My trio played at the West End Wine Bar last night, and it was a typical busy friday night. I’m always glad to see a jazz venue making money, but there were a couple of things that distracted me to the point where I almost couldn’t play.
First, there was a guy about four feet to my right doing a hippie dance to our music ALL NIGHT LONG. He smelled like he maybe hadn’t bathed in a few days. He was standing directly in front of the front entrance of the wine bar, so that people had to constantly step around him (and brush against my keyboard) to get in. And he made huge, exaggerated interpretive dance reactions to everything he heard in the music.
Secondly, there was a large, bright television playing a Technicolor movie, and the screen was right in line with the dancer’s head.
The combined effect of these two things, along with the loud background noise of the other bar patrons, made it nearly impossible to think! It was like having a police car with lights flashing trying to pull me over, while at the same time someone is writhing, trying desperately to get my attention.
People are well-meaning, and in the end they are there to have a good time and unwind. They are enjoying the music, albeit in a distracting fashion.
Other distracting things that seem to happen all the time to me:
– Sketch artist that sits very close to me (knees touching my legs) and stares at me while drawing me.
– Guy who frequently comes on Monday nights, stands about a foot behind me, and screams out “YEAH!” at the top of his lungs at random intervals.
– People set their iPhones/drinks/keys on the top of my organ.
But I’m glad they came to the gig!