The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.
There had been a number of open-mic nights during my tenure at Bradford. At one, my old band Soma had performed. At another earlier one, Nathan sang the song “Happy Birthday To Me” to me on my birthday. It was with Nathan that I had what I consider to be my most successful musical open-mic night ever. Together, for one night only in the Fall of 97, Nathan and I were the electronic-music outfit known as Thin. And we ruled.
We knew the show was coming up. I’d gotten a keyboard for my birthday and together with my computer, I had a dangerous music making machine. Nathan played guitar. We had always been pretty decent friends. He had a thing for bands like Nine Inch Nails and Garbage. It was only natural that he asked me to team up with him for the open-mic.
We decided to try our hand at a couple of originals and maybe one cover. I already had a song I’d been working on called “U Don’t Know.” I’d written all of the instrumentation myself and Nate was pretty impressed. He thought it was missing something though and very quickly one afternoon he added a higher-register synth-string part that just made the whole thing that much better. There was a prevailing chord progression played on the keys that he would take over on guitar too when we played live.
When “U Don’t Know” was set, Nate had some fun with my keyboard and sequencer and together we wrote two more originals. I can’t remember the name of the first, but the second was called “Insatiable” and it was one of the smoothest, darkest, coolest pieces of music I’d ever been involved with.
For our cover we chose the recent hit by Garbage, “#1 Crush” from the Romeo & Juliet soundtrack.
We rehearsed in my corner of the dorm room. I think Russel was around at least once and dug it and I think the rest of the house might have caught a listen as well.
When it came time to perform we were psyched but there were all sorts of problems at the last minute. The lights in the campus center were all fucked up and Nate and I had to run over to the theater to get a ladder from Peter, who wasn’t very happy with us for coming over and bothering him in the middle of some big production that weekend. Then there was getting all of my computer equipment up on stage. That was a fucking chore. But eventually it was time for the show.
We opened with “U Don’t Know,” which at that time featured this long instrumental opening. Nate and I had the thing just start playing before we got on stage and then, at the pivotal moment we took the stage. The crowd was really into the fact that we were making a show of it. We launched into “U Don’t Know” which was just fucking fabulous. I was so damn thrilled to be up on stage singing again.
Next was the song I don’t remember the name of. Then we did “Insatiable,” which Nate was supposed to sing, but he couldn’t do the guitar and remember the words at the same time, so I took over. We finished with “#1 Crush” which I think we shared the vocals on.
The audience loved us. The acts that followed were all great as well, but it seems to me that we were the favorite, that we really looked like we had our shit together and such.
Nate and I probably tried to do some more stuff as the year went on but Thin only ever played that one show. It was a damn good one though.