We pulled it off: Rumspringa was happening in Las Vegas last week!
The ragtag SAP Jam Band got people singing and dancing and having a good time. One surprise member of the Jam Band, in particular—Sam Yen—made my day.
Doesn’t Sam look super happy in this picture? He serendipitously walked by as we were setting up and saw our instruments.
“What are you doing?” he asked.me:
“We are the SAP Jam Band and we are going to jam,” I said.
Sam: “I play the guitar too!”
Me: “Well, join us!”
So he did.
When he heard we were going to play in front of an audience, he almost left, but we convinced him to stay and it was just plain magic.
Last year, thanks to Marilyn Pratt’s drum circle, everyone was already on their feet and moving, so it was easy to take it from there.
But this year, people were getting comfortable on bean bags, beers in hand, leaning back, expecting to be entertained. I almost blurted out: “Did anyone read my Rumspringa post?” The one about the spirit of Rumspringa of everyone jamming, and exploring. It would have been comical.
Anyway, lots going on in my head at that time and not enough focus on my main task at hand: singing. I was all over the place! SAP Mentors and some friendly folks to the rescue, they started to dance and helped others off the bean-bag chairs and the rumspringa was on.
After that little sputtering, we sounded, as Chip Rodgers later remarked: “Tighter from the start, compared to last year.”
Check out Christopher Solomon’s secret bootleg video of our first song: Birthday by the Beatles, I love him splicing in Ed Sullivan as well as footage from American Idol. Well done!
Then there was AC/DC: “It’s a Long Way to the Top (if you Wanna Rock n’ Roll)”. Abesh Bhattacharjee was earmarked to sing it, but last minute he couldn’t join. We liked the song, and asked the audience if anyone out there knows it? An Australian giant stepped up to the microphone and just rocked it.
It was genius and magical!
By then most people were smiling and dancing and we happily played the rest of our set. When we were finished, we recalled the riff Sam Yen played when he picked up the guitar Brian Adams’s “Summer of ’69.” We rocked that last year and now played it as an encore.
I saw Aiaz Kazi voicing every word, clearly knowing the lyrics better than me. Thanks to wireless tech, I grabbed the mic and we sang it together from the floor.
It was glorious.
Picture of the core band
More pictures here. As far as I know all of the pictures are by the good pros hired by the TechEd team. Let me know if not and I will correct.
We put this evening clearly in the Rumspringa success box, knowing there is room for improvement, even though the serendipity will be hard to beat.
Onwards to Amsterdam, where some of us are working on pulling it off again, alas without Matt Harding the main musician genius that made us sound good in Las Vegas.
Here’s our playlist for the Amsterdam Rumspringa:
- Birthday Beatles
- Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
- Lumineers Hey Ho
- Love Shack – The B52’s
- Twist & Shout – The Beatles
- Everybody needs somebody to love (Blues Brothers)
- Mas que nada
Now after listening to these songs for the last couple days, we realize for them to really sound good, having some brass would be marvelous. Especially “Love Shack” and the Blues Brothers songs would sound so much richer if some of you would bring your horns. Just ping me or simply comment on this thread. It would make my day, or even better our next week.
“Love Shack” also thrives from the interaction between male and female voices, please don’t be shy and join us. We will rehearse on Monday evening at the convention center around 8pm and a second time right after Tuesday’s Demo Jam .
Performance is scheduled for 6pm on Wednesday just before The Fray performs and no, it won’t be on the main stage, but just outside of the SAP Mentor room Hall 8 F102, unless The Fray is doing sound check that evening, then we will move to another location. We will keep you posted regarding the Rumspringa Amsterdam with the SAP Jam Band.
So see you in Amsterdam! As you know, I can’t wait!