Songfight Live - Hot and Sweaty

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photo by JB

Just got home yesterday from beautiful hot and sweaty Tampa, Florida after taking part in the annual Song Fight! Live debauchery, and this year's fest was definitely a fun time. It was a pretty quick, marathon trip for me. I left Santa Cruz at around 4am on Friday, to catch a 6:30 flight from San Jose. Made it to the hotel in Tampa around 7pm EST, and felt surprisingly good, aside from the choking humidity. Stayed at the Westshore Hotel on Friday night, decent place with a couple loud and jumping bars downstairs. Around 9:30, the Songfighter X Men showed up (Hoblit, JB, Erik, and Paco) and we met Dre down by the pool, where Hoblit and I went swimming to cool off. Hung out and ended up going back to the quiet bar at JB's hotel, which was a block away, and got drunk and ate a bunch of yummy appetizers. A nice, relaxing way to end my long day and begin the SF live festivities.

Saturday morning, Hoblit came and picked me and my shit up (i was lugging around my acoustic in a big hard case) and we went back to his place, where the others were hanging out. Practiced my short set with Paco, who volunteered to be my wingman and help cover my mistakes if necessary. I also agree to help him out and play bass on his "get a life" song, so we practiced my songs and his, and had copious amounts of good coffee courtesy of Hoblit. I couldn't get my room at the Hampton Inn, which was a block and a half from the Ritz, until 3pm, so we hung out at Hoblit's until about 2:30, then Dre, Paco, and I headed over to check in at the Hampton Inn while Hoblit and Project D loaded gear and shuttled it to the theatre. Paco, Dre, and I got in another hour or so of practice after checking in, then it was time to grab a bite before the show. As we approached the Ritz, we could hear Hoblit's band soundchecking, from a block away. We walked inside and the db level was enough to rattle windows. We dropped our guitars and stuff off and walked across the street for a slice before we had to play (Paco was up first). The show finally got going around 6:30 or so.

Paco kicked off the show in fine fashion. I don't think I butchered the bassline too bad on his "get a life". He did 6 songs I think, just guy and guitar but really nicely done in the quirky fashion you'd expect from him. Next came the Lord of Oats, whose set was entertaining to say the least. Dre followed with more acoustic music, backed by Paco. So far, all guy and guitar, no bands, no drums, making me nervous...I followed Dre and Paco did a great job backing me up. I played a total of 4 songs:

Unless I Change My Mind Again (originally a brody song)
We Were Not Meant to Be (again originally a brody song)
Spalding Grey is Missing (with lyrics by Niveous)
Out of It (a brad sucks cover)

The Emergency Pizza Party crew tossed the guy and guitar out the window with their Nerdcore rap. Fun stuff, cute girl. I also played a song with Project D, a pretty cool little song called "King Me" which was pretty easy to follow. Erik followed with a bunch of 15/16 Puzzle songs, and really filled out a lot of sound for just playing solo. A slightly drunk and rambling JB followed Erik, and belted his set out in very fine fashion. Then, Hoblit and Ghost Town Gridlock nearly broke everyone's eardrums with their demented goth rock, concluding with them trashing their equipment and all falling and laying down onstage. Kind of hard to top those guys.

But Phunt Your Friends gave it a valiant effort in the live fight, which had 3 fighters square off. Andre's Stinky oats kicked off with another quirky Paco song, this time with him on bass. Then the Phunt guys did their thing. Emergency Pizza Party however was smart enough to write something that included audience participation, so they pretty easily took the honors with the vote this year.

After the show broke down around midnight, we headed back to my room at the Hampton Inn where the awesome Ryan brought the rest of the case of amazing french wine he was giving out. We all hung out, drank lots of fine wine, then walked the Ybor City freakshow and got another after show slice. Drunk and happy, we all went our separate ways around 3am.

Sunday, had a late Mexican lunch with Hoblit, Erik, JB, and Dre, hit the airport for my 4:20 flight, and got back to Santa Cruz around 11:30. Good times.

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