Tonight my band “In Stereo” is playing at Club 90 in Salt Lake City. I’m really looking forward to playing while at the same time dreading all the work that comes with playing a show. I often ask myself why I keep playing music. There are so many things that are a pain in the butt about playing yet at the same time there is such a high that comes with pleasing a live audience.
I’ve written posts on Live Musician Central about a lot of the crazy stuff you have to deal with at a gig. You can check them out in the Stagecraft section. I’m dealing with hearing problems that have developed from years of playing in a loud environment. Even with all that, when you connect with an audience there’s just nothing like it. If you get that crowd up against the stage and moving to every beat of the music that you’re playing and everyone in the room gets in the same headspace it’s just incredible. So there’s that aspect as to why I continue to play live shows. There’s also those landmark gigs like when we played the 2002 Winter Olympics and got to open for Sheryl Crow and Barenaked Ladies on consecutive nights. Those gigs really keep you going.
The main reason I keep playing music and hopefully will as long as I am able is the fact that music is a part of who I am. It’s a part of my soul, my very being and without it I would feel incomplete. If I didn’t make the effort to play music with my bands and friends I feel like I would be untrue to myself. I’d feel like I was cheating myself out of a part of life that makes living worth it. I guess one mark of a true musician is that you connect with it on an almost spiritual level.
I do get tired of it from time to time and I take a break. But I think the longest I’ve gone without playing an instrument is a week. The longest I’ve gone without being in some sort of band is a year and I filled that time with songwriting and recording. I guess the bottom line as to why I keep playing music is that overall, it makes me happy and if you can be happy doing something, then you should keep doing it.
Watch for the Club 90 gig report on Monday, hopefully it will be a great show. -Matt-