One Time Only: Goodbyewave’s Only Live Performance

gbw posterAs most folks know, part of the process(and arguably the most important process) of being a “band” is playing live.  It’s what separates the men from the boys.  The lifers from the hobbyists.  Playing shows is where a band cuts its teeth and learns how to work together as one massive rock ‘n roll unit.  You don’t really become a true band until you’ve played in front of a crowd of 10 drunk locals that only want to hear Aerosmith and Eddie Money when you’re playing your personally-penned, heart-on-your-sleeve originals.  “Hey man, do you guys know any Aerosmith?”, he said to me in a drunken growl as I looked down at him from the makeshift stage within the beer-soaked walls of PJs Sports Bar in Whogivesashit, IN.  “Umm, no we don’t.  But we’re gonna work on a couple really soon”, I replied.  “Don’t condescend me man”, the drunken patron replied before oozing back to his Miller Genuine Draft and pack of half-smoked Winston Lights.

That was no one-act play I just made up.  No, that really happened back in 1998 when I was playing in a band called Yellow Matter Custard(creative, I know).  It was one of the many fun experiences I had that year while playing the “No One Cares About Your Shitty Songs” tour across Northeast Indiana.  We had a couple good shows.  There were moments when we clicked and everything worked out great.  There were crowds that seemed to actually dig what we were doing.  Usually those crowds were mainly our friends and family, but still.  Point is, being a “bar band” wasn’t for me.  I haven’t been that sick in my life ever.  Smoke-filled dungeons with a troglodyte plopped on every stool waiting to hear their favorite .38 Special or 3 Doors Down song just wasn’t conducive to my greater health.  It was still a smoking free-for-all back then.  I’m not getting down on the smokers, but once you get past 11pm on  Friday night and the Keystone Light has been flowing freely it’s pretty much inevitable that there will be a continuous carcinogen stream blowing from every greasy, puckered face in the joint.  Dank air, being up till 2 or 3am tearing down, then figuring out how to evenly divide that $50 between the 4 of us(sometimes 5 when we ran our own sound) whilst still buzzing from our own hooch consumption.  I realized that in early 1999 when our singer said he was quitting and moving to Florida that that was really a blessing in disguise.

So, when I started Goodbyewave by myself back in 2003 I was under the assumption that I’d never play out and I was totally fine with that.  I played out.  I had the experience.  I was good.  Any music projects I would involve myself with from here on out would be home studio projects.  I’d concentrate on writing and recording, then putting out albums for folks to listen to.  Then when one album was done, I’d start another.  Well, after a couple years of playing with another musician in Goodbyewave, we both got the itch to play out.  Maybe just one show.  I asked an old friend if he’d be interested in practicing with us and being a bass player for the “live” version of GBW.  He agreed, and after two years of ebb and flow we readied a set and booked a one-time only show at Wooden Nickel Music in Fort Wayne, In.  Owner Bob Roets has been a champion of local music since he opened the place back in the early 80s.  He lets bands sell the merch in his store and do in-store performances on the weekends.  He’s one of the good guys.  So on May 8th, 2010 Goodbyewave played for a crowd of twenty at Wooden Nickel Music.  Twenty folks that genuinely seemed happy to be there.  No Aerosmith requests, no troglodytes, and no MGD.  How were we?  Not bad,  I guess.  Not bad for three middle-aged dudes pretending they weren’t so middle-aged, even if for just 40 minutes or so.  See for yourself…

11 Replies to “One Time Only: Goodbyewave’s Only Live Performance”

  1. Boo!! Hiss!! ‘Free Bird!’ Boo!! ‘Walk This Way’ Boo!! – bring back any memories?

    I like your elaborate record store-themed stage set. Did you miss out filming the bit where you get to slay an animatronic dragon – Dio-style, whilst soloing wildly? Where’s the pyro? were there costume changes? I need to know.


    1. I would have killed for a Dio-style dragon slaying. That would’ve been the icing on the rock ‘n roll cake.

      And yes, those demands sound oh so familiar(shivers). No costume changes, but the drummer did spontaneously combust after the last song.


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