On the day of the show, we arrived to a dry-erase board that read, "Tonight! Live Music. Beer Rabbit." and a full parking lot. "Odd," we thought aloud to ourselves, "the venue must have done more promotion than we thought." The truth was that our show had been scheduled on the same evening as a rehearsal for the 40-person cast of an original musical about the Salem Witch Trials (there were several hip-hop numbers in said musical). When we asked the proprietor if she was concerned about the lack of parking, she responded that she was not. When we asked where we could find the equipment necessary to start our sound check, she responded that she was unsure of the whereabouts of said equipment and that we could ask the sound guy, whom she thought might be there before or perhaps slightly after our planned start time. So we set off in search of our needed equipment. It was in the hallway.
We played our set to the best of our ability (the occasional interruption of upstairs rehearsal music blasting "Where My Witches At?" was a bit distracting, but we managed to hold focus). We passed the hat around the small crowd, and considered the night, for all its pitfalls, a success. We approached the booking manager (who was nursing what we can only assume was his eleventh drink at the bar) pleased with our performance and anticipating his response. He shook our guitarist's hand (holding it for an inordinate amount of time) and with indifference stated that we had a long way and a lot of work to do and he hoped we had what it takes to weather the hardships. He then offered us another date the following month, but absentmindedly named a different month with each mention of it afterward. As we turned to finish packing our equipment, the proprietor advanced upon us with a hallow smile we later agreed was eerily similar to that of a Stepford Wife. She thanked us for our performance and, as she leaned in close, said quietly, "We generally appreciate our performers to stay past closing to help clean the restrooms."
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