Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tribute to Jonny Lang

A lot of you out there have probably never even heard of Jonny Lang. Even if you're not into blues, I can tell you that you're missing out. I never new exactly how much until the other night, when I finally got to see him live after listening to him literally since I was 16. That man is probably the most dynamic single live performer I have ever seen.

And that's not even that this post is really about. I've never been one of those groupie chicks, and if you know me you'll know that my claustrophobia and agoraphobia makes me someone who doesn't usually care for concerts at all. So there are only a few artists that I would actually care to see live. I'm normally the type of person who kind of snickers at people who write letters to folks like Christina Aguilera or the Backstreet Boys saying how their music changed their life, blah blah blah. Not that anything is wrong with those artists (they are actually both still on my ipod), or those people (whatever keeps you going, right?), but I always thought it was kind of silly because that type of commercial music doesn't seem to have much of a deeper meaning to me.

I do however have one of those stories about Jonny Lang, and if I knew how to write to him, I probably would. I'll be the first to admit, I had a tough adolescence. While it didn't go nearly as bad as it does for some (i.e. sex, drugs, teen pregnancy, not finishing high school, running away, etc.), I was struggling with things like depression, anxiety and other disorders that we just didn't have names for yet. And now in hindsight, I can see that it even started much earlier than that. Music was always an escape for me, and when I was 15-17 I went through a time period where I was into classic Jazz and Blues, like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Billie Holliday, etc. I'll never know why my Mom picked this, but one day she brought me a modern blues CD and it was Wander This World by Jonny Lang. I had never head of him and I don't think she had either, but my mom had always had a talent of grabbing random movies that no one had heard of that usually ended up being good, so I gave it a shot.

This album became a constant companion and while I listened to other things, this is the one I always went back to when I was struggling with things. It also lifted me up that Jonny and I are nearly the same age, so being a 16 year old struggling through high school, it was awesome to have a role model that was my age.

Anyway, that's the back story of why I have always and will always love Jonny Lang's music. My husband, bless his poor little heavy metal lovin' heart, will tell you he's even been forced to listen to it some. So I was only a little embarrassed that I teared up a little when he first came out on stage. It was like the culmination of everything, good and bad, that I've been through in my life, and the music that has always been playing throughout it. And there it was. Live. As I like to say: words fail.

The thing about Jonny's performance is that the music never stops. One song just morphs into the next and it is never silent. If he needs a drink, or a guitar switch, the band keeps playing. Each band member gets a solo, and if they're not playing a particular song, he's just riffin' on the guitar or scattin' along with it. Nothing like it.

Another great thing about this show was the fact at there were men and women of all races, ages and backgrounds all coming together because of one amazing band! And I got to see a young boy just a little younger than I was when I first started listening to Jonny, and that makes me so happy. The cycle continues!

And while I'm not a fan of stand up shows because of the
claustrophobia, I'm glad this one was because we were SO close. Just two "rows" of crowd in front of us, so we literally got eye contact quite a lot. Yeah I know, stupid groupie thing to say. :D Anyway, I just felt the need to write about it because it meant so much to me. And even if you don't know Jonny Lang, but you like blues or just music in general, this is a show worth seeing!

No comments:

Post a Comment