3 shows. 2 in Philadelphia, and 1 in NYC. 217 miles of driving. All in one weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve done three shows consecutively, but it was definitely fun, and I’m looking forward to doing it again!
The first show was on Friday night at the AsianArts Initiative in Philadelphia. I was asked by my good friends Michelle and Catzie aka Yellow Rage to perform as a featured act for Family Style, a monthly open mic held at the venue. As a special treat both to the audience and me, Amanda and Catzie sang two song medleys which included Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, Kanye West’s Heartless, and… Milli Vanilli’s Girl You Know it’s True. I happily played DJ for the tracks on both the guitar and my loop pedal, which Catzie likes to call, “the foot harmonizer”. I had a great time performing, minus a bit of a cough, but the audience was very supportive and showed a lot of love.
Saturday night was at Drexel University for a showcase. The event was held by the Filipino Intercultural Society of Drexel University (FISDU) to benefit Japan relief. The event was marketed as a coffeehouse, but in reality, it was more like an all out concert, with an amazing sound system, and a big stage. Other acts included singer-composer Matt Campana, 3 part harmony wizards PSFA, and a cappella group 8 to the Bar. I got to rock the stage full-band style with my brothers in music John Violago and Matt Pana. The Mitchell Grey Band also performed. For those not in the know, Matt Pana drums for both bands, and essentially proved why he’s known in our parts as a SuperDrummer. Afterwards, we all went for our standard post-gig meal when we’re in these parts–Cheesesteaks!
Sunday found us back in NYC for a performance at The National Underground. This show was also for Japan relief, and was organized by the folks at Kollaboration NY. It was my first time at this venue, and the atmosphere was definitely that of the indie rock club: small, no stage, dimly lit, with a standing room only crowd eager to hear the performers. For this crowd, I wanted to throw a curve ball and do something different from my standard guitar set, so I did an all vocal loop pedal version of my song, Paper Shapes. Performing like that was an interesting experience, since the crowd was only about 3 feet away from me, and everyone could see how I set up the entire song live and from the ground up.
Needless to say, it was a very jam-packed weekend. Here’s to hoping it happens again!
A special shoutout to everyone who made this weekend awesome: Michelle Myers, Catzie Vilayphonh, Nancy Chen, AsianArts Initiative, Ben Silverio, FISDU, Cat Chung, Gil Seok, Jason Chang, Kollaboration NY, The Mitchell Gray Band, and everyone who came out to support. Thanks so much!
An extra special shout out to Amanda Yu for helping me on the road and chronicling the trip through pictures, Matt Pana and John Violago for being amazing musicians, and Rena Eleazar, my lovely cousin who booked us for the Drexel, and also housed us. Thank you!