All Night (2)


(from the beginning)

I’d set up a sound that had way more nasty in it than my normal.  And a bit louder than my usual spot, too.  Wasn’t really thinking about it, but I guess I wanted the rhythm to be a little more up front tonight.  I could still haul it back easy enough, but we were starting with more edge than I’d usually supply.  I could feel Waits shift his tone around to make sense with mine.  As usual with him there was no dialling or stomping pedals, it was all in the fingers.  Man was amazing.  As usual.  We played it around twice more to settle it in.  It might not be a killer dance groove, but it sure made heads move in time.  Let’s stay here for a while, we’ve got all night.

Mcshane’s note had started to make some kind of twisted sense.  At first I wondered how he’d held it for so long, thinking maybe he’d set up some kind of recorded loop.  But no, like always he was riding bareback, nothing extra between him and his amp.  When I could spare a thought I noticed he was standing in an odd position, his back to the people, facing his amp, but not too close.  Then I got it.  Oh man, he’s playing with feedback.  He had hit the note and then stepped just close enough to his amp that his guitar began to resonate to the sound coming off the amp, which set off more guitar ringing, which set off more amp, and still more guitar.  It was a loop that could get out of control and scary loud in a heartbeat, trashing everything we’d built so far.  Took a lot of control to hold it right there.  And he did.  His amp had to be absolutely cranked to pull that off.  The man was serious.  I would have expected that sort of thing later in the night.  Much later.  But if that was where we were starting, this was going to be some time.

We rolled it around again, giving our man the volume he had to have from the rest of us so his note made sense.  He felt the support and leaned in, moving the note from jangly dissonance to something rock solid and on the money.  Then he turned away ever so slightly and the note changed colour, the low part was still there, but now there was a sheen that came out, first barely audible, then firm, and finally ringing over everything, taking on distortion as it grew, and you knew this is exactly what the end of the world would sound like.  Then just in that moment when you thought it was all going to come crashing down he pulled it out and sent us into a long blistering note of melody, then another.  And another.  Not fast, only slow and purposeful.  Inevitable.  Man had something to say, and he was gonna say it.  And you were gonna hear it.  So listen up.

We stayed in that mode for a while.  The groove evolved, but always the same.  When buddy has something to say I want to make sure he has the space to say it.  I turned towards the drums, Waits did the same, we were gonna hold this place for a while so it was time to make it rock solid.  The three of us watched one another move to make the sounds, and moved to the sounds we made ourselves.  It locked, hard.  And wonder boy made with the miraculous over top.  There was no hurry.  So we stayed there for a lifetime.  Let my man tell the tale.