John was the first to arrive and start setting up for the night's show. The band had decided to do an all original set to see what the crowd reaction would be. They seemed reenergized at the prospect of making some sort of decision about their direction and they all promised each other that they would know the songs Brad and John had written by heart.
"Well, look who got here early," Brad remarked. He was there doing the bar tending for an otherwise empty building.
John tuned up with his electronic tuner and watched the little red and yellow lights arc on the dial.
"Think the other two'll show?" he asked.
John scratched his head and said, No chance. Just you and me tonight. Still got that drum machine program in your keyboard?"
"I meant to tell you they had a big write up on your lieutenant friend in the paper yesterday."
"Just about how well he was liked in the department and how dedicated he was to truth and justice and all that."
"The all American cop."
"Pretty much," Brad added.
"No sense talking bad about the dead, I guess," John mumbled.
An older couple walked in with seven teenagers. Brad grabbed a hand full of menus and greeted them at the door.
John continued his ritual of warming up before the show. He finished tuning and proceeded to run through the material one last time for practice. He hated mistakes on his part. To be a professional you had to perform on that level at every opportunity.
Later that night the crowd response to the originals was pretty good. At first they seemed sort of lost and most had a wondering look about them, but a few songs in and they were hooked.
A woman in the front seemed the happiest with the entertainment. She clapped the loudest and even tossed in a few whistles and cat calls directed toward the guitar player.
On one of the breaks, John left the band and went out to talk with his biggest fan. "I take it you like our stuff?" he asked Tammy.
"Not bad for locals," she joked.
He pulled out a chair and then reached for her hands. She gave them willingly, smiling broadly. "Well, this is a switch."
"What is it?" she asked.
"I think you have something to hide. Why it's written all over your face. But I like it. Means you'll never be able to lie to me."