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FATE Brewery Notes and Set List

Turning 40 wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. Nothing to worry about, I assured myself, it’s just another day. But thanks to my wife Cheryl, and FATE Brewery, and the Zen M gang, my 40th birthday turned out to be a big deal after all. A very good deal.

Cheryl asked what I wanted to do on my birthday. “Play music.” She searched high and low and finally got in touch with the amazing people at FATE. Flexible, approachable, warm and welcoming, the managers at FATE worked with us for a combo dinner + Zen Mustache performance. So great!

I love being in a band. Pulling together a show like last night takes work. Not just writing and rehearsing music, practicing and tightening up the performance. On the day of a show we haul a several hundred pounds of gear, not just our instruments but also speakers, monitors, mixing board, amplifiers, equalizers, cables (LOTS of cables!), mic stands, and on an on. Setting up the stage can take 2-3 hours of lifting and moving and crawling and at the end we’re a sweaty bunch.

There’s the stress of connecting all the equipment together so it all works. There’s anxiety checking the sound in front of a restaurant full of dinner guests.

There’s the set list and reading the room for how to start (do we ease into things, or start with a bang – how many covers and which ones).

There’s walking the room and talking to fans who’ve made the trek to hear us play. There’s playing with the knowledge this is a live performance, and anything can (and without exception something will) happen. Once we start, there’s no safety net and we have only ourselves to rely on.

And despite the work it takes to pull off a show like last night (or maybe, BECAUSE of the work – at least in part) the payoff is huge. Let me say that again – the payoff is HUGE. It’s a barely controlled build-up and release of energy. No other way I can think of spending a birthday that would be more fulfilling or more fun.

So, thank you FATE and Zen M for the opportunity and thank you Cheryl for pulling it all together. Here’s to another birthday. And may the next 40 be as awesome as the first!

Set list:
Wheat Kings #
You Ain’t Going Nowhere
Hey Jane
The Valley
Baby Hold On
Boogie on Reggae Woman
Feelin’ Alright +
Can’t Stay Here +
Barton Hollow + #
Can’t You See +
Sweet Inspiration +
Why You Been Gone So Long? +
I Know You Rider +
Come Together +
Left Work Early +
Hunger Strike + #
Awakening +
Black Water +
Loving Cup +
Soulshine +
Call Me Al **

+ Emily Koeppel first time on backup vocals
# First time played
** Encore by request

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