First, my eight minute set at the Topaz Hotel in Washington, DC was simply "eh". This is a great room and features some of the best comics in the area every week. However, this can also be a tough crowd to warm up and it is preferable to go up later in the show. For this set, I went second in the order and had just an okay set. I had a few nice laughs but a lot of things did not hit the way they usually do. I think performing in this room more will help me learn and adjust to the energy in the room. Experience will help those "early in the lineup" sets.
After Topaz, I drove to RFD in Chinatown. I've referenced this room a lot in the past and always enjoy my time there. Usually this is a very "hot" room (I've joked that I could "fart in this room and get an applause break") but for some reason it was very tired on Thursday. Before my set, I noticed that the crowd was tight and lethargic. In response to that, I decided to "amp up" my performance and probably had one of the more intense five minutes I've ever had on stage and the results were great.
I had a really good set with big laughs and three legitimate applause breaks. It's nice to know that I have a different gear that I can go to when I need it. Though this was a really good set... it was far from perfect (no sets are). When I listened back to the set, I noticed that I stepped on two laughs that could have been bigger. This may have been a product of being too amped up and overly aggressive. I'll have to remember that for next time.