after rehearsing most of the day yesterday, we packed up the gear into two cars and the van of the birthday-partier and headed to his grandma's house (ground-zero for devan s.: birthday party #18). i was expecting a large number of high-schoolers to be there...but that wasn't the case. most of the audience was relatives, ranging from middle-schoolers (some younger!) to middle-agers (and grandparents!). my band was a little disappointed.... ...and REALLY disconcerted! we played two of our original hard rock numbers (one tool-ish, the other iron-maiden-esque), and we decided to cool it on the heavy stuff. playing the metallic songs was just AWKWARD in someone's living room! we were worried that we would be extremely loud and noisy, but the volume actually wasn't so bad! i actually turned my amp up after the second number. we took a break and were treated to chicken strips and birthday cake (there were two: one with the likeness of spongebob, and another with that of the simpson's martin prince)! after a little bit of daring, we plugged a mic into my guitarist's poorly grounded (and potentially dangerous!?!) amp and dedicated our original '50s slow-dance tune to the future anniversary of the kid's grandparents. our drummer did the announcement and he kinda forgot one of the names. the audience cued him, and everyone had a laugh (it WAS funny!). we played a LOT of covers! the list of songs where we knew only one section but played them over and over anyway include -"superfreak" -"ice ice baby" -"everybody dance now" -"rapper's delight" -"the shaft theme" (no wah wah!) hrmm...i KNOW we played more funny/funky stuff. we know the main riff to "beat it" but we didn't get around to playing it. the birthday-kid's older (much older?) sister and...maybe a cousin or something...were the only audience members dancing around a lot. especially to the 80s funk stuff. they were probably drunk. we also played all of incubus' "new skin," per request. towards the end, the guitarist's low E string broke! he told us when we were rehearsing that he hopes it doesn't snap, since he regularly drop-tuned and re-tuned it. well...it sure did snap! we still played for 20 more minutes (well...out of that time we may have only played 7 minutes or so), including a kinda crappy cover of incubus' "warning." (drummer and guitar player=big incubus fans!). we had to call it quits, though, when the drummer's snare drum head broke! the joke was that i was glad to have finished before my bass exploded! loading and unloading just isn't any fun. especially with a little car like, say, a honda civic (a 115 and 210 in the back seat? no problem....). but the drum equipment! that's such a pain. a lot of the cymbal hardware is rusted so that the legs don't fold down all the way. that's a real bee-yotch. a fun time was had by all (afaik!). some of the people made offers for us to play graduation parties and whatnot "because [we] f'n rock!" we asked if they were joking, and in most instances, they weren't! this wasn't quite the "challenger" i expected. it was just a no-pressure, super-relaxed, kinda awkward show. as a side note-this is the second show i played with this guitar player and drummer (we have no singer). i can only hope that this is the beginning of "Pre Syzygy" as a gigging band!