The Element – Live at DVC 2016

· 5 min read
The Element – Live at DVC 2016

Just basically reposting this text from my amazing band mate Rafael Macedo from The Element.

We played a very successful show at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA on November 10th and this is why it was successful, go read it!


By Rafael Macedo

I just wanted to share my thoughts about The Element’s last show with you guys. This is a long text and I know people don’t have time to read it. But I do think it is important to share when it is something positive and successful the way this show was.

As we all know, it is really hard to survive in the music industry, and usually when musicians complain, you see a lot of people calling us “divas” “lazy” “entitled” ( a favorite among “critics”).

The Element’s show at Diablo Valley College last Thursday, November 10 was an incredible one. I dare to say it was the best The Element show to date. Everything was in place…The audience, the perfect sound, the perfect theater, the perfect backdrop, the projector in perfect synchronization with the band…

But the question here is why? Why did it work this time? Was it fate? Coincidence? NO!

The answer is quite simple… TEAMWORK, as cheesy as it may sounds. It was an extensive combination of preparation, planning, and the most important…A lot of help from everyone involved in this show.

It started with Dr. Matt Zebley and I chatting about bringing The Element to play at DVC back in May 2016, and soon after Dr. Bruce Cook got involved as well to join forces of both the Piano and Jazz departments to make the show happen.

And here’s the lesson that usually people miss. Both Matt and Bruce made everything they could to promote and help us with everything we need for the show. I know some people will get upset with what I will say here, but a lot of people that called themselves promoters and venue owners out there, have no clue what they are doing. Promoting shows is not posting links on Facebook, or the classic, making the band sell tickets, or assuming your venue is so great that you don’t need to promote anything…and course the best one…blaming the band when people don’t show up.
The cycle is very simple: The promoter or talent buyer that wants to hire the band because they like the act( at least that’s the logical thing), they PROMOTE, got it?

Yes, of course the band has to promote the show as well…anyone that follows The Element and my page knows how much I promote everything about the band. It is the band’s job to be professional, to be able to show up in time, have the right gear, know how to put a great show and be able to play their songs and to promote on all of their channels and to their fans.
The venue also needs to work with the promoter to provide the necessary gear, lights and structure for a great concert and help with the promotion.
I know…people might say…but that’s what they do…Hmmm no, it is not.
So why did people show up for The Element’s concert? Because Matt, Bruce and I promoted the show extensively across the college with posters, promoting to entire classes, friends, families and fans of course.
The next step was hiring the perfect sound engineer for the show to make the whole experience the way it should be. We were lucky enough to have Guy Kowarsh in charge of it. Within 30 minutes after we had everything set up, we were done with the soundcheck…and guess what? It was the best live sound and stage mix we ever had.Also, the entire show was recorded in multitrack. Which mean we will be releasing some pretty kick ass videos with great sound pretty soon!
Also we had a lot of help from everyone that works in the Performing Arts Center, their crew led by Scott Heiden and Marsha was absolutely brilliant and nice to us.
Chris was in charge of the projector for all the videos I’ve created to be used as backdrop for all of our songs. And he was right there on point for every single song.
We had the incredible Sam Lube and Natalie Loeffler taking care of our merch booth.
Renee Jahnke, which is an amazing photographer, was there shooting the entire show and the soundcheck.
Sam Lonefeather Fife and Debora Finkler were in charge of filming the show from 2 different angles. Plus we had 2 Go- Pros on the stage.
And what about the band? We had only 1 rehearsal with the full band and other 2 with just 3 of us. How did we make work? Well…I made sure everyone in the band had their practice files. Which is basically a mix of the recordings without their instrument, so they can play exactly the way it is on the record.
It is very important to mention the sacrifices that were made. Especially from our incredibly Drummer Marco Bicca, that drove from Seattle with all his gear to be here 5 days early, and because aside from being a great drummer, he is a very organized and skilled guy with his tech gear that helps the band so much.
Our amazing keyboard player Jeremy Villuccii, drove from Pacific Grove and back, which is almost 3 hours away from my place, many times for the rehearsals and the show.
And our amazing Bass Player and Bck Singer Mitch Stewartt made an incredible sacrifice. He was in a the hospital in Ocean Springs MS, in deep pain suffering with Kidney Stones on Sunday Nov 6…exactly one day before his flight. Mitch made the incredibly sacrifice of going to the airport and get into his flight to California. And if you don’t have an idea of how much Kidney stones hurt, the pain is beyond bearable.

So you see…It is very complicated to record, film, shoot, play, promote and of course, play a show like that. But it is only possible, if everyone involved do their jobs, and if they are willing to go the extra mile to make it the best show possible. So without , Matt Zebley, Bruce Cook, Owen Lee, Brett Bret Peppo, Michael Aczon, Glenn Appell, Doug Michael , Debora Finkler , Renee Jahnke, Sam Lube, Natalie Loeffer, Sam Lonefeather Fife, Chris(projector), Scott Heiden, Marsha, Guy Kowarsh, and of course my dear brothers, Marco Bicca, Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Villucci and myself… and the most important… all of my real friends and all the audience that showed to see us, because without them…there’s no show.

I just wanted to share this with you all and say THANK YOU for one of the best nights of my life to all of you!

– Rafael