Tour Diary – Norfolk, CT (August 10, 2012)

We did a morning drive from Northampton to Norfolk: a beautiful drive past many beckoning streams. Unfortunately, by the time we pulled up to the Infinity Hall in Norfolk it had started pouring and it didn’t let up all day. I didn’t get a chance to do any exploring, because of the rain, but it seemed like Norfolk was made up of the theater and a couple of other small stores and that’s about it. It’s amazing to me that one can be in an area of the country that is so densely populated and a sixty mile drive will put you in what feels like the middle of nowhere. It’s a beautiful part of the country. The Infinity Theater is a spectacularly restored vaudeville theater that once saw Mark Twain walk its boards. They don’t make buildings like this anymore and it’s always a treat when we get to play one, they inevitably sound great, it’s all that wood and history. The dressing room area is also comfortably set up with an old screened-in porch on which to eat and relax before and after the show. This had all the makings of a perfect gig…the one drawback was that there was also a television crew present throughout the day and film crews usually have a way of setting everything on edge. The show was being filmed for the second season of a new PBS TV show called Live at Infinity Hall. Don’t get me wrong…we were extremely grateful to be asked to participate in the program; there is a real dearth of TV shows dedicated to live music. But it’s kind of funny how TV/film crews in these situation, no matter how well intentioned, usually end up making the day all about them and not about the subject that they are there to capture. In this case, the show is called Live From Infinity Hall so one assumes that the intention of the show is to capture the energy of the bands live show and the flow between band and audience. The only way to do that is for the TV production to be as inconspicuous as possible so that the band and audience can relax and do their thing. The last thing that you would want to do is to flood the stage in white light and keep the audience lights on for the entire show, which is exactly what they did, destroying the vibe of this 150 year old theater and creating a situation for the band and audience that is completely unnatural and uncomfortable: which is a good description of our performance, unnatural and uncomfortable. I’m sure that it will sound and look better than it felt, these things often do. But it was frustrating to be in such a special venue, with a very enthusiastic audience and not be able to enjoy it. We hope to get back here soon, without the cameras.