Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Flying at Joshua Radin and Missy Higgins concert

I'm sitting in the concert hall surrounded by the twenty something (and much younger) crowd. I'm sitting on the side - if I considered what I looked from the outside I might be concerned about my wallflower appearance. But I'm enjoying people watching.

The guy at the tshirt/cd merchant table is cute and it looks like he's checking me out but I'm too far away to tell. The din of voices is getting louder and the room is filling up. It's the kind of concert I hate -- where you have to stand up the whole three hours -- through both sets. Thankfully this small hall has a weird trait of one long wooden bench around the perimeter of the room. And I'm sitting on it.

It may cut down on my viewing pleasure and I won't be able to reach out and touch Joshua Radin or Missy Higgins -- but I can stand the disappointment. I'm not a groupie, I just enjoy local live music.

Several people sit next to me but then decide, for whatever reason, to get up and leave. I wonder what, if anything, that says about me. Perhaps they're groupies.

I feel, decidedly, one of the oldest people in the room. Did I mention the noise level is getting louder? And that this concert will end well past my bedtime? And that I suffered a whole night of insomnia last night to boot?

I felt inexplicitly like weeping during Joshua's performance. His soulful voice and yearning touched me and woke a passion in me. Awaken.

My mama talons flared and I wanted to kill the people talking during his performance. To sit naked to the bone in front of 50, 200 or 5000 people and bleed with your words -- open and vulnerable -- deserves more respect than idle conversations barely lower than a whisper or cell phones open to texting.

The courage to do what any musician does is unmistakable and heart-wrenching and I so want to have just a smidgeon of that for my very own.

I love a man and his acoustic guitar. I melt.

Listening to Missy Higgins, I am shamed. There is no way I can ever create something as splitting-open as she can. Her voice is dynamic and alive and climbs the known spectrums. Her sound is unique and her voice breathy and exotic.

How can my voice compare? Will I ever write anything that will carry a person's soul on currents of awareness and on quests for betterment? For Missy's songs do ...

But by the third song in her set, I am carried on those same currents I lamented I would never carry anyone on. The song is uplifting of spirit and my eyes close and I'm transported by the music of her muse.

I am in awe and admiration by Missy's multiple talents. She sings, plays piano and guitar, and even owns an awesome accent that pulls me to red rocks and Aborigines. She's kind-of a cross between Cranberries and Colbie Calliet, but infinitely cooler. Fathoms.

I'm always in awe when an artist takes raw materials, imaginings, notes, sounds, clay, paint -- and turns it into something living and breathing, soulful and creative. Like, how does she hear the notes in her head and make them come through her fingers -- into the wholeness of a song? How is that even possible? Yet tonight I am watching that happen.

This music is so cool it makes me believe that anything is possible. What I love about good live music is the passion and playfulness and the down-to-earth-ness. Musicians are so real. And rare, I believe. I know that's weird to say when there are so many of them around, but when I think of the intensity that goes into writing (my own passion), and then the double and triple magic of adding the mastery of an instrument -- or three -- and then the courage to perform it, I find it truly chilling. It gives me hope in humankind and makes me want to continue incarnating into this lowly human form over and over again.

Yes, we are lowly humans, unless we can surround ourselves with one of those rare musicians that can fly.

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