Saturday, November 3, 2012

Reflections at the Fifty-Yard Line

Alright, well.

Here we are: back in the States, a little bit jet-lagged, a little bit rested, and one day from embarking on the American/Canadian leg of our Fall 2012 tour.

Reflecting on the last month and everything that came along with it is causing me to feel a bit daunted at the prospect of summing it up here in a blog. But, here goes anyway.

As anyone who's paid attention to this blog is probably aware, our European tour was a bit of a comedy of dichotomy. A lot of things went wrong. A lot of things. But I'd be less than honest if I told you that all the things that were, shall we say... less than optimal... ended up being bad in the end. I, for one, have learned quite a lot because of it all. I saw my band function in nightmarish touring conditions with what could only be described as remarkable aplomb & unity. Nobody freaked out and lost their mind in some kind of overly dramatic rock star tantrum (even though there may have been a few circumstances that might have almost justified such a reaction). The band went through everything together, as a unit, and got through it all without alienating anyone or fracturing any relationships. Believe me when I say that this is quite a rarity in the world of touring musicians.

And, as I mentioned before, I feel like I've grown personally due to the obstacles. I learned a lot about myself and got to do some intense personal inventory. It's sort of like working out: the resistance and the discomfort is what causes the growth. No two ways about it.But, aside from all the negative stuff that tries to stand out and dominate my memories of the European tour, the musical ventures can only be classified a success. As I mentioned before, this is the very first tour where I've felt really good listening to the playback from the performances. I feel like the band has taken several huge steps forward both in our musicality on stage and our overall performance quality. With the exception of nights where we were sick and tired from 2 hours of sleep in the preceding two days or one in particular where technical problems abounded, the shows were solid. I think I can speak for the band when I say that we've had a killer time playing for everyone on this tour.

But there have been two realizations that have struck close to home on this tour. The first being that the privilege of creating emotional experiences and memories for people is indeed an invaluable one. Even from way at the back of the stage behind big cymbals, with microphones everywhere and lights shining in my face the entire time, getting to see people's faces light up during our show is a gift to my soul. There is nothing like getting to hear a crowd of people sing your songs back to you, seeing them dance to your drum grooves, or hearing them cheer when you tell them 'Thank you.' Getting to see the same expressions on other people's faces that I know I had when I saw my favorite bands for the first time is an experience that I in no way deserve, and I will treasure it forever.

And secondly, and most important, is the intangible good being shared between people because of our band being on tour. Now, don't misunderstand, we can in no way take credit for this kind of thing. It is beyond us, in the hands of the Almighty who does what He wants regardless of who the vessel happens to be. It is Him, not us. I cannot emphasize that enough. But a couple of days ago I received an e-mail from a friend of those of us in the band whom we've had the pleasure of getting to know through being on tour. She thanked us for coming out to Europe again and then proceeded to tell us that before she met us all the first time (back during our first European tour in February & March), she was adrift in a world of clinical depression, unemployment, and the loss of an important relationship in her life. She was in that bleak and dreary corner we all finds ourselves in at some point in life, not knowing which way is up or how to make sense of anything at all. And then, this...

'Because of you guys I have met some of the nicest, most caring and loving people and for that I am very thankful. Everything is much better now and I can finally see that light at the end of the tunnel. I have S and T. Those two are like sisters to me and I know I can always count on them, like they can count on me.'
...thank you.
This, my friends, is something bigger than music. It means more than any amount of critical or commercial success that could ever come our way because of the songs we put out or the tours we go on. It is not really due to us that this kind of thing happens; we just get a front row seat to watch it happen. God at work in the lives of the people He made is the essence of what we sing about in The Rescue. It's at the heart of what we do and it makes all that we go through, positive or negative, worth it. All the struggle to get here isn't validated by money or success or fame. That stuff fades away, anyway. It doesn't last. But to play even the smallest role in truly benefiting someone else's life - that's the juice. That's something special. That's what makes this whole thing truly worthwhile.

So, to all of you out there who have enjoyed what we do and sought to support us in it, whether it be by purchasing a song, an album, or a concert ticket, thank you. Thanks for enduring us when we've been up all night just trying to get our broken-down van to your town so we can play our show half-conscious from exhaustion. Thanks for learning the lyrics to our songs so you can sing them back to us louder than the launching of a space shuttle. Thanks for sharing our little independent band with your friends and dragging some people along with you to the shows so they can see for themselves that maybe we're not all that bad. (Maybe).

The support of the world means the world to us.

Next stop: Salt Lake City.


1 comment:

  1. Im speachless Joe', everything has been said, nothing to add nothing to remove. Two words which can describe perfectly about this tour from the fans to you all : proud & pride.

    Fanny P
    Lots of love from France


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