Last Night at the Ventura Underground

Cory and I have been bumming around southern CA for a couple days, and we played last night with Derek at the Ventura underground.  I told Cory as we drove to the gig that I was pretty excited; with the addition of the Ventura songs, I was finally feeling like I had a set of playable echoes music that would sound good acoustic.

It seemed to work, I started the night with almost an hour of songs from nickel, Be A Ska Rat, Ventura, a couple other new things, and Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.”  It felt good, and the crowd seemed to have a good time through it.  I haven’t felt this good about a set since I really wrecked someplace with Scott (I’d have to look at the show archive on to tell you when that was).  Hopefully I’ll make the time to play more, buoyed by last night’s experience.

Cory and I overlapped, playing Sally Ride’s “Headbone,” Shacker’s “Fully OK,” and Ventura‘s “Coast & Plains” together.  He followed it with a solid group of Beach-Puppy/Axeface songs.  Low-heat microphones meant that he was soft, and the audience responded with a consistent hush and increased attendance to songs like “Nature vs. Nurture” and “Where Did I Go Wrong?”

Derek slayed.  A mix of stuff from D-Rockets, The Ashtray Life, and even a Return song (“You’ve grown up like me / between the desert and the sea…”).  I’m the first to say that the Return is a musical force to be reckoned with, but it’s still a shame that Derk probably doesn’t have more time to spend in an acoustic setting.  I was thoroughly in to his set, sitting back and soaking it in.

We’ve made some new friends this weekend, and had a rad night of music and good times.  I’m really happy that MFR can host a night of our music with three different artists and three twisty twists on the acoustic sound.  -h

One thought on “Last Night at the Ventura Underground”

  1. Howie’s set was super good. He can’t tell you this, because he’s Howie, but he really had his shit popping off, and it’s only going to get better. Songs like “I Don’t Even Know…” and “SOS” were Howie staples, and I super-liked the way the newer stuff sounded like the “Ventura” stuff.

    I felt like I played really solidly; it’s a durn shame the sound at the coffeehouse made it just about impossible to tell how loud/soft I was (no monitoring); I think I would have sung closer to the mic and played harder or something, but I’m glad I had peeps listening… my voice felt like it was good, which is something that’s sort of hit and miss with me.

    ONE MORE THING ABOUT HOWIE’S SET! I had “Market Stress” in my head until I went to bed last night, from when he played it at the show.

    Derek, of course, was awesome. My favorite moments where being able to sing along to songs I knew, although, of course, I liked hearing new ones. Near the end of the set, he had his friend Emily come up onstage and do some background vocals, AND, he finished his set up with a cover of Elliott Smith’s “Twilight,” which I loved. It was really powerful, and usually songs that awesome kind of overpower the rest of the set, but in Derek’s case, it just enhanced it.

    ONE MORE THING ABOUT HOWIE’S SET! He sang the entire set while riding a dolphin. Woops! Forgot about that part!

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