Tripping The Light Fantastic
For the second time in as many weeks, I spent my weekend sleeping on the ground, inside a tent with the sound of music pervading the night air around me.
This time the magic occurred on the Heron Grounds in Sherman, where the seventh annual Night Lights Music Festival was being held from Thursday through Sunday morning.
Before I continue: if you’re wondering why this week’s column isn’t a recap of Cold Lazarus’ second recording session, it’s because we didn’t have one. Our producer was feeling under the weather this weekend and, given how exhausted we were at our first session directly following the Brokenstring Music Festival, we all decided it was in everyone’s best interest to postpone for a week. We’ll be back at it this Saturday, and next week’s column should entail Part II of our studio saga.
As I mentioned last week, Night Lights is a music festival that I’d long aspired to attend but had never previously had the time or the assets to apply toward that endeavor. I knew things would be different this year when I got the word back in April that Cold Lazarus would be on the bill alongside more than 20 other extremely talented acts — many of whom have achieved and continue to live out the very thing we hope to accomplish for ourselves: becoming a touring and self-sustaining entity with (hopefully) a lively and supportive fanbase.
Needless to say, the sheer scope of the musicianship I witnessed throughout this three-day extravaganza was out of this world. It didn’t take long for me to become overwhelmed by the talent that emanated from every single band I saw this past weekend, to the point where I had to simply allow myself to feel gratitude just for having my band included among the likes of these other groups.
That’s not to portray the whole “we’re not worthy” mantra, but I think it’s safe to say that all of us in Cold Lazarus came away from the festival feeling like, though we’re on the right path, the path will likely be a long one.
I know I definitely was feeling inspired by what I saw. I’m the guy who goes to shows and stands in front of the stage studying what’s going on while everyone else around me is dancing up a storm.
People will come up to me and say “what’s wrong with you? Feel the music!” And I do, inside. Meanwhile, I’m taking mental notes on things like the technique of the musicians on stage and how they interact and communicate with with one another midsong.
Since I joined up with Cold Lazarus, I’ve definitely noticed a change in my attitude toward playing. I’m taking music more seriously, and I’m constantly trying to improve and perfect, as close I can, my live performance.
Much of this has to do with my stage presence. Traditionally, I’ve treated The Elektra Kings as more of a party band in which I made putting on an enthusiastic stage show a large priority. Not that I didn’t care how well I played, but I tended to rate a show on how much energy I put into it.
With Cold Lazarus, my approach to a show has shifted more toward technicality and a more reserved stage presence. Don’t get me wrong, if I could do my erstwhile signature dancing, jumping and kicking routine that I employed with The Elektra Kings without missing a note I probably would; but I don’t have that kind of confidence in myself.
While my bass lines with The Elektra Kings are more physically demanding, my Cold Lazarus lines require a more tempered, sonically balanced approach. I’m not willing to sacrifice sound quality and precision for the sake of putting on a wild stage show. Perhaps that will come with time, but for now that approach seems to be doing well — and the crowds we’ve started drawing have more than picked up the slack for me on the dancing end of things.
So, all in all, Night Lights was a huge success not just because we were received well at our performance but because, as we all discussed later, we felt as if a creative fire was rekindled in us. We got to see firsthand what was possible with a strong work ethic and an ambitious drive.
Now we’ll carry that fire forward to our first Warren, Pa., show on Friday, our recording session on Saturday and our return to downtown Jamestown next week for the Woodpark Wednesday music series (see below). See you next week!
And now, here’s some of what you can expect to find in the area this week.
38th Annual Greater Jamestown Labor Day Festival Is Sunday: The 38th Annual Greater Jamestown Labor Day Festival will be held at Bergman Park on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The festival is a community celebration designed to honor the labor force of the city and surrounding area, widely recognized as the very best in the nation. All money raised is used to directly fund festival activities and support the host of nonprofit community service agencies who participate. This year’s event will feature fireworks, live music, an arts and craft fair, kids games, food concessions, a petting farm, and more.
For more information and updates, visit goo.gl/aMVjur or find the event on Facebook.
Authors Books And Music To Hold Open Read Night Tuesday: Authors Books and Music — located at 227 Liberty St. in Warren, Pa. — is inviting aspiring writers, poets, lyricists and others to read their works before a live audience at its monthly open read night Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. Listeners are also encouraged to attend this free event held inside the book shop. These events are held the first Tuesday of each month through October.
For more information, call 814-688-3009, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit authorsbookstore.com.
New Music Series To Feature Cold Lazarus, Slow Motion Breakdown Wednesday: A new outdoor music series will be held in downtown Jamestown on Wednesday at the Wood Park at East Third Street and Potters Alley. The music series is being hosted and sponsored by the Active Artists Alliance and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, who jointly sponsor the annual Third Thursday music series at the Winter Garden Plaza every summer. Known as “Woodpark Wednesday,” the new concert series is an expansion of the Active Artists Alliance commitment to providing free, family friendly entertainment in downtown Jamestown. It is hoped that Woodpark Wednesday will become an annual concert series alongside Third Thursday. Wednesday’s concert will run from 6-9 p.m. and will feature Slow Motion Breakdown of Warren, Pa., and Cold Lazarus of Jamestown.
For more information, find the event on Facebook.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email email@example.com or call 487-1111, ext. 243 by Monday.
The Bees Trees: 6 p.m., Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2072 Stoneman Circle in Lakewood
The Karl-Marks Duo (it’s revolutionary!): 7 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Comedy open mic: 8 p.m., The Q, 104 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with DJ Xcite: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 10 p.m., Forte, 114 E. Third St. in Jamestown
The Blind Spots with Rebecca McIlvain: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown.
Skunk Monkey Junction: 6 p.m., The Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown
Greg Ford: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
Ryan Buzzetto: 7 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 9 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Take Two: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Bryan Moore: 10 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
We Speak Canadian: 10 p.m., Village Casino, 1 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point
Qwister: 2 p.m., Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2072 Stoneman Circle in Lakewood
Scroggins: 3 p.m., The Vegas Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
Ryan Buzzetto: 4 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow
Bill Ward: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
Steve Strickland Duo: 7 p.m., Craft Burgers and Brews, 60 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Alex Kates: 7 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow
Smokin’ 45: 8 p.m., The Vegas Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
Pressure Sensitive: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Jules-R-Us Karaoke featuring Tami T: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Slow Motion Breakdown with Trip the Deuce: 9:30 p.m., The Q, 104 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Screamin’ Lou: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
DJ Goodrich: 10 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
New Wave Nation: 10 p.m., Village Casino, 1 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point
The Probables with Tyler Smilo: 2 p.m., Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2072 Stoneman Circle in Lakewood
Rebecca McIlvain: 2 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
Bill Ward and Friends: 4 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow
DJ Karaoke: 7 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Open Jam: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Porcelain Busdrivers: 10 p.m., Village Casino, 1 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point
Bluegrass Jam: 7 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Jamestown.