I enjoy live music. A lot. I always have. There are quite a few artists that I have been *excited*…giddy even…to see live. But. I rarely get “star struck”. I spent way too many
hours days in my past life behind stages and around tour buses for that. It’s not a glamorous job. Cool, yes. But not glamorous and so it’s hard to view these people – as talented as they might be – as anything more than a person who leads a drastically different life than I do*.
That being said, there are moments in life are defined by music; moments that change the course of our personal history with a song. And when our life becomes entangled with those notes, the musicians become more than strangers on the radio.
My friend Katie had such a moment just over a year ago. It is her story, personal and compelling. But that moment changed her path and led her into our life. And last night, she allowed me to participate in another phase of that storyline.
Last night she had the opportunity at Winter Jam 2011 to meet those musicians who impacted her and she asked me to go with her. I’ll admit, I had to go the band’s website before leaving the office. I knew- & really like – a lot of their songs but knew absolutely nothing about the guys behind the music. I didn’t even know what they looked like!! (We weren’t sure I’d be able to get away from the office in time to join her. As a result all the pictures I took were with my cell phone. I have NEVER regretted taking a camera with me, even if it doesn’t get used. I have often regretted NOT having one. This is one of those times. Why my brain took a leave of absence & I left my point & shoot locked in my desk, I’ll never know.)
I am glad I was blessed enough to join them though. And I don’t use the word “blessed” lightly. I had no idea what to expect and went primarily as Katie’s friend. However, these young men blew me away, not only with their talent, but also with their personalities and hearts. They understand that they’ve been gifted for a purpose; that God has placed them on this path and given them this responsibility. They have shouldered this privilege of touching thousands of people, of speaking directly into lives and hearts, of carrying God’s message to the masses. They are talented, yes, amazingly so. But they are also humble and genuine.The sparkle in their eyes, their grins, their honest interactions with each other and us, the obvious love for their families in attendance – those are the details that turned this from a mere experience to a blessing.
The best part though? It wasn’t hearing songs from the new (unreleased) album. (Although I’m actually EXCITED for the album now).
It wasn’t the smooth, rich acoustic tones. (Although Jon ‘s vocals are overwhelmingly better unprocessed and in person. He now ranks as one of my favorite vocalists just because it’s so…clean and clear) (Think he’d be offended if I referred to his voice as “dulcet”?) (Too bad)
It wasn’t even the opportunity to meet and talk with Jeff’s mom. (Although that was one of my definite highlights. She’s a pretty awesome woman).
No – the best part was the expression of pure happiness on my friend’s face the. whole. time. It was getting to watch/hear Kutless figure out how to do “her” song acoustically, for the first time, on the fly, especially for her. It was getting to witness one of her dreams coming true.
(A write up of the full Winter Jam experience is in the works. But I knew this one hour out of the night needed a post of it’s own. And really – it could’ve been much longer.)
*I do have a habit of developing “crushes” on especially talented musicians – male & female – but have finally realized I really crush on their musical abilities, not them personally.