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Hold onto your hats, it’s time for Summer Camp

posted Jul 25, 2017, 12:19 AM by Steve Sauer   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 12:28 PM ]
Monday’s gig was at a park amphitheater in Hatfield Township. Kevin Burk estimated the crowd to be about 300 people. For him and most of AM Radio, the gig was within 15 minutes of home, but for me, an hour and a half. We played under the shelter of the wooden amphitheater, our audience facing us seated on the lawn chairs they brought.

The show went very well for almost two hours until the threat of rain acted as promised. Once we heard thunder, we had to pronounce we’d just played our last song. The thunder didn't persist, but the rain got pretty heavy during our tear-down and the drive home. Now I’m dealing with some pretty wet equipment that I’ll have to dry out before my next big trip.

That trip comes later this week as I drive all day up to New England for an annual conference where I’m leading my own band. The conference attracts a Hatfield Township-sized crowd of its own, and the Building Science Boogie Band formed around me to become the house band at the conference afterparties. So what that this conference is a bunch of engineers and architects discussing the finer points of solar paneling and underfloor ventilation!

So what that I never understood residential energy efficiency or indoor air quality when I was the editor of trade publications about those topics! But at least being a journalist got me in the door at this conference my first time there, and it was the best-ever twist of fate when I sat down at the house piano to focus on something other than having to talk to another engineer.

I started playing music, hoping I could avoid talking to people. Well, people kept talking to me anyway. The difference was now it was tolerable to me, even thrilling, because now they were talking to me about music. All of a sudden, somebody asked me if I could play Pink Floyd, so to prove that I could, I played the entire album The Dark Side of the Moon. It was my way of showing them I was a geek too!

Next thing I knew, somebody else was coming up to tell me he wanted to play guitar with me and see if I could jam on some reggae tunes. Well, that’s precisely what we did, and he quickly became my first bandmate in what wound up being the Building Science Boogie Band. And these are science-minded guys in the rest of the band, not professional musicians. There are some great guys in the bunch who don’t mind playing “Margaritaville” because they’ve come up with their own nifty lyrics about the telltale signs of moisture damage. Last year they wrote a new parody song every night. Amazing stuff!

So long, Pennsylvania. I’ll see you when I’m back from Summer Camp. On Friday, Aug. 4, I’ll be at Riverside Camping Association in Lancaster playing keyboards for Memory Laps(e). Then on Saturday, Aug. 5, I’ll be at Tom N Jerry’s in Milmont Park, back with AM Radio.