Tuesday, January 3, 2012
An Epic shot of me and the drummer from the show. This one shows up on the monitors in the galley from time to time.
This was my first New Year's at the Pole. The previous two years I was here either just before or just after. I was really looking forward to it.
My band had been slated to play last out of 4 bands. I was happy with that since I knew that people would probably trickle in up until midnight. Actually, it turned out many people were just waiting for my band to play. I ran into them in one of the lounges and they asked me what time I was playing and said they would make sure to come down for that.
First off, ego aside, all the bands were excellent. It was really a lot of fun. Now, with my ego fully engaged, we kicked a lot of ass. My new nickname around station is "Rock Star".
The first band was a folky/bluegrass band. I felt kind of bad for them because by the time they went on there wasn't a large crowd. They were really great (as expected). Up next was a funk cover band. They played "Higher Ground" (Chili peppers version) and the "Superfly" theme song that really stood out.
The next band was a classic rock cover band. They played some Doors and Van Morrison, etc. It was great but they had a really long set and I was getting antsy to play.
Next up was us. First off, all the other bands were 6, 7, or 8 pieces and we were just three dudes. I felt under qualified to play. We opened with a bluesy Gov't Mule song and the crowd really started going. We then played a really funky jam on a riff that Daniel (the bass player) put together. They crowd REALLY liked that one. Then we played some Hendrix (Hey Joe and Red House). Next was Jeremy by Pearl Jam. That was a fun song since it's so much fun to sing. Next we did another jam, kind of Rage Against the Machine style. The jams were really tight--much credit to Jon (on drums) for holding it all together. Finally, we played Sober by Tool. Everyone seemed to really love it.
At this point, it was nearly midnight so we got off the stage to ring in the new year. Earlier in the day, I had helped convince a bag-piper to play Auld Lang Sine so he played the song with a Saxophonist. Afterwards people were asking us to keep playing, so we got back on stage and played some of our less prepared and more jammy songs. Eventually, it was time to join the party so we took our bows (with sombreros that somehow made their way to our heads) and handed it over to the DJ.
For the party, many people dressed up in crazy costumes. Lots of bright colored wigs, wacky 80's clothes, etc. Some of the people intentionally changed into crazier costumes for my band's set. There was even a giant penguin costume (naturally). I just wore my dinosaur knit cap. Nothing too crazy. New Year's is also fun because that's when the fancy Scotch comes out.
Today, a few people from the SPUD telescope are leaving but a whole bunch more get in. It will be pretty lively around here this week. Our "bosses" get in this week as well as the last BICEP2 grad student, Justus, who I'm really looking forward to seeing.