The weather on June 20th, 2009 was awful. The rain was plummeting in sheets and collecting into unavoidable lakes reminding everyone of the inadequate drainage system here in South Korea. It was a constant storm that had been falling for almost two days with no sign of letting up and despite the rain the heat was trapped in with nowhere to go. The humidity was sweltering. I was offered the opportunity to play my first gig in South Korea two weeks previously and I accepted with delight knowing nothing of where I was playing or with whom. Running to the bus stop with my guitar case getting soaked and my clothes sticking to my body and my backpack full of chords feeling heavier with the drench I wondered if I would have accepted so easily had I known the weather anticipating me.
Once I got off at the Jongja Subway stop and walked the two blocks to the the Mosaic Cafe I was shocked and delighted at the location however. It felt like something out of San Francisco. The event was an art opening for a co-worker Amanda Kilpatrick's artwork and it was packed with friends and extended friends that she knew and I had corralled from my school to come. There were locals and ex-patriots everywhere and the food served was excellent, though no booze, which made most of the people I brought ready to jump out of their skins and they bolted the second I unplugged to wet their whistles.
The opening act, David James, was very impressive and set the mood nicely. He is a superb player. I went up and clunked through my first set in almost five months since I arrived here. It felt wonderful to perform again- how it sounded is another story and most likely never one to be retold to the narrator of one's own story honestly. The final act was named Mary Beth who played for over an hour with a wide variety of material and stories that could run a little bit too long between songs making the audience anxious. Perhaps it was myself and the women from my office who were anxious to go join with the over-boarders for a much deserved beer actually. She asked to borrow my strap, I had to stay, as I relayed in countless texts towards the end of her set.
Once we left the cafe it had of course stopped raining and was suddenly pleasant. The rest of the weekend was cool and blue skied, a perfect juxtaposition to the hurricane like thunderstorms of the previous two days. The knot of not preforming having loosened, I found it fitting.