Monday, March 5, 2012

Henning Goes To a House

photo by So Many Stars
On Saturday, I played a house concert in Hartford, Connecticut.  The concert was the first in a series put on by So Many Stars.  I had a wonderful night.

It all started off with a dinner at Luna Pizza.  There used to be a Luna Pizza here in my town Northampton, Massachusetts but sadly, it went out of business.  When I realized the house concert was just a couple of miles from the Hartford Luna, it seemed like a must.  Lesa and I met friends, Debbie and Emily and we each got a pizza.  It tasted pretty much just like the good old days.

After dinner we drove off in the wrong direction, eventually made a u-turn, and found our way to the casa de venue.  There was no doubt which house it was since the door was adorned with little flashing lights.  As we approached with guitar and accessories in hand, a dog barked from behind the storm door.  Hello, dog.

We stepped inside and found a comfortable living room that had been filled with rented folding chairs.  I made my way up to the front and unpacked and arranged my items and I immediately felt comfortable in the little spot behind the microphone.  There were a few people milling around and there was a table with snacks and a cooler of beverages.  I met Colin, who was kind enough to bring a small P.A. for the evening.  I also met Helder who was operating a video camera for the show.  I already knew the host, Julie, who asked me if I needed anything.

As I tuned and arranged my table of CDs, more and more people came in and by 7:45, we decided I should start.  

I had planned on playing two sets of seven songs each with a short intermission between them.  I introduced myself to the audience, explained Henning Goes To The Movies, and played Joe Versus the Volcano.  It felt pretty good, I could hear, I could see everyone's faces, we were getting to know each other.  That's when I reached down and introduce the MadLib.  The audience was friendly and enthusiastic and provided me with good words through out the night with little to no begging on my part.  Ages ranged from, I would say, nine to fifty.  This is the set list that I played, I think:
Joe Versus the Volcano
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
The Year My Voice Broke
Egos, Weee!
Jake and Kim Broke Up (Leave Me Out Of It)
The Straight Story
Logan's Run

We're All Stars (this was a debut)
For both Logan's Run and Poltergeist, I passed out my colored finger-flashlights to the audience and we shut off all the lights.  The room filled with colors, some folks tapped the lights in rhythm, others made the lights dance across the ceiling and walls, a few shown them right at their own faces.  I loved it.

When Poltergeist was done, it was time for the recitation of the MadLib. The title was "House Concerts".  Colin, who I had never met before had graciously agreed to come up and play my guitar for background music as I read the mostly funny finale.  He did a great job and overall the MadLib proved to be successful.

During the intermission and after the show I met a lot of new friends.  I'm ready right now for my next house concert.  Want to host one?

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