With The Brick & Mortar Show Done What’s Next In 2017?

Doing a first show is exhausting. The previous ones I don’t count. They were easy instrumentals on the piano. Just show up, play for an hour, chit chat a bit, and leave. This one had vocalists performing my songs as they were intended to an audience there to experience them. For the concert, things that will one day be familiar were each and all tiring. New gear, more practice, promotion, and remembering to smile and have fun the day of. By and large we pulled it off. Among the accolades we received my favorite was people saying it hardly seemed like a first show. The real hero of the day was Paige who picked up an extra song when a schedule change put Erica in New York at the last minute. Then of course Matt sang the most complicated of the songs- couldn’t have done it without him. He’s literally a professional entertainer- a support actor on some well know shows. I’m not sure how often we’ll be lucky enough to welcome him back as he lives in LA and has numerous other commitments. For Paige and I it was about the largest stage we’d been on, so it was great to have a veteran in our midst. The nerves leading up to it were pretty high. The idea of going back though seems much more comfortable.

To which we were invited.

Friday February 17, 2017 could be the next time we perform at the Brick & Mortar. Could be. The question remains, should a new band, new name, new guy on the block, start out by playing ticketed shows? To be sure it was exhilarating, but I’m not so sure momentum starts at that level. There’s also financial considerations. With this booking agency new bands sell tickets directly. If they meet and exceed their quota, they make money. If they don’t, they lose. If people buy tickets at the door or online, it doesn’t count. This means everyone who doesn’t know you well enough to transact a ticket and buys from the house, is a lost sale. At the end of the day though, it is an accurate representation of a band’s draw.

One of my biggest surprises in promoting the show was people responding as if you were asking them to do you a favor. They’d say things like maybe they’ll come out and support. I know it’s common lingo and yes, all entertainers need the support of their fans to continue plying their trade. But I’m there to provide a musical experience you can’t get anywhere else. Maybe even change you. These songs simmered for years and I put the best I could find on stage to perform them- a pro, and Paige you’ll know her name soon enough. Someone’s gotta have a niece with a violin recital somewhere we can all go support.

Matthew Jain, Stephen Gibson, and Paige Taylor
Matthew Jain, Stephen Gibson, and Paige Taylor at the Brick & Mortar Dec 14, 2016

Which brings back the question of the Valentine’s weekend show. To be sure my set with 20 minutes love songs and 10 minutes piano led rock ballads would fit the bill perfectly. Playing on a Friday on a holiday weekend is a huge step up from a Wednesday a week and a half before Christmas. But fans, draw- not sure about that just yet. Perhaps the booking agency sees something fans haven’t had a chance to catch on to yet.

It’s tempting to go for it calling upon the friends and family network again, and maybe pick up a few who are starting to get curious. But I’m also tempted to hold back. To play in the bars, lounges, and smaller venues. To share my songs with the unsuspecting and unprepared, connecting with those my music resonates with along the way.

One thing’s for sure, I crossed a threshold by playing at the Brick & Mortar. The headliner Marié Digby was so fluid and charming. The others had poise and style I envied. And there I was, most of my circles didn’t even know I was a musician. Let alone being booked on stages larger than my draw could support.

Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter if you’d like to support. But if you come to my show, ride the wave of my songs. Let them move you and take you somewhere you may not have been before.

Stay tuned for updates on the Valentine’s gig.

And P.S., thank you for all your love and support. It means everything to me, and all of us on stage.