Performing shows over the last two years has been an interesting conundrum on my little monkey brain. I started this project with a Frankenstein band and it has just kept walking (limping, with upper-limbs outstretched) ever since.
At first it was simply the act of getting on stage, leading a band, and singing songs that I wrote to anyone that would show up. When people started engaging with the content, I started deeply trying to connect with them on that level: tell stories, be raw, vulnerable, and emotional. That was a lot of fun, but also a lot for me to take on.
A little after a year, I started thinking that there had to be more to shows--something bigger than just playing for people in exchange for money and feels. So, after our last local "club" date in late April, 2017, I decided that if I was going to do a show then it was going to be to give back something to the community. We ended up teaming with Wounded Warriors of MT and donating most of our CD sales and taking donations at our two big out door shows this summer at the St. Johns Summer Concert Series and Josephine Crossing. We also participated in a "phase two fundraiser" for the Art House Cinema and Pub donating ticket sales from the sold out show there.
That was great, but it still left me thinking, "what am I really trying to do here? what is the real goal?" It felt great to help, but it still felt like there was too much going on and I was missing a mark.
At my most recent show, I stripped the band back down to the three original members and we did a "pop-up" show at the lovely Montana Gallery, hosted by owner and friend, Tyler Murphy, last month. I could feel a palpable energy in the room--not just emotion and energy, but almost a challenge, "are you going to give us something?--we're here for it". The night turned out to invigorate and shed some light on what I want to do with my music.
It made me realize that the real objective is to take people somewhere--to unfold an experience and share it together. I am excited to see what kind of a thing happens at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. this Saturday.