Monday, May 19, 2008
I Heart Street Fairs Long Time. Issue #50
Yep, its true. On Sunday, the KS Band and I had the opportunity to play the University District Street Fair in Seattle on one of the hottest weekends we've had around here in a long time. Luckily, the stage was shaded but for someone like me who thinks 75 degrees is perfect I'd say that an unusual mid-80's weekend was cooking.
I always like playing Fairs if only because of the huge melting pot of different peoples they bring out (see above). Rarely do I have the opportunity (other than when I'm touring) to play to a crowd in Seattle where the number of people who don't know me vastly out number the people who do. It's a chance and challenge to connect with the mom who doesn't have the time to go out to shows and who brought her kids out for a day, and to connect with the couple who doesn't normally listen to rock music but found themselves a place to eat and listen for a bit. This is my idea of fun.
In my experience I have found that many artists/performers feel like they have to succumb or align themselves certain niche or scene to make success happen in their hometown. I've felt it myself more than a few times over the years, and seen it happen to many others. Whether it be the uniform of think black glasses and skinny jeans, an acting like not caring attitude, trying to hide a nice voice for fear it might ostracize you from you peers, or being told there are styles of music you shouldn't play; there are continuous pressures that one can come across in any scene driven city.
I think what I'm trying to say is that as I get older (and I'm sure this happens to all of us) I find I care less and less about about those things. I find I'm more and more placing greater weight in stronger personal connections with my audiences as we all move toward a though exciting but more impersonal world. And even though I talk about it in the lyrics to my songs a lot, I don't always follow my own voice in the application.
Yesterday's concert was refreshing for me, and if my "scene" ever turns out to be people who just want to listen, eat Strawberry Shortcake in the sun, and enjoy themselves well then that would be just fine by me.
Keep it real,