Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes, those are trees.

Just got back from tonight's Jason Reeves and Tyrone Wells show. Sounded and looked amazing. Chris asked me after the show if there were ever any concerts at the theater that made me want to go home and write music. Happens quite a bit, I said. Ben Schmidt. Andrew Bird. Randy Newman.

There are other events where I consciously force myself to just... stop. Look around. Take it all in. Experience what is going on around me. How privileged I am to do what I do, to be part of what I'm a part of. Someday, when I've moved on in my life, I don't want to look back thinking I took this all for granted. I want to look back knowing I took the time to appreciate it while it was all happening. California Guitar Trio. New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Railroad Earth.

There are other events that give me a boost: pull me out of a rut, give me inspiration, make me think of our business in a different way - or in a way that had been buried by the day-to-day grind.

Tonight was one of those.

I've been battling a bad cold all week, trying to write a big grant, trying to manage the day-to-day, trying to think about the big funding request I have to write after I finish the grant, trying to think about the budget I have to put together after that (and all of this by the end of next week). Plus life outside of work. All in all, I was feeling pretty beat down this week. My writing was crap, my thoughts scattered, my energy abysmal.

Tonight, during Jason's set, I got more done with that grant than I got done all week. And while I'm sorry I missed seeing most of the show (although I did hear it), I think the energy at the theater tonight may have been just what I needed to set things back on track.

I also talked to two of the nicest guys I've met in a long time: Tyrone Wells, and Billy the Drummer. I talked to Tyrone backstage after his great performance opening for Jason. Evidently they trade off nights as headliner, depending on who has the bigger draw in that particular city. This being Jason's hometown, Tyrone took the stage first with his juicy pop anthems. He was super cool, laid back, humble, and good to talk to.

Billy the Drummer (Jason's drummer) was also the tour manager, so I got to settle the show with him. Probably the nicest guy I've ever settled with: talked about the tour, about Schuba's in Chicago (a mirror image of the Beat Kitchen), Kings of Leon (the power of those three words), Rogue Wave (great live band) and shenanigans with comp tickets in Boston (9+1 still equals 10, no matter who holds the 9).

So here are a few pictures from the night, below, along with a link to some more. If you're a fan of pop, acoustic singer-songwriter stuff, and big soaring melodies, I'd definitely recommend checking out both Jason Reeves and Tyrone Wells. I hope they'll be back soon, and I hope (as does Billy) that there will be a busting-at-the-seams sized audience that needs those "seven extra letters" on the marquee.

Tyrone Wells & band

Jason Reeves emerges from the dressing rooms.

Jason's setlist and bottle of water.

Drummers get all the chicks.
Billy with some of Jason's family.

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