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Trivalve opened a very rockin show at Hotel Utah on April 25, on a bill that included The Attack Plan, Chief Enables, and headlined by Slipstream Sparrows, three very fine local bands. What a phenomenal first gig! Here’s a blow by blow account…

I arrived at Gene’s with an empty vehicle, ready to haul gear up the stairs and into the van.  What I hadn’t counted on was Gene getting a head start on me, the amps and speakers all in the driveway by the front door.  I’d planned on leaving his place by 6, but it turned out that we got the Utah by 6, an hour earlier than we needed.  It turned out to be a good thing, I was able to park right off the side door, we took our time bringing in gear and having a bite from the kitchen. All the while, Leslie is snapping some great photos, we talk about plans for promoting the band over burger, fries and buffalo wings.

Dave from the Sparrows showed up soon, and the guys from the other bands filtered in by around 7:30. Danny was told to bring only his cymbals, sticks and snare, the idea being that all 4 drummers would use the same kit and save a lot of set up/break down time between sets.  Since the three of us are alumni of the BCO, I peeled a sticker and affixed it to one of the posts downstairs.   As we saw some of our people enter the club, we ran through a couple of brief sound checks, it consisted of the first verse of “Lullabye of the Leaves.”  In a fair indication of what was to come, we got a surprisingly warm response from our SOUND CHECK! Cool!

At 8:40 we’re ready to play, our friends are in the area in front of the stage, as well as in the balcony. (Dave and Marie, you guys ROCK!) It’s great to look out, lock onto faces and see that they’re enjoying themselves.  Mary Ann was all smiles (was it the martini?), Kati and Sjimon just to my right, Lisa dead center, Ron, Rain and Mindy off to the side and  a short way back, every time I looked their way I saw them giving us great support.

Our M.O. is to play a lot of songs with as little interruption as possible, we’ve got 4 blocks of about 5 songs that we’ve timed at just about 45 minutes.  Here’s a song – boom.  Here’s another, and another, and a 4th and a 5th.  Money.  I say a few words, here’s the next block.  The beauty of a 3 piece band is that the fewer of you there are, the more responsive and agile you can be.  Part of that is working out a smart set list and sticking to it, not having to rely on a larger number of players to prepare for the next tune.  Even though we’re buzzing through our set, the short (I’m talking 3-5 seconds) breaks in between allow the audience to briefly express their approval with a burst of whoops and whistles.  And I can see that the guys from the other bands are watching and offering their support as well.  Good karma.

I’m loving it.  Our breaks were tight, the drums drove hard, the bass growled and the guitar cut through the club like a sabre.  The fact that we worked hard in rehearsal showed – we’ve made all the songs our own, we now know them and can as easily breath them as play them.  And they’re fun. The set FLEW by, before we knew it, I’m thanking the crowd, acknowledging the club, and telling people to stick around for the fine acts that followed. We broke down our gear, Ron helped me load it into the van, and I enjoyed the next acts.

Chief Enablers are a very entertaining group, their songs have a great sense of humor (“I lost my iPod, it was worse than losing you” – “Somebody stole my parking space, hit ’em with a rock in the face”).  Terbo Ted is a very natural performer, their whole band was very tight.  The Attack Plan followed with a high energy, hard edged set, reminiscent of bands like Iron Maiden.  Great material, well executed.  Finishing the night was Slipstream Sparrows, their repertoire consisting of intelligent compositions laden with guitar effects in a variety of tempos and treatments.

So, there you have it, Trivalve out the gate and running.  We have a few other engagements lined up, next is June 20 for the Laurel Solstice Music Festival, then the  July 4 parade and picnic in Orinda.  Get all the pertinent information at trivalvesurf.com or myspace.com/trivalve