Monday, December 14, 2015

Live Music

I went to a live show last night and it was amazing. The guy had such a great voice, he was brilliant like his CDs, letting me know how they weren't ever over produced, but just as he is. He stood but 10 feet from me and my husband - a proper date - one we hadn't endulged in in too long. 
The artist hopped from piano to his guitar, it was a solo acoustic show. He had a way of turning his guitar into a percussion instrument by sneakily slapping it, mimicking a drum beat. He engaged the audience in a very sociable, humerous way. He wasn't awkward, over the top, or under the influence. He was just perfect!
A couple times a big man would have to signal audience members to put down their phones as they tried to capture this whole experience in a hard fast way other than in their memories. Several times, the ladies in front of me posted photos of him mid verse to their instagram accounts, others texting friends about it all, no doubt with excitement.
I remember a line by Gavin DeGraw (not who we saw, but he would be awesome) "I'm looking at the crowd and they're staring at their phones." Weather he means they are communicating with the virtual world while he's singing, to gush about where they are, or the screen is in front of their face while they try to get the best video or photo, I don't know. Maybe both.
But I can say, I went to this live show and took absolutely nothing tangible home. No ticket stub ( I printed paper tickets) no t shirt, no video, and not one photo. (Sorry, I had a flimsy wristband devoid of insignia.) I didnt watch him sing through the the screen of my phone, I didn't post a picture to Facebook, I didn't even snap one for myself. He sang purely to me and not my own personal social audience. 
Months ago, when my iPhone broke, I opted to use an older generation iPhone we had saved and chose not to load my email or any apps on it. It is not capable of sharing a photo, though it can take one. I did this intentionally to see if it felt any different to not use my phone for everything so much. There were times, I'll admit, that sitting at a traffic light for those 60 seconds, that I used to pick up my phone and see what was new. But I wanted to take my idle minutes back. I did, since the summer, and it has been nice. I can't say I feel anything revolutionary though, all I can say is that it feels, simply, normal. 
This show last night was just that - it felt normal. Like when I was younger before cell phones and kids carried recording devices, when my friends and I went to concerts and just listened, laughed and were THERE. We knew where we went and held only memories. People today seem to orchestrate their experiences and capture it in a way to display it - a summary in pictures. And that is nice; it is fun to look back on things, and for sure, I have TONS of photos of my kids. But because of the choice I made with my phone, I exprienced this fantastic show and reminded myslef that how it happened is really only in my memories, and I love it there. I can tell stories to anyone else with words limited only by my literary capacity and imagination that can make this memorie come alive - more so than if I whipped open a photo and said only, "Here, look."
Eric Hutchinson came back out after he said he was done, as most musicians do and said he was going to sing a Christmas song. He stepped away from the mic and left his guitar still, and poised his fingers before no piano. He snapped his fingers to a beat and sang acapella "Have Yoursefl a Merry Little Christmas" It was brilliant. The audience snapped too and quietly, as he prompted, and we heard him crystal clear. He had a wonderful voice.
It was a great intimate venue, with my wonderful husband, and it is only mine to see and replay... in my mind.