Lion Steel--Leon High School | 05/17/04
Oh man. I slept so much of today away. I finally got out of bed for good a little after 3pm. Roughly the time Brian was getting back from work after a full day. The only thing on the agenda was the Lion Steel concert, where my large-scale version of Hey Ya was going to be premiered. Playing with Lion Steel was the Kissimmee Riverside High School Steel Band. The crowd was frenzied and it reaffirmed the fact I could never, EVER, teach high school kids. Groups of twenty plus high school kids were quite literally running around the entire auditorium following one kid dressed up as a large toucan. The first group from Leon had made REMARKABLE progress compared to when I went to hear them a few months ago. The kids from Riverside played condensed versions of some major pan hits, such as Under the Sea, Oye Como Va, Hot, Hot, Hot and Pan in A Minor. There were a lot of them and they certainly had a big, cleanish sound. They were obviously taught by wrote but the arrangements were really poor and I'm sure easily learned. The second Leon group clearly had the best overall player, a double seconds/lead player named...oh man, what was her name. Some name from MTV...Oh well, I can't remember. In addition to playing well, she also did some acceptable arrangements as well as an original composition. Daria! That's it, Daria. The acoustics were very poor in that room and adding in a drummer that was playing ridiculously loud with a bass drum that was lacking the needed blankets inside made for some rough sounding sections. They ended the piece with my most-hated pan piece of all-time, Sunset. Jamie didn't rush the stage to play with the en masse group. We did manage to see a lot of people we knew there including: Jenny (Matt's fiancÚ), Ross, Evil-Chris, Dr. Gunderson, Forrest and David Knapp. After the show Jamie and I got some grub-grub with plenty of leftovers.