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Feb. 9, 2024 // Charlotte, NC // Tommy's Pub

February 14, 20244 min read

The Jay Blog

Fri. Feb. 9, 2024 // Charlotte, NC // Tommy's Pub


w/ The Trick Threat + The Cocker Spaniels

...and so it begins!

Firstly, I'd like to explain the purpose behind this live show blog. At its core, my passion for writing drives this endeavor. I hope you find enjoyment and insight in the reflections shared here. My academic journey in writing, chosen in lieu of a non-existent "songwriting" major during my time, laid the foundation for my creative process. I've always believed that writing and songwriting share a deep, yet often unexplored, connection in the academic world. Writing and songwriting are like... 2nd or 3rd cousins of sorts.

Moreover, I see this blog as an excellent opportunity to consolidate everything related to our live shows—from my personal musings, photographs, videos, to audio recordings—in one comprehensive space. From my point of view, there's a rich tapestry of elements at play during each performance. I admit, I'm on a learning curve on how to gather "all the online things" - and it will take a few days to update this blog!


The preparation for our gigs, especially this particular one, entails a significant amount of work and, inevitably, a degree of anxiety. This show was designated as the "single release" concert for "Say Yeah!"—the debut song from our upcoming album, DOUBLE TAKE.

Admittedly, I approached the event with a mix of excitement and apprehension, partly due to my reluctance to be in the spotlight. Previous experiences with the local press, which included instances of bullying and gaslighting towards me and the band, contributed to my generalized anxiety.

Photo by Jim Collins. What a night! Tommy's Pub, Feb. 9, 2024

Fortunately, my fears were unfounded this time around. The coverage from both national and regional press was overwhelmingly positive, validating all the effort put into securing their attention.

Check our first write up about "Say Yeah!" at Glide Magazine!

Check out the awesome press from our local rag QC Nerve!

As the day of the gig loomed closer, my usual pre-show jitters were amplified into a full-blown case of anxiety. This wasn't your garden-variety nervousness; it was supercharged, thanks in no small part to my decision to quit alcohol cold turkey on December 10th. Now, I haven't joined AA or anything of the sort. The truth is, mixing alcohol with my bipolar meds is about as good an idea as dying your hair platinum blonde and pink (which I did right before the gig)—not sure if this was a good decision! Plus, I'm quite fond of my liver and would prefer to keep it in working order. Before this sober revelation, you could find me sipping a couple of beers or downing a shot before hitting the stage, so adjusting to a completely sober performance routine has been, let's say, an interesting experiment. Surprisingly, this gig felt smoother than the last, suggesting I might be getting the hang of this.

Photo by Jim Collins. Darrin Gray of The Eyebrows.

In the lead-up to the performance, I threw myself into practice and also hopped back on the exercise train. I've realized that being in shape isn't just good for my health—it's crucial for my singing. If I'm not fit, I end up pushing my vocals too hard and sounding like a Muppet on a bad day.

The evening kicked off with The Trick Threat setting the stage with their exquisite guitar-pop tunes and serene three-part harmonies, instantly putting the crowd in a great mood. Their performance was the perfect appetizer for the night, and I'm unabashedly a fan of Alana's songwriting genius. I’m all in for supporting them however possible.

Photo by Jim Collins. Jay Garrigan of The Eyeborws.

Then came The Cocker Spaniels, or as I like to call him, Sean Padilla, who doubles as our booking agent who specializes in getting The Eyebrows into non-traditional venues. When Sean insisted on being part of the lineup, my response was a resounding "Hell yeah!" because his music hits just the right note for me. True to form, Sean wove thoughtful stories between his songs, touching on inclusivity and social issues, all while absolutely rocking the stage. "Cops Don't Care About the Drip..." is our jam.

It’s worth mentioning that our band is serious about diversity in our lineup—it’s a badge of honor for us to include a wide range of acts.

Now, talking about our own set feels a bit like patting myself on the back, but here goes. The Eyebrows, my musical family for the past 24 years alongside Shawn Lynch, never ceases to amaze me. Even after all this time, we find new ways to surprise each other and our fans. The euphoria of blending my electric guitar's feedback and delay with our killer rhythm section is something I wish I could bottle up and sell. We’ve grown more adventurous with musical improvisation, and it’s thrilling when the guitar notes take on a life of their own.

However, not everything went off without a hitch. One of us was battling illness in the days leading up to the show, and by the time our pumped and appreciative audience clamored for an encore, we were running on fumes. We somehow managed to muster the energy for one more song, which, to be honest, we kinda sorta remembered halfway through. Still, the crowd's enthusiasm for an encore was a moment to remember.

Next time, we'll be locked and loaded for another, should the opportunity arise.

Photo by Jim Collins. Jay Garrigan of The Eyebrows.

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Jay Garrigan

Jay Garrigan is on an eternal odyssey to craft the quintessential tune for every flawed moment in existence. He revels in navigating the sonic cosmos surrounding the guitar.

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