* ["sound check” is that institution of necessity involving the setup and plugging-in of all the band’s instruments and microphones and such, ensuring that they all function properly and that the respective noises emitted are successfully making the journey to and through the speakers that the crowd will be listening to and also ensuring that these sounds are exiting the speakers that the band will be listening to as this will greatly aid the band in the victorious production of what will be met with the ear of those persons facing them. seems simple enough. and, as best we remember, it used to be. over the course of our existence as a band we have faced only a modest handful of memorable type sound checks: i.e., those that might be designated “taxing.” this summer, the inverse has proven to be the norm: i.e., there have been but a modest handful that were not. we’re unsure what may have gone wrong, globally speaking – we’re at a loss.]
e.g., the-recently-participated-in-festival-de-music: IGNITE CHICAGO and the longest sound check in the history of reinforced sound.
here’s what happened: while stalled onstage – in the midst of the longest sound check in the history of reinforced sound – i began to feel the urgent need to interact with the crowd, at least those in the near proximity of my unassisted voice. i only wished to dispel the unease rising among us who could bear witness to the phrase, “check one, two. mic check. one, two, three,” in an endless, repetitious cycle of a loop [sic], with the occasional, “re-patch,” thrown in at suitable intervals. things progressed sufficiently well at first – my distraction of the crowd. i said hello, shook some hands, gave high fives – which are awesome, hit the beach ball at a good number of people, handed out some water, wrote my name on several water bottles before throwing them really really far, signed a sock, a shoe, another shoe, a hat, a shirt, then someone handed me a dollar bill. i held it up, as if to say, “hey, someone is giving me money. this is fantastic. what a great idea.” then i put the dollar bill in my pocket, knowing full well this is not what was intended but thinking it would be funny. and yes, those astute enough to observe the transaction were humored and a few laughed even. this spurred me on. another dollar bill arrived. i inserted it into the same left front pocket of my jeans. more shirts, more shoes, a piece of paper, then another dollar. i inserted it as well. “ha, ha, ha,” i thought to myself, “i am funny. the funniest,” as i signed a deflated beach ball. “i will wait until the very end to sign the dollars. the owners will panic and think me evil and that will be fantastically funny.” then a hat arrived and people began yelling at me, pointing back away from the stage and into the crowd. i looked in the direction of the pointing fingers and observed a young man on the shoulders of another young man and he was pointing at himself. i surmised what he and the rest of the crowd must be attempting to communicate: “hey! that’s my/his hat! write your name on it for me/him, please.” so i acknowledged such a feat of cooperation among many and wrote my name on this young-man-hoisted-on-shoulders-and-pointing-to-himself’s hat while i simultaneously devised a plan for its return. i then indicated to those occupying the space immediately in front of the stage that i was intending to walk on them, with their assistance of course. and so i courageously stepped forth into the crowd, suspended above them, supported by unknown hands transporting me in cooperative direction toward the young-man-on-shoulders-smiling. i made it roughly half way before falling. see here, observe:
it was a rousing and riotous night of revelry and anthem. we played our little hearts out and afterward unanimously agreed that no one in the crowd appeared perturbed by our inability to hear ourselves properly. in fact, we agreed that it might have turned out to be the most exuberant crowd of the summer, which was quite pleasing, considering. and, as we loaded the van with smiles on our faces and warm feelings in our guts for the good people of chicagoland, my hand happened to slip into my front left jean pocket.
i stole three dollars.