Still the One – Unplugged: turning lemons into lemonade
Ever have one of “those days?” You know … when Murphy’s Law is in full swing and just about everything that CAN go wrong DOES go wrong? Well, Orleans recently had that experience … but managed to rise above it.
On Nov. 23rd, 2013 in Grovetown, GA (near Augusta), we played a “snake-bit” show. Oh, it started out OK, if a bit early, with a sound check at 9:30 AM. That’s not really normal Rock ‘n Roll work hours, but hey … we can make it happen! The check itself went well; a fine tech crew, good gear, no problems and we finished on time at 11.
The day was overcast and a bit bitter for an outdoor show. The fairgrounds site had never seen a concert before and infrastructure was minimal. After a quick lunch, we headed back to the hotel as Juice Newton‘s band took the stage for their sound check.
Fast-forward to our return to the site for dinner at about 7 PM. Pure Prairie League sounded great as we rolled up. Walking towards the dressing rooms pavilion, I heard a comment from stage: something like “Y’all will have to tell the rest of Augusta what they missed tonight!”
Particularly bad planning on the promoter’s part had yielded a tiny audience; something like 2 dozen concert-goers in a space that could have held thousands! Bad weather didn’t help, but this small-but-stalwart crew braved the cold and drizzle, intent on enjoying their large-scale but strangely intimate serenade.
Juice followed PPL, also sounding great. But clearly she was a bit rattled as she entered the dressing room area, post-show. Apparently there had been a power surge sometime earlier in the day which had done significant damage to the PA equipment. The monitor board, which saves all settings for each act separately (much like you save a Word doc on your computer) had all but fried. Sound on stage was a shifting sands, with things coming and going at will. Not what you want when you’re trying to give your best performance.
Bad weather and tech problems had caused the day schedule to fall behind as Orleans took the stage plenty late, proceeding to grapple with our own monitor nightmare. Our set, which was supposed to start at 9:30 PM and run for 90 minutes, finally got underway at 10:20. Ready or not, it was time to launch and get ‘er done, come what may. The show MUST go on!
As you might imagine, this was not the most conducive environment in which to reach our finest artistic heights ever. Still, we managed to muscle our way through the first half of the set list … and the “crowd” seemed to be enjoying it (which is, in the end, what really matters).
40 minutes into the set, as I glanced over my left shoulder, an officer of the law appeared to reluctantly inform us that local ordinances required that we stop playing … IMMEDIATELY! What? You’re kidding me, right? Nope.
It quickly became clear that no amount of negotiating was going to change his position. After all, it wasn’t his idea; it was just his job. So, not wishing to rage against the machine unnecessarily, we had the PA turned off, grabbed acoustic guitars and made our way to the front of the stage, where we delivered this impromptu and literally unplugged version of our best-known anthem. As you can tell, the small but enthusiastic crowd was well-pleased .. including one over-active fan who sang louder than all of us combined!
All’s well that ends well, right? But we wouldn’t want to make a steady diet of it! 🙂
Please leave a comment. We’d love to know your thoughts.
Showing All Comments
Beautifully done, guys! I wouldn’t expect any less! Can’t wait for you guys to come back to Long Island (hint hint)! XO
August 6, 2014 @ 12:27 PMReply
sounding great ! miss seeing you guys….Lane needs a harmonica or something to do with his hands 🙂 Nice seeing you alleven if only on video…..come back to Florida please….maybe Velvet Sessions at Hard Rock Hotel….it has been quite some time….
July 17, 2014 @ 12:04 PMReply
Yes…THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!! A great version of Still The One was born. Happy Holidays.
December 11, 2013 @ 5:52 PMReply
This was soooo cool! You should do it more often– although voluntarily, not due to bad luck and late-night noise ordinances! Really wish I could’ve been there. Miss you guys a lot and hope you’ll be coming to NY at some point in 2014.
December 4, 2013 @ 10:39 PMReply
What a GREAT rendition! You made it work because you are real musicians and skilled singers. I am sure the absurdity of the situation made it even more rewarding for the small but enthusiastic audience. I have been having fun with your music since 1972 in Ithaca and will continue to do so until I check out – keep making great music!!
December 4, 2013 @ 12:26 AMReply
Lance, when you tell a story, it’s as if we were there! Crazy story…but you guys…a class act! With love
December 3, 2013 @ 9:22 PMReply
You guys are and have always been the real deal. It is a blessing in my life to know you , your music, and the love you share through the music. Danny F
December 3, 2013 @ 9:04 PMReply
Still the one and only Orleans, and I still love you guys…… really miss Larry and Lance, You still are as handsome as ever!!!!
December 3, 2013 @ 7:09 PMReply
You guys are still the 1!
December 3, 2013 @ 7:00 PMReply
Thought it couldn’t work without Larry ,but must admit Fly does a pretty good lead vocal on Still the one. Keep rocking. JAS
December 3, 2013 @ 5:57 PMReply
Thanks for that video–classic anti-rockstar performance. Rockstars would have just left. So nice that J. Hall was there too. Bless you.
December 3, 2013 @ 3:44 PMReply
You ARE still having fun!
December 3, 2013 @ 3:37 PMReply
A great story. How many bands could slip into acoustic mode and make it work just like that. And Still The One sounds a lot like the original, great job Fly and everyone.
December 3, 2013 @ 2:52 PMReply
My thoughts are this: as a “non-professional” but nevertheless serious musician with over 50 years of playing in bands under my belt, I have never read such a compelling tale of what really matters prevailing above all else. How terrific to read that despite the “day from hell”, these consummate professionals had the sheer balls to see the day through, perform for a handful of people, and do it all with a smile on their faces. Been a fan since 1975. Thanks for your gift of music guys. Peace.
December 3, 2013 @ 2:50 PM