While you’re in town, let’s record a single

Broadway touring shows can settle in and enjoy a long run in places like L.A. and Chicago, but in Minneapolis the routine is often “open on a Tuesday and close on Sunday.”  Just long enough to record a single.

In the case of American Idiot at the Orpheum Theater, which I reviewed, my S.O. Tim Andersen met some of the band at a party after the show and within 24 hours he’d marshaled students and staff at MMI (Minneapolis Media Institute) where he teaches, booked the room and sandwiched tracking in between the band’s performance schedule and student projects.

Why? Mostly because it’s just so much fun to record great musicians, and musicians who tour with Broadway shows are generally really, really good. And they often have their own bands back home and write original songs, so it was a safe bet there would be some interest.

In this case, it was also a cool opportunity for the MMI students to watch their instructors in action and participate right alongside of them in a session. According to Tim, there were sometimes 10 in the tracking room and another 20 in the control room – most with something to do. Not that you need that many, but they were on a tight schedule, so extra help was a good thing.

But the students didn’t just plug in cords and check levels. They were offering their own equipment to players they’d only just met – amps, pedals, drums, guitars and world class microphones—high quality gear to help get just the right sounds.

Local keyboard player, Russ King, had a gig in Duluth Saturday night, but made it in Sunday morning to lay down the last track. By the time the band finishes their run in the next city, their single will be delivered.

I hope if they release it they list the names of every student who showed up to offer his or her help and took the time to be a part of it. Now, that would be cool.

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