Fast Times at Konsplosion

As you might’ve read from a previous post Aim For Space had its first show last September. And, like most first concerts for a band, it, uh, could’ve been better… :/

But yeah, lemme give ya the recap:

So back in like Spring 2015 it was announced by Konsplosion that their headlining band would be Eyeshine, fronted by voice actor and former Power Ranger Johnny Yong Bosch. Carlie, who’s pretty in with Johnny, set this whole thing up between Konsplosion chief of staff Brooke and the band.

So with us finally having a practice space and being in the process of doing covers and making originals, it seemed like a great idea to open for them. Yes. Great idea for a first show. At a pretty big ass venue…damn.

Carlie with Eyeshine n’ Friends

Well straight talk: it was hard as shit. Huge, stale, cow pie hard shit. The 3 ½ months it took to try and get ready for the show were grueling. Lots of arguing, changing of plans and setlists, compromising arrangements for the lack of an extra instrument; I mean, it was probably the most I’d ever work toward something.

And, even with that much determination spilling out of us, we were still very unprepared.

On the first night (we had to play two shows), things began a bit shaky. Actually, we were. I remember an instance during sound check, seeing my hands convulse wildly before clasping my sticks tightly. My stomach kept making these weird pressure knot feelings. I think I had to pee, too. Can’t remember.

[insert gif of Ocelot peeing on snake from egoraptor]

Everything felt so, foreign. Beyond our own gear, it was all very new to us. Eyeshine’s lead guitarist, Mistah Polo Yazaki, who is kinda amazing on guitar and just an all-around awesome dude to hang with, had his awesomely beautiful pedal board hooked unto Carlie’s amp and she was looking at it sheepishly. It was like watching a zoo patron figure out the best way to tame a lion.

Chris had had some trouble, too. He was wanting a certain top-end sound from his bass but wasn’t able to get a word in. Sadly, we didn’t know much of anything on mixing. Also, his amp went out a couple of times.

I remember feeling especially shitty about my snare. The heads had been on it for only a week, so tuning for the show was a hellish nightmare. Added to the fact that I tuned it like shit before we left and Eyeshine’s guest drummer had to help me out with it, the snare kept getting out of tune during both shows. It gave both the drummer (who, I should note, went beast mode on the kit) and myself a hard time.

It’s funny, too. Right before sound check, back in the hotel with the mates, I felt pretty confident in us. I mean, we were unprepared, but I thought it would go over well enough. We had got a chance to walk around and eat, check out some of the events, and fret over a bit of last minute rehearsing, so it felt like we had a nice refresher right before the show.

[insert funny pic “when you realize you took on more than you can handle”]

To make matters hilaribad, the second night turned out far worse. We were running on little sleep and the the first show had put us in a jittery mood. We wanted nothing more than to play better than the night before (which, thinking on it now, wasn’t horrible, just a lot of tiny mistakes and shaky tempos).

But, once we went in for sound check, nervousness plopped right back up again. Like that crackhead uncle who shows up at your house, eating all your food.

In my case, more relative to my father…too grim a joke?

To this day, I still have trouble remembering how we started off (I think it was pretty well) but right around our cover of My Soul, Your Beats it went completely black…like, the lights went out. I didn’t really even notice (was too busy looking downward like a dope instead of at the crowd) until the music stopped.

We hadn’t really prepared for such a problem and let me tell you, fretting out notes on a song that you don’t know like the back of your hand, combined with stage fright, especially while singing, can easily go bad when something goes awry with the environment.

After the staff fixed the light problem, we tried to gain steam again, but our confidence had already been shot dead.

We ended up stopping midway and simply told the crowd we couldn’t play anymore.

Thankfully though, everyone was so incredibly understanding. They came up to us and still cheered us on after the mishaps and said such heartwarming things. Man, could not have asked for a better crowd.

Best of all, we still got to dance around for Eyeshine’s show (which, I must say again, their drummer was fucking dope), annnnd Johnny brought Carlie up on stage to play his guitar for a song. Also joined by Tip C the Tiger…it was a crazy night.

This dude was the talk of that night! (photo by the awesome Matthew Axelson)

Also, Eyeshine gave us some much-needed advice on how to approach future shows and practicing. Really, thank y’all.

I won’t lie though, we still felt like shit after all that, and I felt really bad for Carlie. When she’s in the zone, she is such a damn good front woman and usually keeps Chris and me in check in the subtlest ways. But I think all of that really messed with her self-confidence. I mean, it messed with all of us definitely, but it was disheartening seeing it happen to her, the fulcrum of the band.

Happy to say though that we’re all getting back on the right track now. More on our endeavors in a later post!

I also need to give a huge thank you to Brooke, Courtney, and all the staff at Konsplosion for helping us set up and get things in order. They made the process sooo much easier. They also run another convention specifically for anime fans called A2F. Check it out if you’re ever in the Northwest Arkansas area.

 And a special shout out to DJ Blay who helped with all the mixing and mic placements. This dude is fucking all-around cool!

Oh, and a huge thank you to Matthew A. Axelson for taking pics of us during the concert. His pictures, including the header image, are throughout this post. Seriously, check out his fan page here. And some pics of his from Konsplosion.

Also, some pics of us and Eyeshine and a vid of our first show. Be as critical as you want, it’s all good. Just remember, we did what wanted to do and we’re only getting better from thereon! But yeah, until next time, *kyun*

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