HEADLINING
THE BLUE ROOM

Cold Sierra!

OK, OK, so you haven't played a gig in a while. And The Gary Floyd Band just cancelled out, and now you're the headliners at the Paradise Lounge. You're trotting out the hot new guest guitarist, Thaen, on loan from Swizzlestick. Something's gotta give, and it might just be the speakers.

Yep, it's Steve's favorite room in The City. The sound guy is wearing a freshly-minted Porcelain t-shirt. There's drink tickets everywhere and sixes of Sierra Pale Ale everywhere else.

Cold Sierra!

And The Paradise is a venue that spoils its artists.

Cold Sierra!
The Porcelain dressing room isn't just any bathroom, it's the downstairs stage right bathroom, duly noted on the door.

Dressing room door

11/30/96 Set List

It's raining outside. Everybody's smoking cigarettes and complaining about how much they ate on Thanksgiving.

Cold Sierra!

No one is prepared for the Porcelain set that lands smack in the middle of their minds.

Cold Sierra!

From the first chords of "Down & Down", something's different. It's louder. It's clearer. It's stronger than ever. The Porcelain attitude will not be contained this evening, thank you.

Cold Sierra!

Tossing that sound guy the t-shirt is looking like a mighty clever move right about now.
The vocals are coming through crisp,
a perfect mix of desperation and disdain.
The rhythm section churns carefully sequenced thunder claps as Thaen bobs his maniacal head and throttles the lead guitar beam past 'stun' and up towards 'disintegrate'.

Cold Sierra!

The audience is sucked in from the pool room, the front bar, the back caverns and side spaces that make up the Paradise, like so many hapless asteroids tending toward a black hole. People need closure on just what this exploding sound really looks like.

Cold Sierra!

A hush falls over the crowd as Steve delivers "Not Far Away", a new addition to the set that carries Porcelain into more soulful territory. The faithful look on approvingly in this moment, while audiophiles in the tapers' section jockey for optimal microphone placement and position.

Cold Sierra!

Porcelain doesn't keep it pensive very long.
They finish with a flurry of spit and grizzle, fueled with more Sierras, and call it a set.

Cold Sierra!

The audience demands encore and encore they get.
Punctuated with a winsome smile and a seventies swagger,
Cheap Trick's "Surrender" sounds more 'now' than ever.
Heads bob in frenzied synchrony with the refrain.
Girls hang farther out over the balcony than their mothers would want them to.
A smoky, beer-soaked epiphany is shared by all.
Suddenly there is silence, followed by shy and furtive glances to the left and right as the lights come up.

Cold Sierra!

Necks will be sore tomorrow and clothes will require thorough washing. This set has drawn thick, heavy sweat from the crowd, soon to be washed by the rain as they step ennervated but exhausted out into the chill San Francisco night.

Cold Sierra!

Time to pack the van.


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