BLOG: Best Gig Ever?

William P. Kalina

“This is going to be the best gig ever!”


The funny thing about predicting the success of some shows is that you can’t. It’s like posting on Facebook.

John warms-up in the "Green Room" before the set.

You’ll think everyone will love a thoughtful post and it tanks. Post something about your cat licking itself and Nirvana!

A gig can sound like it will be wonderful and really tank. Weather, management, band placement are just a few things that can backfire.

We have a tongue-in-cheek credo in 3 dollar Suit. “Keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed.”  (You won’t see those words under an inspirational poster hanging in a boardroom anytime soon!)

John keeps his expectations low regarding my vocal harmonies, and, based on his expression, I still disappoint!

Enter the ”Sip Into Summer” wine event in southern York County. It sounded too good to be true. It takes place in beautiful outdoor venue. We play late afternoon until eight-ish. A lot of tickets were sold.

Me: Late afternoon thunderstorms coinciding with the start of our set!

One might envision the crowd, basking in the late spring weather, making an afternoon residence on the vast manicured lawn with blankets and lawn chairs. Everyone sipping wine and eating cheesy hors d'oeuvres while they chat and enjoyed the band.

Over-indulging folks talking loudly and ignoring the music!

This event takes place in late spring at the Logan’s View Winery in Southern York County. It happens to sit on a huge plot of rolling southern York County acreage that is pleasantly tucked away down rural side roads.

No one is gonna find this place!

We got there well before the event start for set-up. We were met by property owner and winery partner Jan Markle who brought us our complimentary wine glasses and food tickets and asked if there was anything else we needed.


She said she’d have someone send down a couple bottles of wine for the band. “What wines do you like to drink?”

So, what’s the catch?

We agreed to run sound for the opening band (the winemaker’s group incidentally) since they played through our sound system. We took care to get them sound checked properly. They were good.

These guys are gonna blow us away…

We watched the crowd roll in while we enjoyed Deja Blu’s set. The attendees (40-60 years old: our demographic) took this event seriously; hauling in lawn chairs, canopies, camping tables, coolers filled with food. The grounds began to look like an upscale refugee camp with spreads of food and wine glasses everywhere! They took up residence alright! And the huge lawn was mowed nicely.

Bongo visits with some of the crowd between sets.

Deja Blu turned out to be a group of seasoned players just like ourselves who kicked out a tight set of blues-inspired music that the crowd loved. Nice guys!

And they inspired us to get on with our set for the now 200-plus crowd! That’s a nice number for us. Another band line--“come to our show...plenty of parking!”

We played a couple long sets for the three remaining hours of the fest. We got the audience engaged and they gave a pretty good listen! During set break we visited with folks, ate their cheesy hors d'oeuvres and made some new friends. This was the real deal, low expectations aside.

And the band, too, found ourselves basking in the late spring weather at a gorgeous location in southern York County doing what we love.

Best gig ever!