Hard Rock Boston - LIVE
May 5, 2014
I can officially add to my musician's resume that I have Rocked the Rock. Hard. Twice. That sounds a bit dirty...and maybe it kinda was.
Everyone and their uncle has heard of the Hard Rock Cafe. For nearly 50 years they've scattered the world over, a place that pretty much every musician - heck, every human being - has been to. Whether it be for food or live music, the Hard Rock Cafe is legendary. So when I was asked last fall 2013 to join the bill showcasing artists at the Hard Rock Boston, I jumped. Literally. You can even ask my producer. I think it made him a little nervous.
Although the organization of that show (no finger-pointing) last year was "subpar" (to say the very least) and a huuuuuge pain in the ARSE (no one ever said being a rock star was easy) it was still pretty effing cool being up on that stage (which had a built-in ramp - my dream stage!) with my good friend BJ Knights playing a few tunes to a modest crowd (90% of that crowd being my own fans - that's how we do!). The Hard Rock. Little old me! Not only that but I was playing alongside some super talented people: Louie Bello, who you are already very familiar with (Exception), and Natalie Duffy, a KILLER singer/songwriter and most recent collaborator of mine on my song "A Little While." There were a handful of other artists, all great! However, Louie & Natalie were the artists I found myself connecting the most with.
Soon after, BJ suggested to me that with all of the hundreds of songs I had (and continue to write), I needed to have my own show with a full set. The mere thought of it made me tingle with excitement and shake with fear - fear that I wouldn't be able to take on the task of getting everything worked out - choosing the perfect venue, getting the artists I wanted to join me, finding the perfect date, pulling in a big enough crowd and having it all go smoothly. Overwhelming to even think about, yet the thought of NOT trying made me just plain sad.
Now that I was exposed to playing the Hard Rock Boston I was determined to play there again. MY show. MY way. And with the unbelievably amazing help, encouragement, advisement and talent that I had from BJ, I did play there again. Or, I should say, WE did.
With Cory Paza rocking the bass, BJ shredding guitar and Eric Anderson killing on drums my songs were brought to life right before my very eyes...and ears. I hadn't played with a full band before and it gave me this really cool feeling. I was high on the best drug ever. (Note - I do not condone drug usage but absoLUTEly encourage music-making). The Hard Rock was awesome to work with and made every little detail seem effortless. Communication is key and they have it down to a science. Not only that but Louie and Natalie were on board immediately. They were doing their own sets, were totally cool with their stage times and were excited to join me during my set to sing our collaborations.
We had a much bigger crowd than the last experience, thanks to the fantastic promotion Louie, Natalie, BJ, Cory, Eric and I were able to accomplish via social media and word-of-mouth. The sound was great, the timing was perfect and everyone seemed to have a great night out.
I decided that for my set I wanted it to be my own version of VH1's "Storytellers Live." Like I explained to the crowd that 24th night in April, although I love to sing, I am, first and foremost, a songwriter. I have something to say and it's important to me that you know what it is. Whether I have to sing it myself or am lucky enough to use the talent of other artists, I need people to hear me. On stage I have found a comfort that I never dreamed I would. When I had to make business presentations in college, I froze. I broke out in a drenching sweat and my voice shook so much that all anyone could hear was this little mouse squeaking something about balance sheets, fiscal years and did she say "market share" or "park it there?" I had no idea what I was talking about and didn't care. What I understand now (better late than never) is that when you're talking about something that is a part of you, that you feel deep down in your soul, its not scary anymore. It's thrilling in the BEST way.
Thank you so much to all who came out to see us a couple of weeks ago - and for those who didn't get the chance, I'd love to see your gorgeous faces from that stage sometime in the future. I hope you'll join me :)
For now, stay tuned for more music and...don't forget...dreamBIG! ~Arlanna