Renewed Appreciation

Let me tell you about my night last night, and you’ll understand why I wake up this morning with a great sense of appreciation for this music community.

It started innocently enough. I showed up to SteelStacks around 7:30 to conduct an interview for an upcoming feature. Due to weather delays (the rain was pretty intense for a while there), the interview didn’t end up coming to fruition. It’s OK, though; we’re going to get it done, and give you some great content to enjoy leading up to Musikfest as a result!

Besides, I was also there for the weekly SteelStacks Open Mic. A little known fact about me is that I, myself, have always wanted to perform on a consistent basis. However, I’ve always been shy about it for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on. I’ve never actually been in a band, and any solo attempts at playing out have been very much on-again, off-again throughout my life (probably due, in part, to the fact that I don’t actually “play” anything).

For a few weeks, I’ve been itching to get back at it. I’ve been telling Billy Bauer that, one week, I’d like to give performing at his open mic a shot, even if I had to bring a backing track as support. He seemed on board, and I decided yesterday that this would be the day.

I chose a song — Bon Jovi’s “Novocaine,” from 2005’s “Have a Nice Day” — that I’m particularly feeling this week for… reasons. I found an instrumental version, and I ran through it a few times at home. I figured it was serviceable enough to give this a shot.

As I waited for the night to begin, I ran into Michael Duck of Not For Coltrane fame. I told him of my plans, and he asked if I would like accompaniment on guitar. From there, he learned the song on the fly, we ran through it a few times, and soon, just like that, it was “showtime.” You can see (and hear) how it went here.

This was one of the coolest experiences yet for me out here, and it was particularly cathartic in what, personally speaking outside of LVU, has been an otherwise difficult week, month, and — if I’m being real — calendar year.

It was also thanks to the support of a number of people. First, thank you to Michael for being willing to learn the song and provide strong and reliable accompaniment. Also, you should check out his performance from last night. Thanks to Billy Bauer for providing the platform, for me and others more talented than me, and thanks to our pals in Alex Mery & The Townsmen for sticking around (you can hear Kara behind the camera in the beginning of the video).

Last night, it became clear to me in an entirely new light that I live in a vibrant community with a lot of great and fully supportive people, and I couldn’t ask for more. This is why we do what we do here at LVU, and I thank you.

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