My friends aside, the crowd wasn't that responsive, but I got through things OK, I think (although there were flubs of varying degrees of seriousness in most of the songs). I ended up playing: (1) Watching Killer Robots Eat Your Head (2) C-H-I-C-K-E-N (3) Little Red Riding Hood (4) I'm Sick Of This American Life (5) Avocados and Beer (6) You're Bad And You Won't Go Away (7) Hybrid Car. A few people came up to me over the course of the rest of the night to say they liked my stuff and one person asked if I had any other shows coming up, which was nice. When I was done with my set I was kind of soaked with sweat; CMonti said he could tell I was nervous but he wasn't sure how evident it was to the audience at large.
It was nice to see Chris Rosenquest, whose work I was not previously familiar with. He does a lot of looping stuff, where he does a percussive line and loops it, then plays a chord progression over that and loops that, then plays a melodic line and loops that, etc. -- he was very good at this and it was kind of mesmerizing. Chris Monti's new three-piece band rocked the house and managed to blow out the circuit breaker, but fortunately it was turned back on after no more than a minute or two. Very dramatic! The drummer was quite versatile and played in a number of different styles over the course of the set.
I think I might try to set up another West Side Arts show where I'll do all covers -- That'll Never Happen No More, Before You Accuse Me, Caldonia, etc. -- but this requires a little thought. I'll figure it out in the morning. (I will have to learn at least one new accordion tune if I want to bring it again, I think.)
The armory that the event was held in is kind of an amazing space. The doors to get in seemed like they were twice as big as ordinary doors, and there were painted portraits of military-type people on the walls, along with tons of red shields that denoted battles in World War II that, I guess, the armory was involved in in some way. I took one picture during the sound check which didn't come out great but may give you an idea.
Guess I should go to bed. Good night!