Our cover band, the Dangerous Mushrooms Band, got out for the first time last night and I’m happy to report that it was a huge success! Our band was just forming when the pandemic shut things down. We had three of the five members and were really looking for at least a fourth, either another guitarist or keyboard player who could sing. It certainly was a difficult time to audition or find new players for a while, but we ended up with a really good singer/frontman and an outstanding keys player, who joined us earlier this year and really completed the sound we were looking for. When we were ready, then came the matter of finding gigs in a tight St. Louis market. Stanleys Cup and Grill is less than a year old and they are trying to increase their live music so they offered us a Friday night, 7-11. We met at the drummer’s house to load up the PA and help him with his kit. He has a pick up truck and I copped Mrs. Thumpenstein’s SUV to haul part of the load. Hot day in St. Louis! Note the temp on the dashboard. We were some pretty sweaty Mushrooms by the time we were done loading in! And it’s not a huge place, so it warmed up a bit when we had the doors open for a few. Thankfully, it cooled off again quickly. The owner was super nice and accommodating. Load in was a breeze despite the heat; we just pulled right up to the front door and we were 50 feet from the stage. My rig is pretty complete these days. The Mesa WD 800 is the perfect amp for me and I plugged it into the PA and a Subway 112/115 stack. It killed! My main working bass is a Fender Player Plus J that Mrs. Thumpenstein gave me for Christmas and it sounds great. I love playing my Aerodyne, but it was passive until this past week and I couldn’t swap them out without making several adjustments on the amp, so it wasn’t really good for hot swapping or as a back up. So I installed an Audere 4-band preamp this past week into the Aerodyne, and it is now officially a Beast. (It might become my number one, but it is a little noisier than the J, so we’ll see.) In any event, I’ve got two good basses that I don’t worry about taking into any of the dicier joints we may end up playing at some point. I had compliments from friends, family, and strangers on the tone. I went through the PA and angled the stack up toward me, which also reinforced the house sound and I never had trouble hearing a single note. I use the Genzler 4 on the Floor for a little hair. It’s a beautifully touch-sensitive set up and I’ve got really good control from my fingertips without even adjusting anything, just depending on how hard I dig in. We had pretty well cooled off by the time we had everything set up. Sound check right at 5:30, as we had planned. There were some patrons there when we arrived and we actually got decent applause playing about half of Shine. PA is a Soundcraft UI16, which can be controlled with an app that runs on phones, computers, iPads, etc. We had been using it during our last couple of months of rehearsal and had to make only some minor adjustments to the mix. Drummer plays a really fantastic Roland electronic kit, which is the most ear-saving bit of technology in bar band history, if you ask me. And it allows us to play smaller places like this without having to turn up too loud to keep up with an acoustic kit. We mingled a bit with friends and family, and started at the stroke of 7. A quick picture of the band before the show: Dangerous Mushrooms started with a decidedly hair metal bent when we first formed, so we started with a couple of Poison songs, Nothin’ But a Good Time and, yes, Talk Dirty To Me. It really got the crowd rocking and got us off to a good strong start. Bartenders were signaling for us to crank it up louder barely into the first song. The first set was over in a flash. We never really took time to eat before the show, and I was feeling a bit peckish, but didn’t quite have time to order anything, so I had one of the drummer‘s kid’s potato skins and a couple of toasted raviolis (it’s a St. Louis thing) after the first set. Then I arranged with one of my buddies to order a burger with two songs left in the second set. That plan worked perfectly, and let me tell you, Stanley’s Cup and Grill makes a tasty burger! Their onion rings are killer, too! The crowd was into it all night! Great energy from the crowd and a lot of dancing and partying! At one point in the second set, I saw a gentleman approach Mrs. Thumpenstein, who was seated with some of our good friends and her son, Roger. This gentleman was wearing a T-shirt that pronounced his intention to seek booty. Before any ensuing conversation could develop, Roger pipes up, “Hey Bootyman! That’s my MOTHER!” and the gentleman promptly excused himself. . That’s my BOY! Nice D! (All in good cheer, you certainly can’t fault an establishment for having a friendly crowd!) The night was over too quickly! Everyone was having a great time when we finished up and they asked for more. Nobody seemed to notice the clams, of which there were mercifully few. The owners were thrilled, comped the band and threw a nice chunk into the tip mushroom. (Drummer has a 3-D printer so he made us a tip jar, which worked better than the Venmo sign.) They have already asked us back and we’ve got a couple of lines on some other venues, so the Dangerous Mushrooms are out of the basement for good!