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Michael Stone Opens for Karla Bonoff, the Good, the Bad and the Funny

Flickr,discoflasko

Opening For Karla Bonoff, the good, the bad, the funny!
–Michael Stone (from a Sept 2007 post)

A perfect night, despite it’s imperfections. That’s how I might describe last night’s show. I was the opening act for Karla Bonoff at The Rialto Theater in Loveland, Colorado.

Broken strings, a warm audience and continuance of my musical resurrection, made my performance truly memorable. No matter how often I perform I get the jitters.

Last night was no exception. I went into the performance with some trepidation, because I was nursing a sore throat.

And if ever there was a time I wanted to get it all right on stage, last night was the night. Hometown crowd, first major act I’ve performed with in ages. It had all the making for a perfect (or nerve wracking) evening.

The sound check was uneventful. In fact, the sound in the intimate confines of The Historic Rialto theater is phenomenal, both on the stage as a performer, and in the audience as a listener.

So when it came time to start the show, it was a self intro. No emcee, so I just walked out introduced myself and started into “TODAY.” As with much of what I play it is an athletic song, both on guitar and vocally. I felt it went well and received a very warm reception from the audience, considering most had never heard me and were obviously there for Karla Bonoff.

I then proceeded with more of my set, going into the ballad, “Will you Stay”, then over to the piano for “Blue Eyed Friend.” All in all, I was very pleased with the way things were going. Exactly as planned. Al the songs in order, just as we had jotted them down on a napkin while doing lunch at The Village Inn earlier in the day.

With the progression of the program moving nicely I picked up my guitar with some athletic guitar riffs, to fire off a rendition of “I still remember”, when Boiinnnng! Yep, broken guitar string. Remember I told you how great the sound is in the Rialto. It’s especially resonant when a phosphorus-bronze blended G string decides to head south.

So here I am, guitar in hand, broken string, a house full of eager listening patrons of the arts and I’m frozen in time. What kept going through my mind was that I had my backup Ovation Acoustic all bundled ready for the travel to the Rialto, in case of just an eventuality, and forgot it.

Time to punt!

So while I’m going through a million scenarios in my mind, ranging from fleeing, like a musical refugee from the stage, to breaking into an inconsolable Britney Spears style breakdown. I even consider a quick fall to my knees and a power prayer to request divine intervention and a time continuum shift back about 3 minutes to just before the string incident.

It was at the moment as I moved to the piano tat heard what I thought was the voice of God coming through my monitor speakers. “Dennis will change your string”. What? was I hallucinating, hearing voices?

No, it was Scott the sound man at The Rialto. Dennis his assistant would come up and change my string. Wow, I’m moving up in the world. I now have a roadie!

So off I go to the piano for “Stranger” , which was to be my closer. It’s a strong powerful ballad and I thought it would be fitting to end the show here. But remember, I’m in punt mode right now. So “Stranger” on the piano it is, to buy some guitar string changing time.

After the song Dennis brings me the guitar and my tuner with these words, “You might need to do some tuning”. A truer set of words has never been said. Apparently during the changing of the string and the subsequent attempts at tuning, Dennis had adjusted other strings unknowingly. It’s easy to do, if you don’t know the guitar. All those tuning pegs aren’t always in the same place.

Punting, part deux. So while attempting to talk to 400 plus people and keep them entertained, and tune a horribly out of tune guitar by ear, I could hear the building roar of the collapse of that musical resurrection I referred to earlier.

But all went well, the audience was extremely understanding and apparently entertained by my mishap. All in all it made for a nice ice breaker.

I wouldn’t take the moment back for anything in the world. So, God, forget that turn back the time continuum prayer please. I’ll get back to you at a more important time.

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