Last night I had my first full-on gig in about 8 weeks. I've played a couple of other shows where I used a house PA, but this was the first one where I had to haul all my stuff out. It always makes me a bit nervous when I haven't played in a while - usually about forgetting something or some of my equipment not working.
All day long yesterday I kept thinking to myself "maybe you should take two guitars to tonight's gig." I rarely take a backup guitar to a gig. The only time I typically do is if I've had some kind of work done on my guitar and want the other there just in case. Anyway, I had just played a small house PA gig the night before, and my guitar was fine. I only went with one.
I get everything set up and start getting my sound dialed in before I start. Things sound good. Then, all of a sudden, it sounds like I've switched on some type of distortion pedal. I was getting a dirty blues-type distortion on my acoustic? I know my preamp will distort when the battery gets low, so I bypass that going straight to the board - still there. The guitar is howling with feedback through the monitor. I'm starting to panic - I'm supposed to start playing right about now. I try a different channel - still happening. I tweak knobs, volumes, etc. Still happening. Right about now I start thinking. . ."Why didn't you listen to that little voice? It tried to tell you to bring a backup."
Finally I grabbed a different guitar cable and went straight into the board. Clean sound, so I didn't temp fate and just went with it. Wound up starting about 10 minutes late, and I'm pouring sweat from panic.
I guess it was ultimately the cable, but I'm not sure it wasn't something inside the guitar that corrected itself? It's a very nice EWI cable and only a few months old. I'd be hard pressed to think it went bad. If I'd have had more time and another guitar, I could have possibly pinpointed what was wrong. I guess I'll break out the PA later on and do some experiments to see what's up.
The gig turned out awesome. One of the best night's I've ever had in that venue!