which I quickly reply “Exactly!".
I get that there are businesses downtown and that business has to carry on. The thing is, Treena’s volume really wasn’t very loud. If I’d turned her down, you’d barely be able to hear her 30 feet away! Between the loud motorbikes that frequent the area and the big trucks, ambulances, and various other sounds, the sound of the music was easily being drowned out regularly.
I’m not sure what this lady’s circumstances are, but one would think that someone who is that sensetive to a bit of noise (or has something against a little festivity), would set up their office in a more suitable location. Perhaps on the 15th floor of a nice, quiet office building. I’m sure there are any number of quiet professional buildings throughout the city more suitable than streetside in the busy downtown core of a city. Everyone knows that the heart of downtown, from spring to fall, hosts a wide variety of events to help bring people out to enjoy a little of the culture that our city has to offer.
I feel bad for the unhappy lady, but really I feel worse for Treena. She had to face this on her first song, and she had 2 hours to go. Once she finished her song, I filler her in and since I was cold I wished her well and headed for home. My only regret is that I didn’t have the presence of mind to draw the unhappy lady further from Treena’s performance instead of standing 6 feet away the entire time.
Anyway, that’s my story for today. I hope the unhappy lady was able to get through her important conference call and realizes she needs to move her office. More than that, I hope Treena had a great performance.