My old band, The Suspects, played their first show in five years Friday January 19th, and I thought some of y’all might be interested in the “behind the scenes” story surrounding the event.
Even though we agreed to do the reunion in mid-November 2006, we cut it pretty close to the bone when it came to actually getting prepared for the show. Our first rehearsal didn’t happen until two weeks before the show, and it was not what you’d call, “great”. The old patterns of behavior and previously entrenched roles within the band did not change one iota over the course of five years; I struggled to remember my major sevenths versus my minor sevenths while the horn players looked at me like I was crazy for not hearing the cacophonous dissidence crackling out of my amplifier. Hey, what can I say? I hadn’t played my dusty, rusty guitars since that last show in 2002.
Prior to the show, only two members of the band had played every gig in our original eight and a half year history: Alan Hernandez (guitar) and Claudio DePujadas (drums). Joe has remided me that we played a show without any drummer at all… sorry Claudio, Alan has always been the king! Claudio could not adjust his schedule to fly down from Philadelphia for the reunion, so Thomas was able to secure the services of David Bebee for our drum kit needs (and Alan becomes winner of the title, “Suspects Iron man”). David is a well-known member of the Houston music scene; he plays in the El Orbits, the Allen Oldies Band, and was a member of Banana Blender Surprise. He’s a total pro, and his excellence was a big part of our success that night.
Given our recent back-story, you’d think there would have been a lot of drama involved with all of us being in the same room, let alone playing a show. The exact opposite was the case; I think that were all so focused on trying not to suck on stage that we kept all the baggage securely stored in the overhead compartment. That’s not to say it won’t get messy and blow up in a huge mess at some point in the future, of course. 😉
Over four hundred people came out to see the show, and that was very satisfying. If you’ve ever been to the Continental Club on an average night, you might wonder how 400 folks could fit in there… somehow, everybody squeezed in. Also of note was the number of pre-show tickets sold: more than 130!
You might be wondering, “how did it sound?” Well, I can’t say it was time-travel straight back to 1999, but we were tight enough to make ourselves smile. The fact that Chris and Thomas were good enough to trade vocal duties back and forth all night (including Thomas giving Chris some tasty backup harmonies here and there) really added a lot to the whole night. If you’re a fan of the band but draw a line in the sand when it comes to which vocalist you preferred over the years, this was a win/win situation for you, for sure.