On Saturday August 10, 2013, young musicians in the Live it Outloud! program, had their final concert of the season at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, Washington. It was really a lot of fun.
"Live your dream", their flyers say. And they're not kidding. They also say, "A summer rock-music school for aspiring musicians 12-18".
The bands were to play their rock show from 1PM to 4:30PM, but due to Union stage techs having "technical difficulties" it really didn't get started until more like 2PM. Which personally I thought was unacceptable as well as unprofessional. But hey, that's just my humble opinion and in the end, what are you going to do? Now I've heard stories before about Union techs who have pre-show "technical difficulties" setting up just in order to set the stage for the show running late and therefore mandatory overtime kicking in. But I'm quite sure that wasn't the case this time, at all.
The Pantages itself is a really nice theater, quite comfortable and in the end I really didn't mind the wait all that much. Not once they got to playing, that is. Okay, it seems to me if you're a paid professional and especially a Union member, the epitome of a professional workman (as I didn't see female techs that day), then you get the job done, on time. Show up early enough to be sure everything is ready so the crowd doesn't wait. Whatever. Having the crowd waiting at a performance because the tech staff is having "issues", should just never be a concern. But maybe that's just a lifelong pet peeve of mine....
|Pantages balcony seat left of stage|
|Pantages ceiling main auditorium above my seat|
|Andy and Joe|
It's an amazing amount of talent these kids have. Joe Wilson and the mentored performances put on by the kids through an eight week period, really did a wonderful job. Just as Joe has been doing over these past few years that the program has been going.
The kids sign up for the program and are then matched up together with other kids to make a band. They then practice together, get mentored, receive studio time and play a gig (which I believe was at Jazz Bones), leading up to the finale. The winners in the end receive even more sound studio time. I'm sure there is more in this experience for them than I'm listing here, but you get the gist. It's a great program.
From the Live it Outloud! Facebook page:
8 Week Rock-Music Program. Tuition is 250.00 per student for the entire 8 week program. There are a limited number of need based scholarships available from Ted Brown Music OutReach. Contact Joe Wilson at 469-964-1415 to learn what is available and how to apply.
MissionTeach kids how to write, play and perform rock-music and have an outrageously good time doing it.
DescriptionLive It OutLoud -Tacoma Ted Brown Music Outreach is an eight-week Summer Music Program for aspiring (12 to 18 year old), non-professional musicians produced by Ted Brown Music Outreach and sponsored by Ted Brown Music. Each student is placed in a band with a professional music mentor to create, develop, and perform on a professional level. You're going to Live it OutLoud, no more singing in the shower. The program is educational, inspirational, nerve wracking and most of all fun! The Adrenalin will flow…the power intense! Space is limited so Sign Up Now!
Here are photos and videos of the bands performing from the August 10, 2013 show. The visuals are a little fuzzy from the smoke machine, I think. If I can I will update this with band names and all but as it is now....photos of the bands in concert (videos after).
|Andy and Joe|
|End and choosing of winners - a Tie!|
A couple of the bands weren't quite as polished as I'm sure they wish they could have been, which is to be expected. After all some individuals are always going to be more skilled than others, quicker to acclimate to a new environment, skill set and inter-operability with other band members.
Let's face it, learning to play in a band is definitely a new skill that requires functioning through a novel and potentially challenging environment (on stage, in front of an audience, etc.), as well as working together with others in a creative and artistic way. Yet they all still did an amazing job. And when you consider how good the really good bands were, it's even more amazing still because you suddenly realize in taking in their performances that they are still kids and not a professional touring band.
So below you can see some videos from the show and get an idea of what it was like. Be aware it might take a bit to buffer prior to viewing. I haven't done much of this video processing for online streaming but it seems to work pretty well.
And remember. Before eight weeks ago, most of these kids never played together or even knew one another although there were some siblings in the program.
1 - This first video is of the opening of the concert with Hosts Andy Massagli (on left) and Joe Wilson (on right):
4 Andy and Joe joking around on stage, killing some time while the next band sets up. Please excuse the annoying shirtless person sitting in front of me holding up a phone, shooting footage while blocking my view:
7 And you have to have some heavy metal at a rock concert, right?
8 One of the winning bands ("Resisting Ordinary") who tied for first place.
After the show some of us including Joe Wilson, his wife, their daughter, actress Brandi Nicole Wilson, Producer Daniel Nanasi, myself, and a few friends headed over to the Harmon Hub restaurant, where we had some excellent food and company.
In the end, this was an excellent show and I had a great time. The three finalist bands felt (and sounded) to me like they could start touring immediately. At the end a local band, The Propellers, played while the judges cards were scored and the winners decided.
As indicated, it was a tie between two of the three finalists. The two winners were the bands, "Resisting Ordinary" and "Behind Blue Eyes" (with Amanda "Cat" Dewell). But as Joe said on stage, there really was no need for a winner as just to get on stage and put on a show like they did, made them all winners. That may sound trite, but try getting on stage like that and put on a rock show.
I'm definitely going next year if I can at all make it. If you can make it, I highly recommend it. Or if you have a child who might be interested, or you, if you're the right age (12-18 but younger exceptions might be made and it never hurts to ask), and want to get involved, check out the Live it Outloud! web site or call Joe (see phone number above).
If you think it might be for you, give a call! Or if you have instruments to donate as they have supplied a lot of instruments to the kids, please call. It's hard work, it's practice, and maybe some scary moments in getting used to being on stage. But I'm pretty sure it's worth it.
If you dream such dreams of performing, that is.
Then if you do go for it, you just might find out what it's like to be a Rock Star.