Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Soothing the Soul

I got lots and lots of bad news today. On a normal day, it would send me crashing to the floor in despair. But today, I'm riding on this:

(video courtesy Megan Hart)

So it only stings a little.

Megan wrote eloquently and beautifully about our trip, so I hesitate to write my own thoughts here. But I'm gonna try, with the caveat that she's just better than me. :)

I've said here many times that I'm a music moron. I've never been big into music, rarely ventured in my "younger" years beyond Top 40, and only attended three concerts in my entire life (Billy Joel in 1989 because a friend had tickets, Nickelback for Number One's birthday one year, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra 7 times, but it was essentially the same thing all 7, so it only counts as one :) ). I've never reacted to a musician the way I've reacted to Jason Manns.

Cynics might say it's because of his tenuous connection to Supernatural. It's true that's how he came to my attention, and I did first meet him at a Salute to Supernatural convention. But there are other musicians (like Steve Carlson) associated with the show about which I'm so obsessive passionate, and they haven't had the same effect. Carlson is fine, I have a couple of his songs, but that's it.

Jason Manns is totally different. The opening notes of his guitar set up my anticipation. His voice melts my bones, until he growls, and then it's shiver time. Motorcycles and honeyed clouds. It's like aural serotonin. Then there's what he sings about. I love his covers, because he takes familiar songs and makes them his own (I know, nothing unique about that, it's just that it's HIS voice). But I love his original stuff even more. "Journey" describes how I feel as a writer. "Perfect Spot" is how I try to see my life as a whole. And I'm a romance writer, so how can I not thrill to "Without You"?

A lot of things we love can diminish under exposure or examination, but not this. First, I share this love with friends, and that always boosts it exponentially:

Picture stolen from Megan Hart because it's the best I've looked in years! LOL

Being with them made the trip, and the dinner, and being so close to the stage you can touch it (eat our foresight, bitches! :)) so much fun by itself, I never wanted it to end. Even without the music.

Meeting Jason, though, is the ultimate enhancement to his music. Some musicians are jerks, or divas, or full of themselves, or so shy/introverted they seem like one or all of the above. Jason's sincere, friendly, engaging, sweet to people who act like idiots (no, I don't mean us, though some other people might, it's all a matter of perspective! LOL), and patient when you're trying to take a picture and Smith closes her eyes three times in a row.

This was the third performance I got to see. The first was great, but in a well-lit room packed with people, which makes it harder to sink into the music. The second was slightly disappointing, because his awesomeness was obscured by (incredibly rude) loud talkers in the room, and the lateness/time hogginess of the performers before him (which I actually didn't mind until I discovered it meant Jason's set was limited to, like, four songs), and the poor quality of the sound system.

The Tin Angel was none of those things! Excellent venue, if you ever get an opportunity to see someone perform there, take it. And eat at Serrano first, so you can get a reserved table up front. And call for reservations as SOON as you know you want to go, and you'll be RIGHT in front.

Anyway, the sound was professional and clear, the crowd was all there specifically for Jason so any rudeness was only mildly annoying instead of infuriating, and he had the night to himself so we got two sets of I-lost-track-of-how-many songs. The only way it could have been more perfect was if he had his new CD ready. I wait with bated breath.

So thank you, Megan, Vicki, and Misty, for another wonderful night, and heartfelt thanks, Jason, for helping me forget that I'm supposed to be in a sucky mood today. :)


Victoria said...

Thank YOU for getting me hooked on Jason's music! It was a fun night! Oh and do you have the pictures of us in our chicken hats? LOL

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

My pleasure!

And not yet. :( LOL

MJFredrick said...

HUGS on the bad news!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, Mary! I need them bigtime. :(

Cindy Procter-King said...

So sorry about the bad news. Glad you had a good time, though.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, Cindy!