Last night we played our asses off for a bar full of 40 empty chairs, 6 people and a dance floor. Literally, just the floor. We’ve been rehearsing in our drummers basement at odd hours for months, and worked up about 4 hours of originals and covers. It is spring in Colorado, which means that sometimes it still snows, and as it was the first snowy day in weeks, luck was not on our side.
The gig started out as our 4 piece band performing for the 2 bartenders, who were very nice and clapped after each song. Then a few of our fans braved the weather and walked in, which we were very grateful for, followed by a few other randoms, in and out throughout the evening. It was a 4 hour gig and our band was tired. Most of the guys had to work at 7am and had quite a drive ahead. But the audience was very appreciative and the staff was good to us. The night was up and down. We all had moments of mistakes, and all had moments of wowza. (Sorry for that, I really couldn’t think of a better word here.) We were having fun, but playing your heart out to a nearly empty room is an unsettling feeling. Not necessarily in a bad way, just in an unsure way. I didn’t know what to think, even though I’ve been in this position many times before. The same question echoed through my mind. Was this worth it?
As we were wrapping up our cables, I approached the bar to thank a few patrons, and everything changed. One man looked at me with tears rolling down his cheeks, and expressed that he had a really hard day. He explained to me that our music made everything better and thanked me for it. He had no idea how much he was giving me in return. I realized then the answer to my own question. We were doing this for each other. What I mean is, I gave him my art and he gave me his appreciation. An equal exchange. One person was just enough to keep me going that night…no, to keep each other going. And yes, that makes it all worth it.
-Ashley E. Norton