ORIGINAL POST "Doors open at 7:00 I think, we are opening for the Josh Abbott Band. Come on out all of the DC PRS'ers!!! I'll buy the first 20 of you a beer! (you must promise not to drive home drunk!)" MY EXPERIENCE: (for anyone that's even remotely interested!) Preparation - I've never played such a high profile venue before, so I strung my guitars up with the Ernie Ball Paradigm strings that are supposed to "extremely resist" breaking. I haven't broken a string in probably over a year, but you never know! I have a guitar for Standard E tuning, and another for Eb tuning; I didn't want to break a string and have to change it in front of the crowd at 9:30 Club!!! I also swapped a speaker back into my amp that I knew sounded good, and washed my clothes that I wanted wear. It's very unlike me to prepare this well for anything! Load in was scheduled at 4:00pm. Living in Easton, MD and knowing the potential gridlock that DC traffic can be, I left my house at 12:45pm. Now DC is about 1 hour 10 minutes from my house without traffic, so I was pretty certain this would be sufficient time for even the worst traffic. I was correct, arrived over an hour early! The guys working the place were the coolest! The front door guy jokingly gave me a hard time for not having my pass, and then showed me where the green rooms were. The headlining band was setting up and doing sound check, so I stayed out of their way in the green room until the artist for whom I am playing arrived. Then the 9:30 stagehands helped us load our gear in, Moe in particular was awesome! The 9:30 dudes marked the locations with tape, and then struck the pedal steel, the monitor wedges, and the pedalboards for the headliners. Both guitars were going through Kempers, and they each had DGT's. Then we set our stuff up in front of their stage risers. Sound check was super pro, those guys got the monitor mixes pretty close right from the start. We played a couple of songs, and adjusted the monitors a bit, wrote down what we wanted from their menu, and then retired up to the green rooms. The monitor situation was pretty cool; the vocals went through side fills, and the instruments were in the floor wedges. I was also amazed that I wasn't told to turn down!!! The sound dudes were like "What?! No man, you're fine!!" when I asked if I was too loud. We hung out in the green room until the show. The green rooms that we were given were up on the third floor and looked directly down on stage left. It was a pretty cool view (aside from the chicken wire) to see the entire club, the patrons entering and filling up the space, the techs working on stuff behind or beside the stage! The famed 9:30 cupcakes were waiting for us, along with sodas and bottled water. I brought a spare tuner and headphones, and jammed on some of the stuff to warm up, and do some last minute verification that I knew the stuff 100%. I hung out with the band a little bit, and met some cool people that accompanied some of my band mates; I'm new to the band so I tried to be real cool-like. I'm really a big nerd, so it's difficult sometimes to tame the enthusiasm and seem "cool." Insert sheepish grin! When it was time to go on, we went down stairs and gathered near the stairs to the stage. My nerves were starting to get to me, so I told myself something that Brent Mason told me during an online guitar lesson; "they're just wallpaper, man!" I wasn't expecting a large turnout on a Wednesday night, but it seemed pretty packed from the side of the stage! We walked up, and I started checking my tuning (it was a whole 2 minutes since I checked it upstairs!!! HA!) and Shane started into the first song. My part starts about a second into him beginning the song, so I really quickly switched off the tuner and went for it. I think I missed the 3rd or 4th note, but after that I was fine! The performance is a bit of a blur, but I really had a great time up there! I was looking at the set list, and when we were about 3 songs from the end, I was really getting bummed; I wanted to play all night!!! After our set, we struck our stuff as fast as possible, and got it out of the way backstage. I was going to stay for some of the headliner's show, but Moe said that he couldn't open the doors once the headliners went on, and we either had to pack our cars right then, or wait until after the show. I opted to pack my car then, and once I was packed up, just decided to go home. By that point it was 9:45pm, I still had an hour+ drive home, and I had been up since 5:11am with my 17th month old son. Daddy was tired!!! I never thought I'd be playing a place like 9:30 Club, and I feel like I made the absolute most of the opportunity!! I played pretty well, didn't look like a deer in headlights, didn't have any equipment issues, and was able to thoroughly enjoy the experience while on stage!!! The BEST part was that the crowd really seemed to dig Shane's songs too!!! I REALLY REALLY hope I get another opportunity like this!! I've been practicing since I got home that night, redoubling my efforts to improve and hold onto the spot in this band!! I'm actually suffering a weird depression right now; I was so looking forward to the show, now that it's over I'm pretty sad about it! HAHA!! I was also told that I need to get more "vibe" in my look; "the more ridiculous, the better." I don't even know where to start with that..... Boot Barn here I come!