Greetings from the super exciting I-80E , en route to Salt Lake City after finishing up the second of twenty shows of the tour with Jack’s Mannequin and Steel Train. The first two nights have been fantastic (thanks Ventura and Sacramento), not to mention there has been some reaalllly gooood music on this tour. You don’t believe? Come to a show!
The last two nights were extra fantastic because we’ve been dealing with business so much lately, so it was great/cathartic/fun to get on stage in front of a new (grateful) audience and remember how it feels to actually do what we love in front of people who appreciate it. After the show some guy even said to me: “your music was so good that I wanted to die, in a good way!’ I’m not sure how death by music can be good, but he reassured me that indeed it he was paying me the highest form of flattery.
It’s a curse and a blessing that I feed off the audience so much. I’d rather be one of those real-deal dudes who doesn’t care what the audience thinks or how they respond. “Fuck it. Love it or hate it but this is MY MUSIC.” I would love to say that and actually mean it. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great when we get positive reactions, but the power I give to the audience is quite dangerous, as I found out a few weeks ago….
Cut to: a beautiful sunny day at the Silverlake Jubilee, a cool little two-day festival with a bunch of local LA bands. We hit the stage to a full crowd, anxious to hear some new music and give the thumbs up or thumbs down (a la Spartacus at the mercy of Caesar’s judgment). As soon as we began, I could see that we were going to win the crowd over (the typical signs of happy-shiny people dancing to the music, cheering, clapping, etc). I thought I had received a sufficient dose of audience affirmation to feel validated until out of nowhere, a thick-mustached-guy in the front row co-opted my attention with a “HEY! You Suck!! Fuck yewwwwwww!!!” flipping me off and so offended and disgusted by our music that I’m sure he was frothing at the mouth. I had never been heckled before (if this even counts as heckling). I tried so hard to not pay attention to him and focus on the rest of the (grateful) audience, but he was completely in my head. And to make matters worse, neither Matti nor Dan noticed him at all, so I began to wonder if maybe I was crazy, and this guy was just my personified fear of not being loved by everyone in the audience. Real or imaginary, I found no solace or comfort or protection on stage.
He stayed a few songs, anger never subsiding, and then with one final middle finger in the air turned and marched away….
After he left, I finally re-noticed the packed crowd in front of us, still happy and shiny and dancing, and I took a deep breath and got back into my groove. I guess lady danville isn’t for everyone, or at least not for this particular thick-mustached heckler.