17 Jul 2012 6 Comments
Happily Sleepless in Seattle
This isn’t a vent, it’s joyful verbal combustion! I feel the need to spurt out the details of last night that are still spinning in my head! My brain was a buzz all night and I’m still bouncing this morning! I don’t spend enough time on this blog, I know. I wish I relayed more stories concerning the trials and tribulations and especially the victories that come with this strange career.
I’m always grateful, and most of the time I’m a happy, shiny person, but I get down like everybody does, I get frustrated, I question, I doubt. I feel I’m constantly leaping over hurdles. It gets exhausting. But, it’s entirely worth it. I know I have many full-time, hard working, constantly touring musician friends who feel the same. Brilliant friends. In fact, last week I went to see an event in Seattle called Round 86, a concert featuring 3 acts in the round and a slam poet. One of the bands: Big Sur, created insanely gorgeous music with a slide guitar and upright bass accompanying the lead singer and his guitar. Mary Lambert SLAYED people with her poetry. And my friends Raina Rose and Anthony da Costa (and Andrew Pressman on upright bass) were the kind of genius that is so moving, so awe-inspiring, it makes me question what business I have being in this industry.
But last night, I was reassured that I’m doing the right thing. And here comes the joyful noise: I opened for the dazzling, zany Steve Poltz. Watching him inspires me the way Born Standing Up did (Steve Martin’s autobiography). He’s completely uninhibited on stage. In fact, he rarely confines his performance to the stage. It usually ends up on a table, or a bar, or in the middle of the venue floor, or last night: on the shoulders of four fans. His joy is palpable.
The show was at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard, WA. My first official Seattle show. I was nervous. Maybe it was the month off the road, maybe it was being so moved by my friends the week before, maybe it was the daunting idea that after 4.5 years on the road and building markets in major cities – I’ve never played in Seattle – so it feels like I’m starting over here. But I gave myself a little pep talk that consisted of: Be yourself. Have fun.
And I was, and I did.
And the night was magical.
After a 45 minute set I left the stage with a standing ovation, and literally just stood in a panic in the greenroom while the audience chanted “WE-WANT-JENN! WE-WANT-JENN!” because I didn’t know what to do!!! Do openers get encores??? Was Steve cool with it? Was the venue cool with it? Would the chants just fade? Was this really happening???!!!! Wasn’t this a Monday night???!!! What is this madness???!!
They were still chanting. So I did an encore.
It. was. AWESOME.
Steve was so generous and so proud. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to a city or a community of music lovers. I can’t wait to play in Seattle again!
I know I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing – I will always do this – but even so, it’s really nice to hear people agree with you.