So with the warm, comfy summer weather here at last, Haunted Gypsy, has gotten some fun-to-play gigs. (Translation: fun-to-play often means no money involved, but, heck, we had an AWESOME time! Who becomes a musician to make money anyway?)
Last Saturday, we performed at the Music Room in downtown East Aurora. In case you don’t know, East Aurora is a small, suburban town that’s rather affluent and quaint. What’s unique about the Music Room is that it provides a place for the under-21 crowd to see bands play. No alcohol is served, so the association with music and drugs and alcohol is missing here. Fuhgetta ‘bout “sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll.” That slogan was a grand political marketing scheme. It’s all about the music, baby!
But the Music Room isn’t just a venue for young people to watch bands play; it’s also an outlet for musicians too young to play in bars. The Music Room provides a decent stage replete with a P.A., microphones, drum kit and a sound person whose goal is to bring out the best in every performer who graces their spacious stage. Performers also have the option of having their show professionally recorded. Food (along with alcohol) is missing in this equation, but a pizza shop next door helps make up for that. All in all, the Music Room is a decent venue, particularly for bands that want to reach younger audiences. Not to be ageist or anything, but… the younger crowds are often more open to new and original musical ideas.
But enough of the advert already. Haunted Gypsy (which consists mainly of me and whoever I can convince to back me up on drums–and right now, it’s Curtis Orange the Great) had one of our best performances ever at the Music Room last Saturday. In other words, the audience was absolutely AWESOME! (They say, “A good man is hard to find,” but I find that a good audience is an even better find! Sorry, men… But a good audience is so much more fulfilling! Never asks you to cook dinner, and there’s no monogamous commitment.)
I often feel that we performers make friends with those who engage with us while we’re on stage. People who are lonely. People who are bored. People looking for inspiration or looking for someone to say what they’d like to say but don’t have the courage to say. Or people who can just relate to something we say, sing or play. They find a way to connect with us when we’re on stage, and it feels great! While we keep trying to be independent, “rugged individualists,” we humans secretly crave connection with each other. Performing and watching others performing is a way of connecting, of coming together, if only for a short time.
Some people compare performing onstage to making love with a crowd of strangers. Odd as it sounds, it really is like that. Performing takes a certain amount of emotional energy. Connecting with a crowd can be draining or exhilarating, depending on the experience. (I wish I knew how many calories performing burns because I often get the munchies afterward…)
It’s funny how some of us need to be onstage now and then. We need the type of human connection performing provides. It’s not exactly like making love to a crowd of people. It’s not exactly like making temporary friends with a bunch of strangers. It’s not exactly like most interactions we have with people. It’s a unique interaction that some of us crave but that most people dread. Most people are fearful of public speaking. But some of us need the catharsis that speaking our minds loudly in public provides.
Anyhow, my thoughts for the day. By the way, we got to share the stage with front man Chris Ayers and his band “Sad, White, Suburban Males.” (I asked them why they were sad, but they couldn’t explain why… Orange is not the new black, according to Obama. Perhaps that’s why they’re sad… Sniffy, sniffy.) Anyhow, I’d seen Ayers last year performing with the band Tilapia, and the guy is incredibly talented yet miraculously humble and soft-spoken. Entertaining and engaging original songs and tons of manic teenage energy onstage. SWSM are young—most, if not all, band members are under the age of 21, so they didn’t believe me when I said it, but it is true, so I’ll say it again here. These guys are only going to get better as they get older. If they can play this well at age 20, what will they sound like at 30?
Hmm… I hope to find out. Great talent inspires me.
Okay, my blog for the day. I’ve satisfied the irreverent gods of the blogosphere, at least for one day.
Onward and upward!