Some of my most cherished memories stem from live music. Here are just a few examples.
1. Yonder Mountain String Band: I was barbacking. Rough night. I was ready to walk out.
But then I opened the door backstage to grab a few empty glasses. It was dark, and Yonder was gathered in a tight circle warming up while a crowd of 1,000 fans chanted “Yon-Der! Yon-Der! Yon-Der!” I stopped dead in my tracks. Electric.
2. Robert Randolph & the Family Band: I was working stage crew. The last piece of equipment I set up was Robert’s pedal steel. Standing alone on stage next to the pedal steel glimmering in the spot lights, I experienced an intense “calm before the storm” moment.
Later, the Family Band absolutely killed it. I’ve never seen a room buzz like that.
3. moe.: I was on stage while moe. was tearing it up. I gazed out to a rolling sea of 10,000 people. I then spilled a beer all over their equipment. Classic party foul. The fear of being beaten by a million hippies was real.
4. In another “calm before the storm” moment, my sister and I shared a bottle of wine on the Main Stage the night before 12,000 people poured into the festival. We buried the bottle under the stage for good luck. I’ll never forget it.
5. Particle: As a volunteer coordinator, I scored a golf cart. Amidst all the craziness, Particle needed a ride. Having a moment of free time, I offered them a lift. They were giddy on the ride over, perhaps even a tad nervous. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot a a Frisbee headed straight for the drummer’s head. I stood up while driving and snatched the Frisbee right before it busted his nose. High fives and pats on the back all around.
6. Sevendust: I was standing outside the dressing room door. Sevendust just finished their set and came rushing out of the backstage area, high on their performance. Fans were screaming for an encore. The energy coming off those guys was amazing.
7. The Jazz Mandolin Project: We were stuck in a basement with Jazz Mandolin while a tornado brewed overhead. Jon Fishman was loving the attention from the ladies. Interesting times.
8. Galactic: I was setting up bar while Galactic’s Ben Ellman was walking around the club doing a sound check on his horn. This guy brings the funk, even during sound check.