Last night, we got the very unique pleasure of attending a benefit concert for Promises 2 Kids, featuring The [fabulous] Doobie Brothers. Now, I’m 31 and not quite in the generation that remembers their music as the soundtrack of their lives, but man, oh, man…they are good! So many bands/artists/musicians these days are all about pyro and dancers and all that fancy business, but when it comes down to actual performance they’re not that hot. Not The Doobie Brothers, no sir. Each musician was just totally, 100% on it. Perfect rhythm. Perfect pitch. Impeccable guitar licks. John McFee (whom I got to meet!) was whipping out a new instrument every other song (banjo, mandolin, guitar, harmonica, & more!). A-maz-ing.
Somewhere in the middle of the set, I just thought to myself, “Screw it, Imma be a musician.”
Enough with writing and whatever other stuff I’m working on. Enough with my career ambiguity. There’s just something so crystalline, magical, and sacred about music. Live music brings people together, tears down our insecurities, and draws us in to the inner sanctum of the shared human experience. I smashed my self right up against the stage, clapped with the beat until my hands were numb and smiled until my cheeks were sore.
And you know what? The band smiled back.
Maybe I’m just being naïve, but I don’t think they were faking it, either. I think they smiled back because they like playing music as much as I like hearing it. As a musician, when you see the love you’re pouring in to your music weave around the audience and get them drunk on happiness, well, that’s a pretty damn good feeling. I miss that feeling—that connection. I miss being a musician.
Now, at 10:30 the next morning as I get ready to resume working on the screenplay Stephen and I are writing, my inclination to pack our lives in to a van and play every bar from here to Poughkeepsie has decidedly vanished. And that’s okay. But the reminder of how much I love music is still there. So maybe we’ll hit up an open mic night soon. And we’ll try to see a few more shows this year. I’ll turn on Pandora, turn it up, and thank the Lord for the magic of music.