|February 17 , 2006 - Nightowl Records - Easthampton, MA - Henning CD Release for Looks Like I'm Tall|
Henning says: Walking past rows and rows of colorful tempting treats in Stop and Shop, I said to Lesa, I said, "I don't know if there are going to be 50 people or 5 people."
I was picking up snacks for my Cd Release Party to be held later that night. Ever since I had mentioned snacks on the posters and hand-outs, all anybody asked me about the show was in reference to eating. So, the pressure was on.
Rice Krispy Treats, Jax, Cookies, Potato Chips, Honey Pretzels, Nutter Butter Bars, Wheat Thins, Cheddar Cheese, Wispride Cheese Ball, Caramel Filled and Dark Chocolate Hershey Kisses, Paper Plates and Bowls, and Napkins. That oughta do 'er. Mark and Jen at Nightowl Records were kind enough to supply coffee and spritzers so thirsts would be quenched.
I arrived at Nightowl at about 6:30 and found Mark on his hands and knees setting up the cool new P.A. System that he won from WRSI. Mark and I are WRSI brothers in that we both have won their singer/songwriter contest. It's all we ever talk about. Not really.
I loaded in my stuff. It was so cold and windy outside that, at one point, while I was carrying my guitars down the sidewalk, I was convinced that the wind gust was going to tear a metal sign from a store front and send it sailing right through my skull. That didn't happen, though. Not yet.
Inside the record store, on the other hand, it was warm and cozy and people started filling in. By 8:15 the crowd had reached what I would call, and I think those there would agree with me, "the perfect size". It was a nice full room, but not overly full. I was delighted and flattered. And relieved.
I stepped up on the stage and Mark and Jen killed the lights and the whole mood instantly changed form store to performance. It was kind of a terrifying show. Scary but exhilarating. Why was it scary, though, Henning? You play shows all the time. Well, my little friend, I'll tell you.
For one thing, the people in the room were silent. And the room itself was silent. There were no clinking glasses, no squeaking doors, no machine-gunning cash registers, no ice shaking drink mixing, no murmuring or pool balls smacking. It was completely silent. Scary but sublime.
For the other thing, I had put all my energy into setting up the show, getting food, preparing backing tracks for some songs, and planning for visual effects. I forgot about actually practicing the songs, so my musicical consentration during the performance was set to high.
I played the new album "Looks Like I'm Tall" from start to finish, using backing tracks on "But We Did", "The Center of Time", and "It's Now". For "Center of Time", I also passed out glowsticks and we shut off the lights. It was a nice break, mid set, and the room (from my view on stage anyway) looked like it was full of psychedelic lightning bugs. Perfect.
Mark Schwaber secretly played guitar on "20,000 Dollars" and "Nightly Progression" from behind the record store counter. Awesome. And for the last song, "It's Now", I just sang and played the tin whistle along with my previously recorded tracks. That was pretty fun, too.
What a great night in a great store full of great people. Great. Thank you everyone who came to the show, I hope you enjoyed it ok.