I attended three shows this past weekend and spent exactly zero minutes on stage. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to settle in to the role of audience member.
Friday 2/14 After a long and tiring work week, Kit and I meandered down to Off Broadway to see some friends play in a few different bands. High Scores kicked it off with some groovy psych rock, and I got to witness a couple of my own bandmates let loose. (Karl Eggers – who normally plays banjo with me – melted faces and broke hearts with his lead guitar work. Also, Corey Woodruff once again proved how versatile yet tasteful a great drummer can be. I’m humbled to have both of these talented and generous guys working on my music, too.) New(ish)comers Union Rags rounded out the evening. I’ve seen them once before, and it’s impressive what a full sound they can get out of only three band members. Their drummer, Miah Smith, just happens to be married to one of my best friends and – surprise! – he’s crushing beats in a cool rock’n’roll band. Who knew?
Saturday 2/15 Went to a house show at IWTAS headquarters with Last To Show First To Go and Communist Daughter. House shows are quickly becoming my favorite way to experience live music. It’s simple, really – take a casual environment, add friends old and new, throw in some great musicians and it becomes impossible not to have a good time. Communist Daughter combined beautiful harmonies with simple, heartfelt/heartwrenching lyrics. LTSFTG’s smart, well-crafted pop tunes sounded surprisingly great even in that small room. So many brilliant and talented people to hang with after the show…let’s just say it was a late night.
Sunday 2/16 Spent the afternoon working on some new tunes, then had a band practice to prep for next weekend’s recording session. Later in the evening, I took in yet another house show, this time featuring Robert Sarazin Blake. His personality filled the room, reeling us in with tales of his mishaps and triumphs as a traveling musician. Another night spent with music, drinks, and friends. I deem it a success.
And after all of that, I’m tired – more tired than I expected. As a regular performer, I sometimes lose sight of just how much effort it takes to be an audience member. It’s a different kind of effort, but all those great shows wouldn’t mean anything without the people in attendance. This weekend was just another reminder of how absolutely privileged I am each and every time I get on stage. So, to anyone who takes time to see live music, be it mine or anyone else’s: thank you. In those moments, you’re as much a part of the magic as I am.