Ahhh, Johnson City. Simply mentioning Johnson City in slightly more metropolitan areas elicits chuckles and laughter, but the drive from Knoxville to Johnson City is beautiful. We took a detour, drove through the run-down, Disneyland-esque area that surrounds Dollywood, and hiked a bit in the Great Smoky Mountains. Everyone we met on the trail was very nice, and one guy even recognized Vienna because he had previously seen her on CNN.
After our little jaunt into the mountains, we arrived at the Sophisticated Otter in Johnson City. I'm not that knowledgeable about the touring artist scene, but I imagine that the venue should at least know that you are coming before you arrive. We were greeted at the door with lackadaisical nonchalance: "Oh, you're playing here today? Oh... you need sound? What time are you playing again?" The best part was seeing posters that said, "VIENNA TENG - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18," which would been fantastic marketing, had the show been scheduled for November 18th. Despite the venue's valiant sabotage attempt, Vienna sang beautifully. The sound was good, and a local radio talkshow host brought a group of Irish nationals who were part of a reconciliation project. A Taiwanese couple (possibly the only ones in Johnson City) arrived for the show on time (which turned out to be an hour before she started), and we chatted for awhile about why pursuing anything other than engineering or medicine is taboo if you are the offspring of first generation Taiwanese immigrants.
The 19 people in the audience gave a standing ovation. It certainly is quality that counts, and not quantity. [see some photos]