Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Darkside (Finally) Gets 'Onstage' - A Recap

Finally, I am safe and sound back in Kandy after hours upon hours of travelling spread over the last two and a half days. Yes, it was a very long weekend, but what a weekend it was!

Just to quickly summarize, I had my final rehearsal for the TNL Onstage Soloist competition on Friday, somewhere in the bowels of Thalawathugoda. I had decided to do my version of "Cry me a river" and Creed's "My Sacrifice" for the show, in an attempt to mix up some of my creativity with a 'safe' crowd favourite. The rehearsal didn't go well, but it was too late to work things out and I was much too tired from the travelling anyway. A few bus rides, auto rides and phone-calls-to-get-directions later, I was at my aunt's place, blogging from my phone.

Saturday saw me once again bussing it into Colombo for the sound check which was supposed to start at 2pm but, as I should have expected, was very very delayed. The venue was rather small, much like it was for last week's performances. So, while the sound people and the band set up, I chatted with a few of the participants to find out what I was up against. Turned out, this weeks performance was going to be just as ambitious as last week's, with the likes of Theory Of A Deadman, Daughtry, Fuel, Judas Priest making their 'appearances', alongside music from The Calling, Boyce Avenue, Eva Cassidy, Jason Mraz and - well, you get the general idea.

Finally, when everything was set up, we managed to run through the songs a little bit, which was really important for me especially after the previous day's rehearsal, but also because I was playing the piano and singing as well for one song, so I wanted to get the 'logistics' sorted out with regards to the mic arrangements and the keyboard settings. The stage was really, really tiny; so tiny that if anyone got a little too excited while performing, they'd probably end up off it, and I doubt they'd score much for stage presence if they couldn't even manage to stay on the stage in the first place.

So, I heard all the performers during their sound check, and it didn't do much for the nerves. They were all very talented, but one thing I knew from experience was that performing live in front of an audience is always a challenge, so I was hoping that my limited experience would still be enough of an advantage over the competition. After my sound check was over, I was taken aside by the 'musical mentor' so to speak, that TNL had gotten down to provide little tips and insight. Surprisingly, despite the lack-luster performance I had just put up, he was very favourable in his opinion of me, and apparently he was really excited about the cover of "Like a stone" that I had sent in for my demo. Yet, his parting words of "the judges are going to expect a lot from you" didn't really do much for the nerves (or whatever nerves I had left at the time).

Finally, the hour had arrived and bang on time (meaning an hour late) the show got under way! The ReBels opened events for the evening, performing a fantastic cover of "Time After Time", one of my favourite songs! As luck would have it, my performance was slated for the last of the evening, meaning I had to sit through all seven performers and 14 songs before I would get up on stage. However, I had some company in the form of my parents, my ever-enthusiastic brother (who kept finding me during the night and telling me I was better than whoever was singing at the time, as well as asking if he could shout "Go Kandy!" during mine), and some of the blogger crowd in the form of Papare Boy, Hisham, Sabby, and even the elusive, reclusive and mysterious T.

Again, as luck would have it, I followed a contestant who in my opinion was the best of the night! Yes, so when they called my name, I was slightly more nervous than I usually am when I step on stage. A few mic adjustments, and I began the piano part of "Cry me a river". I think I made a few mistakes in the beginning, but I can't really remember. All I know is, when the band came in during the bridge, the adrenalin kicked in and the rest was a blur. We moved onto "My Sacrifice" and by that time I had resigned myself to the fact that it was too late to worry about anything, and so I threw my heart soul and voicebox into it, so much so that I hardly noticed the audience or the judges. It was just me, bright lights, tired vocals and a very good band behind me.

At the end of it all, I remember there was some applause at least, and that was a relief! My brother was pretty damn ecstatic, and since he is usually very critical when it comes to music, I took that as a good thing. To be honest, most of what happened next was a blur because I was on such a high after the performance. The ReBels then took the stage and played some very 'dancey music' in the form of "Sex Bomb" and "You Can Call Me Al", which honestly almost had me pulling the nearest girl to the dance floor!

To round it all off, it was by far one of the best nights I've had in a long long time. The final six will be receiving a phone call some time during the day today, so let's just say I'll be staring at my usually silent phone with earnest. Either way, like I said before, my main goal was to 'leave it all on the stage' so to speak; I didn't mind not making it to the finals as long as I had really given it my best shot. As of now, my adrenalin-adjusted memory tells me that I did, so until actual video footage comes out to prove me wrong, I'll just assume it went pretty well!

Last, and definitely not least, I want to thank everyone who wished me for the performance, via Facebook, email, twitter and text message. I was truly surprised and touched by all the comments on my last rushed post, and reading them out on my phone actually helped a lot! After all, if it hadn't been for the headless videos, I'm quite sure I would never have even considered sending in a demo for Onstage, and if it weren't for the gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) encouragement from my 'adoring fan base', I'd have missed out on what has turned out to be a pretty cool experience.

Enough mush. Stay tuned for whether or not I make it through to the next round! Also, I'm trying to get my hands on the video, and that will be up soon hopefully.




PseudoRandom said...

Ooh you did 'Cry Me a River'...yay!!!

I'm gutted that I couldn't see the headless pianist live, but I'm really glad that the nerves and the voice decided to behave themselves. The main thing was, and is, always to enjoy yourself, and it sounds like you did...so mission accomplished!

And as for your brother...awwww :D

alicia said...

Gee I saw a couple of videos on FB, and not withstanding my usual bias for all things Gehan, I thought you were great. I wish I was there. I miss your singing. Want to rewind a few years and relive some great memories.
Anyway, point is, even if you did not make it, I think you ROCK.

St. Fallen said...

just listened to the Creed cover via Sabby's video, bad song choice man :(
firstly, there are better Creed songs, With Arms Wide Open, Don't Stop Dancing, Higher. And somehow your voice just didn't suit, and personally I think you killed it at the end. But that's just me being a critic.

If your other cover was as it is over here, then I'm sure you'd have done well. I guess it really is all about song choice :/

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