People were ready to go out and it felt good in a giddy sort of way. We kept our masks on in the Little Theater but removed them when we played. The patrons, sitting in one half the available Theater 5 seats, the ones without yellow caution tape on them, did the same. The pattern, pairs of seats side by side with empty pairs between, kept people apart enough to change the vibe. The chatter, the squeaky chairs, the espresso machine, the laughter was all missing and missed. The band which typically slips into that atmospheric milieu was now the uncomfortable focus.
I read an article in the Times about some live Can recordings that Mute Records is releasing. They quoted Irmin Schmidt, the founder, as saying, “When we went onstage, we didn’t know beforehand what we would play. We just reacted to the atmosphere, to the acoustics, to the public, to the whole environment spontaneously, and started playing something, which we had never played before,”
Phil and Ken were in the cafe while Peggi and I were setting up the recording equipment. Peggi pounded my drums while I set the levels. There wasn’t enough light in the theater to get a proper photo. We had not played together since March of 2020 and we should have at least done a sound check in this new venue but instead we just dove in, in front of a rapt audience. I found it sort of nerve wracking. I forgot to stop the recording at the end of the night so it never wrote to disc before we unplugged the extension cord and we lost whatever it was that we played. But we did it. We emerged from the pandemic.