For their final AOTW installment, Nikki’s Wives gave us a killer guest blog post about their first performance with Cee Lo Green. Read on to find out their thoughts “On Performing, and Why The Boss is Always Right”:
Our very first show this summer with Cee Lo Green was supposed to take place on a pier in Manhattan, underneath a building-sized, inflatable ad of Lo’s bubble sunglasses. In typical industry fashion, management couldn’t secure the proper clearances for us to make noise on the pier, so the show was relocated to the deck of this massive ferry. Being the new kids on tour still, we were generally minding our own business – making small talk with the crew, loading our instruments on to the boat, when from out of nowhere, the mysterious (and frankly a little intimidating) tour manager ran over to us. Lo had personally requested to hear a song, because at this point, nobody on the tour had even heard us play a single note. So after a small panic moment realizing that we’d been summoned by an artist who judged performances on The Voice, we jumped in to a band-huddle and decided to whip out our most difficult song to play – a crowd-pleaser called “I Wanna Know (Sinner’s Cup).” As we rocked out, Cee Lo and his posse slowly changed stances from leaning arms-crossed against the wall, to subtly bobbing their heads and smiling. We felt pretty good about our playing, and the ending of our song got some audible response from the crew, but we still didn’t know exactly if the boss liked it or not. Afterwards, Cee Lo walked up to us excitedly and asked “who’s that little white boy you got doing sound!?” (which would later lead to our sound guy being affectionately referred to by his dad as “my little white boy”), and then, “touring with you guys is gonna be a lot of fun!” It did end up being insanely fun, but we only found out days later in Vermont what Cee Lo thought of that first night. Not only did he love the song, he was actually a little bit shook by our performance – “when i asked for you guys at soundcheck, and you calmly walked up and just slayed like that… man… that was some actual gangsta shit…” I don’t know if we could have done it any other way.
The lesson we took from that night was to always play as if you have a captive audience, even when you think nobody’s watching. We’ve played many shows and sound checks since that night, and it’s always surprising to see the amount of people who appreciate you committing to a performance, especially when you’re expected to half-ass it. – NW