I played my third gig last night, and I thought I really bombed. I missed parts of the song (still played through without missing the beat), the guitarist had some tempo problems, the drummer could not hear anything, the onstage monitors were wack, I hit a few sour notes. To top it off, we had to fill an extra 20 min that we had not planned on, and flubbed that more than a bit. Basically I walked off with a smile thinking "man I have to quit this band, I cant read them, and I suck". So off stage I go, to sit down and have a victory beer; I see a friend that did not know I played, and did not know I was there. I ask "what did you think, rather, what did you not like?" and he replies "oh, you want some critical feedback? Some of the endings were not strong, like I did not know if it was ending or not, and you had a rough start on one of the songs". Yup, things I have heard before (grumble). But then comes the gem: "I was in the other room and I was thinking - I wonder if these guys have a recording, or something I can download to my ipod so I can listen while I work" ?!?!?!!! "You liked it?" --- "Oh, yeah! great sound, I really dug it, and I may have had a few beers, but I am pretty critical of these things" Really proved the point that what you are hearing on stage is NOT what the audience is hearing. As long as you keep beat, they do not know the difference. Plus, as long as you find the groove when it counts, everyone forgets everything else. I'll get to listen to the recording tonight, and will cringe and be critical again -- recordings are a harsh reality check, for sure. Point-- keep playing, and show no sign of remorse on or off stage, only with band members if at all. Kinda like golf, one good hit brings you back.