Photos by MJ Klein
UPDATE: We will be broadcasting the next few weeks from the Wild West. You are welcome to check our webcam page and view our performance live on the webcam. More information is available on our Events Page.
As most of you reading this blog know, I was at one time, a professional musician. I have been playing continuously for decades and since living in Taiwan, I’ve had opportunities to perform on several occasions. Recently I’ve been playing a regular gig on Friday nights and I’m going tell a little about it here.
The venue is the Wild West Chophouse, or 大西部 in Chinese. The Wild West is located in Zhubei, Taiwan at 新竹縣竹北市光明一路256號.
I’m playing with another guitarist named Van. He plays country songs and uses an acoustic guitar which blends very nicely with my electric guitar sound.
This is our stage area before we set everything up in the afternoon before the show.
First things to go up are the speakers on their stands. Notice the amplifier on the barrel table. You will also take note of the fact that the speakers are in the back, behind where we will be standing. We set them up this way on purpose so we can hear the speakers and not have to use additional speakers as monitors. We have to be careful of feedback from the vocal microphones but we don’t play that loud to begin with.
This is a closeup of the Yamaha PA amplifier. I really like this amplifier because (for one thing) it has built-in effects which make the vocals sound nice.
We also use a Roland DR-880 drum machine, which can produce drums and bass parts. Many of our songs have programmed drum and bass sounds, so we sound like a 4 piece band. Often the audience is surprised when they hear drums and bass on songs because they only see 2 guitar players.
I have a footswitch on the floor in front of my microphone so I can start the drum machine without touching it. Oh, the backlight on the LCD display is burnt out and I use it too often to send it to the shop for repair.
The Wild West has a great outdoor seating area. They also have a house PA system with a speaker outdoors, so I made a cable that plugs into our record-out jacks so we can feed our sound to their house system. People sitting outside can enjoy our performances too.
This is the stage all set up, with microphone and guitar stands. We have a fan on the floor to blow air across the stage area because sometimes it gets pretty hot when we’re playing.
This is what we sound like (you may change the video to display HD):
This video was shot by our friend Keiran Earl
The Wild West has some great food. Just take a look at some of the dishes they offer (all food photos taken by mobile phone):
Texas Chili and chips.
Chips and salsa.
Combo appetizer platter.
Quesadillas. These come in chicken or beef.
Nachos with cheese.
Burrito, also in chicken or beef.
But my favorites are the steaks at the Wild West! They use double-inspected US beef and as opposed to some other steakhouses in Taiwan, they know how to cook them properly!
In addition to our performances on Fridays, they also have other music performers on Saturday, and belly dancers during the week! So if you get a chance to drop by the Wild West, you won’t be disappointed!