I’m writing this from the luxurious Best Western in middle-of-nowhere Ohio. The first show of the Trevor Larkin/Ross Livermore Take Ohio tour’s in the books, thanks so much to Natalie’s in Columbus for having us!
In the Allen band, I’m on stage with four of the best musicians in the world, and we know each other’s playing better than we know our own. Many of our fans have seen us dozens of times. It’s a very supportive environment, one I’m obviously very grateful for, but the past half decade's essentially been playing two hour singalongs fueled by gummy bears and scotch. Complacency can set in in if you’re not careful.
Up here on stage at Natalie’s, it’s just me, an acoustic guitar and songs nobody’s heard. I recognize some diehard Al Stone fans in the audience, but it’s largely thanks to Natalie’s built-in crowd that seats are filled. Up until recently, my songs have existed in a tight orbit around a handful of close friends, and I remind myself that tonight will be the first time these folks have heard my music. One of the joys of embarking on a new project’s the almost prospector-like belief in the potential. I’m not afraid of fucking up or coming across as a dingus (I do these things professionally, after all) - I genuinely have no idea how these songs are going to land, and I’m excited.
A few tunes in, people seem to be enjoying it. They’re checking their phones less, leaning in a little more, and as disconcerting as the gentleman in the front’s unbroken eye contact might be, I know it’s because he’s listening, and it compels me to close my eyes and disappear inside my head for a quick check-in. My voice is unique and developing, but I’m more-or-less hitting notes and quasi-musically dancing around the ones I don’t. Sweet, I’ll take it. A woman's shooting an iPhone video of my song about escaping from a cult. What does that mean?
All in all, the set feels like a newborn fawn taking its first steps - initially awkward, but quickly figuring things out in an adorably innocent way. Most people compliment my being funny, which I suppose is a good thing, but I hope they like the songs, too. The sound guy offers me a cold stout and says, “hey, you host the Not Famous Podcast, right?”
This solo Trevor thing's a new pair of pants, but I'm thinking it might fit ok.