This is just part of the spaghetti mess, and not the clearest angle either.
That is a look of very deep concentration on drumming, but more importantly Ninja skills and balance to not fall off the stage!!!
That is 27 dollars well spent.
It took a while for me to write the blog because I get high on adrenaline as soon as we start the first song and it lasts anywhere from 3 to 5 days. The 6/10/2023 Salerno's appearance was an emotional one and a crazy fun show full of twists and turns and a thousand wires.
It was an absolutely perfect night weather wise for a show. Nate at Salerno's had us outside facing West (hey I struggle with directions; I need GPS to get through the aisles of Jewel) into the beer garden. Set-up took forever because we miked everything but the two guitars. The vocals, bass, three keyboards and all the drums were hooked into the main board. My God, what a mess. There were wires and cables everywhere. I am amazed we didn't lose anything because it was dark at 11:10 ish when we had to stop and tear down. I am shocked I did not trip on one of the millions of cables and wires because I am a giant klutz and run around everywhere in toe socks like a dork. Poor Ronnie. We set the drums up at the edge of the back of the stage and apparently, several times during the evening he almost went elbows over ass*ole over the edge, drums and all. If it weren't for his early training with the Flying Wallendas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flying_Wallendas), Ronnie would have fallen. Thank goodness for his acrobatic ability to hit a cow bell, four other drums at once, lean forward and not fall off.
Things started pretty weird as we struggled through one and half songs in sound check to try to get the levels right. Then after Jimmy and Rob changed into their stage gear, Jimmy broke both his heels on his S&M Shoes!!! Lisa sounded amazing and Richie's performance was inspirational (See below). Ron, as we covered, was full of acrobatic feats. Ellen had a good night (and her harmony vocals were terrific) and Jimmy was noble on rhythm. The star of the night again, I think was Joe. He completely made my head blow up when we played the Dishwalla hit, "Counting Blue Cars." His fills were awe inspiring as Jimmy held down the rhythm. I say it all the time. I know the world is full of great musicians and players. But I have to pinch myself that I get to play with these folks. Joe is just legendary and rips these solos with killer precision while stamping them with his own tone and approach! That guy is a fuc*ing monster. Plus his choice of t-shirts is absolutely killer. At the polar plunge he wore a Boris Badenov shirt from Bullwinkle and he had a vintage (David) Bowie shirt at Salerno's. As most of you know who are reading this, Richie LaFarie, one half of the singing Dynamic Duo (Lisa Strzelecki being the other half) had a heart attack just two and half weeks before the show. He was in intensive care, had angioplasty and a stent put somewhere in his heart. Richie has also been in and out of work lately with some crappy insurance, so please check out the GoFundMe here: https://gofund.me/b9a28072 if you can. We were worried about him (and still are). But Richie is a trooper and a performer. It is probably my favorite performance of his thus far. It was brave for him to give it a whirl as he is learning how to recover and breathe through the songs. It was super impressive that he just blasted through with barely an adjustment to the set list. Also recovering, Kevin Cavanaugh 6(ish) weeks or so ago, had quadruple bypass surgery and he came to the show. Kevin is the brother of rhythm guitarist and BiPolar Bear founder Jim Cavanaugh and did sound at some of the early shows. We are all joyous and relieved that these two are recovering!
We got to roll out two new tunes for this show and brought back a couple of old ones. Richie got to take Badfinger's "No Matter What" and Jefferson Starship's "Jane" out to a live audience. Meanwhile, at Lisa's suggestion we brought back the aforementioned "Counting Blue Cars" and Kansas' "Play the Game Tonight." All four of those songs seemed to be well received. During the break after the first set, one of the managers told us we had to be done by 11PM because of noise issues with the neighbors. So, we cut the second set in half which bummed all of us out, especially Lisa who usually crushes the Halestorm ballad, "Here's to Us," and the Westchester crew who wanted to hear the metal classic, "Last in Line." Wayne Rollag and the gang even started chanting "Dio" at the conclusion of "Drunk." At least Lisa got to absolutely slay "The Story" as she always does at every show.
Finally, I have to mention the amazing crowd that showed up to a gig that had been rescheduled to three times! That beer garden was pretty full for the first set and did not lose that many folks for the second. We are absolutely crazy fortunate to have these wonderful family and friends come out and support us lunatics who want to play music. This section highlights some of the folks that were there closer to the bottom of the page: http://www.bipolarbearband.net/salernos-3----6102023.html. Thanks for allowing us to pursue this dream!
A few acknowledgements before I close the blog. Jen Cavanaugh – with some assistance from my ageless mother-in -law (Vicky Toland) – sold a ton of shirts at the show. Thanks to Jen, and especially to all of those who purchased one. We love seeing those shirts at the shows. Thanks to Ronnie's girl, Elaine, for all of her drum tech support. She really helped Ron put 'em up and take 'em down. Another big thank you to Jake Helm for great work on sound. The pictures that you see on the site were taken by Jen, and by and Cielo Oviedo, so a big thank you to them. And thank you to Cielo for his work as the roadie (Rob Blair was on vacation, so Cielo was the lone roadie).