Things look different from the stage, #8.5.

Yup… Creativity bone is still broken. I did some digging and it looks like I’ve actually been doing this every day for 12 weeks. So, I’m not surprised that my creativity bone is broken.

So, I figured I’d keep it up but I’m going to tell you about the show we did last evening – or at least a small part of it. Why? ‘Cause I gotta tell you something and, besides, I think it’s moderately interesting.

I don’t really write these articles often. These are blog-like articles and they’re a bit about what we see from up there. People seem to like hearing about it, so I might as well share. It’s not nearly as exciting as people seem to think.

In fact, we had no strippers, mounds of coke, or nude groupies backstage. We didn’t even really have a backstage. Shit, we didn’t even have official dressing rooms. But, it does look different from up there. We’re watching you while you’re watching us.

We’re as weird as you are.

I’m not going to delve into the details, in an effort to keep this short. But, the short version is that I have a young student who also pretty much lives at my house. She’s a good kid and appears to give no shits about stage fright.

On Saturday, she was supposed to play a song with the band and in front of her peers – who’d be at said show. It was postponed due to weather and she was pretty down about it. However, the band got together (something we seem to do every time a show is canceled) and jammed. This was something she enjoyed immensely and we made plans to put her onstage on Sunday.

We did the usual… We walk out, greet, introduce ourselves, give our instruments a final check, and that’s what she was cued to walk out and take my guitar from me. I’d pretend it was a bit of a surprise and hand it to her and do vocals after the drummer counted us in and the initial vocals are group vocals.

The song was, if you’re curious, Offspring’s song ‘Self Esteem.’

Now, it’s probably important to note that we put on a show. We don’t just stand there and play, otherwise you’d just replace us with a DJ. We’re active and we do our best to keep things lively.

She’s actually a fairly new student and this song isn’t terribly difficult to play. She’s already capable of playing more complex material, but the timing on this is a little tricky and it was a good song for her to learn and a good song for the audience to start with.

Except, if you didn’t know better, you’d have sworn she was on a pogo-stick. She played it as close to perfect as I could have asked, but she alternated between being on a pogo stick and headbanging like she was from some late 80s thrash band.

Stage fright does not seem to impact this girl, or that’s how she deals with it. I’m not sure but it wasn’t even remotely what I was expecting – as she’d been pretty normal acting during rehearsals. She pretty much went full fucking rock star.

And we fed off her energy and it was pretty excellent.

More importantly, the audience fed off it. They saw a 15 year old girl come out, take my guitar from me, and then rock ’em like they wanted to be rocked. I’d say her energy affected us, as we played and sang even harder and tighter. The audience was prepped and was immediately in motion with the next song.

But, man, it was weird…

Still, for a brief moment in time, she was a rock star and took full advantage of it. She was the center of attention and would repeat how she’d signed three autographs – pretty much for the entire ride home.

It was that little bit of energy that decided the entire show. That little bit of weirdness set the crowd up to be receptive and to be ready to engage with us. We do bounce around on stage, but we don’t normally look like we’re on pogo sticks.

Either way, her playing was as close to perfect as I’d expect and I might be almost as proud of her as she is – maybe even a little more. I tried to tell the audience that this was her first time performing and to give her a big hand, but they didn’t listen and didn’t even seem to hear me – they were already doing so.

Considering there were just maybe 400 people, they made a lot of noise. As we were in an enclosed space, we ended up having to turn our monitors up and turning our volume levels up. They continued to make as much noise as a crowd 5 times their size, making the show even better.

All because a little kid came out and acted pretty weird. You’d think she’d done it a million times before, but she looked like she was so engrossed that she didn’t even notice the crowd. At one point, it helps if you know the song, she hopped her way over to the bassist and played with him. A few moments later, I look back and she’s hopping for the drummer.

This is my student, in whom I am well pleased. Even if she is a weirdo.

I guess if there’s a moral to the story, it’s get kids involved in music. The really can shine and it’s a healthy activity for them. She was asleep almost immediately after returning home and woke up this morning still excited and trying to devise ways to con herself back onto the stage.

I’m sure she’ll be back out there onstage. She will be next Saturday, at the very least. We’ll see where she goes from there. I’ll see if I can keep y’all in the loop about the experiences and the progress. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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