New Castle News

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November 24, 2012

Josh Drespling: Trippin' on my rock star ego

NEW CASTLE — I pace quietly behind a hulking stack of speakers. Back and forth, back and forth, burning off the nervous energy.

I jump up and down, shaking out the last of the kinks.

The house lights have dimmed, and the intro music is blaring from the sound system.

The club is packed tonight. Friends, family, and countless teens I have never met have come to see me and my band perform. They are pressed against the stage and are packed in from wall-to-wall.

Tonight is our night to shine. My band and I have worked hard to get to this point and we are finally here. Tonight is the official release of our first CD. We have spent the last six months writing and recording these songs and we are quite proud of the final product.  

We did all the leg work. We promoted the band and our image everywhere. We played countless shows leading up to this night. We targeted marketing to our perfect demographic and everything we have done has worked marvelously.

We have tons of merchandise for sale. We have shirts, posters, stickers, promotional band photos. We even have our own bottled water. This CD is the crowing achievement for our fledgling band.

We’ve grown this following from the ground up with down-and-dirty promotional techniques. We hit the streets with free sampler CDs and flyers. We did radio interviews and a few small press pieces, along with getting some quite favorable reviews of the new CD.

We have kids lined up at our shows wearing T-shirts with our lyrics emblazoned across them. Some fans have even taken to making their own homemade shirts to show their love and support for us.

I twist and stretch one last time as the momentum of the intro grows to a fever pitch. I can hear the crowd chanting out our band name in unison. Here it comes. The big blast. The explosion of light across the stage as the first downbeat of the first song hits. The walls shake from the bass as all three of us burst onto the stage in unison. The crowd cheers even louder as we all run toward the edge on the stage in preparation to hit our first cue.

I'm in the center, flanked by the other two members of the band. As I reach the front of the stage, I can see the faces of all the screaming fans come into focus from behind the smoke and lights. As I run forward, I plant my foot on the top of the wedge monitor that is at the edge of the stage, bring the mic to my mouth to begin the first line of the song, and BAM!

My foot, along with my entire body, is sent barreling forward into the crowd. Rather than my foot staying planted on the monitor, the monitor rotates out toward the crowd. With all my weight on the monitor it sends me tumbling into the crowd in a perfect split formation that would make any gymnast proud. Of course, my other knee catches the edge of the stage and sends me into an even greater tailspin. I see the cement floor of the club coming toward me at light speed. Splat. There I am, lying on the floor surrounded by hundreds of adoring fans.

This was our night to be perfect. All the planing, all the promoting, all the practicing, and all the hard work never prepared us for this. Rather than feeling like a triumphant rock star, I felt like a complete buffoon.

When you trip, you hope that nobody saw you. Well, I don’t have a chance in the world of not being seen. I did it on stage with tons of people watching me. All people I'm trying to impress, I might add.

Needless to say, we didn’t stop playing. The show went on, and we had a amazing night. My fellow bandmates immediately jumped into the crowd in an effort to make it look like we had planned to do the cool rocker thing and jump into the crowd.

But we knew that I fell and some of our close friends even got it on video so I can replay my humiliation anytime I start to feel full of myself.

 

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