Since the imposter huckleberry milkshakes were such a disappointment, I wanted to introduce Rudy to the wondrous world of snow cones!! Especially on this 95° day… They did NOT disappoint! Rudy got orange and root beer flavor (🤢), I got fruit punch and piña colada, and Jared got peach! They were perfect. Rudy particularly enjoyed the temperature color-changing spoon. 😂 Of course he saved it because, “Mom! You KNOW I collect things!”
Our night at Blacksmith Brewery.
Since we’ve been playing this bar for four years, we were excited to return and see our friends and fans that we’ve accumulated over that time. It was a pretty lively crowd, with the majority of serious listeners occupying the outer ring of tables and stools. The center table, with seating for probably twenty people or so, was taken up by people who were happy to be there, but also really into visiting with each other. This provided us with a bit of a challenge.
We have a credo we follow at our shows that is a little tough to live by, but it helps us make sense of the situations we face sometimes. It is this: When people are paying for tickets or a cover charge to see us, we can expect them to be a listening room, respecting the artists and the others who have also paid to get in. When people are at their neighborhood bar, especially after a day of hard work in the 90°+ heat, and they just want cold beer and to visit with their friends, we have to give that audience grace and not be upset that they talk through our whole show. For them, this is their way of getting a nice evening out. They get to be with friends, tell stories, laugh loud AND enjoy good music! Best of both worlds.
That all is fine, but it still proves difficult to do the kind of show we like to do in that environment. So we have to dig deep and stay humble, remembering that they don’t have to be there. And, they really ARE listening, just not “hyper”listening. 😂 We understand this, but some of our other fans who DO come to really listen, not only get frustrated that they can’t enjoy the show, but also feel bad for us and get frustrated on our behalf. We’ve had fans yell at other patrons for being too loud and such. It’s hard when we’re on stage and can truly feel the two very opposing types of “listeners”, knowing that everyone enjoys music in their own, personal way, and sometimes they don’t belong in the same place. Sometimes people love dancing and they’ll get right up in front to dance and completely block others from enjoying the show from the comfort of their own seat.
I struggle with watching all of this because I want everyone to be happy. I’m constantly reevaluating our show and wondering how we can bend it in different ways to appease an ever shifting dynamic in the crowd. It gets exhausting. Then I self analyze and criticize and begin to feel bad or insecure about what we’re doing. “Should we keep the songs loud and energetic to appease the partiers?” “Should we play heartfelt songs and try to appeal to their emotions?” “Should we quit telling stories?” “Do they care?” “Are they even listening?” “Why are those people leaving?” “Are we not entertaining ENOUGH?” “Do they think we’re too dorky with all our talk of LOVE?” And on and on and on…
Then, I let go. I think about the advice my dad once gave me. He said, “Baby, you can’t please everyone. Just do YOUR show the way YOU want and that is all that matters. If you constantly worry about what everyone is thinking, and how to make each person happy, you’ll find yourself in a battle you’ll never win. Just be you.”
So, I look to my side and see my amazing husband who I GET to make music with. I look in the audience, and if there’s ANYONE out there, ANYONE talking, listening, drinking, crying, whatever…ANYONE AT ALL who is there to be with us and enjoy our music in their own way, I remind myself to be grateful and just “do our show”. Have I mastered the “zen-abundantly-thankful-for-everything-never-complain-about-anything-be-glad-anyone-cares-at-all-approach-to- life” way of thinking? No. But I can keep trying. And shows like this one help to remind me that I still have work to do.
Thank you again everyone for listening…in whatever way makes you happy. 💖