The rock music history books tell us that Bob Dylan performed his first electric live set since his high school days while playing as the headliner at the Newport Folk Festival in the summer of 1965. I, too, had played my last electric live set back in high school up until this past weekend.

Thanks to my old friends Filligar, my full band was able to make its live stage debut at the DC9 Nightclub in Washington, D.C. It went well and I’m really happy with the outcome but that performance — like anything else — had its flaws. And as it would turned out, those flaws are exactly what made me appreciate the experience that much more.

Instead of using my Seagull acoustic, I used Johnny (of Filligar’s) acoustic Gibson guitar for my set. He warned me before hand that he really needed to change the strings but I wasn’t worried, just figured I’d soldier on like usual.

Photo by Tom Bridge

Well would you know it, the A string broke somewhere between the first and second song of a 30 minute set and I was left with the thought: “I’ll play through this. It’s not ideal but that’s how it goes.”

No more than a song later Johnny hooked me up with his Fender electric and that was that: I played an electric live for the first time since probably 2004. It was pretty fun and I can’t wait to do it again.

Also — I’m pretty sure that one of the guys from Filligar … if not Johnny himself … shouted “Dylan went and plugged in!” when the whole thing went down. That in itself makes the night a success as far as I’m concerned.

Good times.

PS – Johnny is my hero for the guitar swap and he knows it, but everyone else should know it to. That was some serious exchanging of musicians karma right there!

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