Going to shows used to be a monthly if not weekly ritual. I spent my entire 20’s and early 30’s as a music publicist, band manager, music supervisor and record label owner. Music was my backbone and seeing live shows was just as thrilling as the sex, drugs and irresponsible behavior that went with it. But then something happened. I moved 3,000 miles from my comfort zone and decided to try on a new life. I have zero regrets and often reflect about the journey I was on. I chose music and it most certainly chose me back. It afforded me a life filled with remarkable people, places and moments. I got to travel the world, fall in love, fail and fail often, get back up and try again. Through it all, there was incredible songs that were soundtracks to this remarkable adventure. But then I grew up and I suppose I grew tired. I fucked up a lot of friendships and distanced myself from my past. I felt rejuvenated in a new city with new opportunities. I surrounded myself with family I hadn’t been close to in over 12 years. This new life brought new adventures and I feel like I really grew into my own. It’s rare I go see a band play anymore but this year there were two shows that got me out and reminded me how much I love that feeling. The one where you’re standing arm to arm with a few hundred people, all gazing and bopping heads, smiling as the song moves you to forget anything and everything other than that moment. It’s a beautiful moment and I feel grateful for noticing it.
The first show was The Rentals. Damn they’re old now (like me) but fuck they totally rocked. The place was packed and from the opening song to the last encore, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. My buddy Randy dragged me out and I couldn’t have been happier. There was so much energy buzzing around I left the show wanting to hi-five everyone on my subway ride home.
The second show wasn’t technically a show but rather a monthly meetup I help organize for people in the NYC digital scene. The topic was how social media has changed the music industry landscape. I asked Asher Lock, singer/songwriter of local NYC band, Ravens & Chimes to participate. (Full disclosure: Ravens & Chimes was signed to my record label, Better Looking Records). Once the panel discussion was over, Asher performed a few acoustic songs to a crowd of roughly 50 Twitter pros. Asher absolutely killed. It was intimate, raw and moving people to Instagram when five minutes earlier they had no idea what was about to hit them. Here’s a guy that’s never seen any commercial success yet continues to work multiple jobs to support his true love. It was pure, honest and totally brought me back the early years of Holiday Matinee. Always hustling. Always an adventure and finding ways to do what you love. Fuck yeah. I might be old and not get out as much as I used to but damn those were great moments and I’m thankful I still get to experience that.