Before I write a thoughtful post on my arts blog and give compelling reviews and You Tube clips of some showcases I've seen in the past several days, I decided to come here first and unload the emotion.
I can get caught up in a moment like anyone, particularly a musical one. Examples include when I saw Richard Ashcroft perform at the TLA in 2001...when I saw him again with Coldplay in 2006...when I saw Amos Lee at the Tin Angel...when I saw Crowded House at the Mann Center this past August.
But last night I sat in the room and watched several performances that were truly emotional and adventurous experiences. The Hot Club took us to 1930s France and back with their gypsy jazz music and sensational French singer. The Hot 8 Brass Band had the house clapping and rocking until 11:30 p.m. with their Second Line sound and musical journey to Marti Gras in NOLA. Danu - hands down the most intense performance of the evening - hails from Ireland and put us in a trance with their celtic fiddling. All I could think was - Imagine seeing them in Ireland...at a pub...with a Guinness. I felt like I was there. I wanted to bottle the energy.
One the one hand, little waves of nostalgia washed over me several times because I used to work for this agency and I desperately wanted to get up and talk to presenters and convey the level of excitement I felt. I also happened to look around and take in the incredible number of people in the room and the overall energy and couldn't place my finger on how I felt until much later in the evening. Then I remembered. I was part of something bigger. I experienced that there before, in 2004, when I played a big part in producing the showcase and for the first time in my young career felt extremely proud of where I worked, the people I worked for/with, the incredible talented artists I represented and the work I had done. Wrap all that up and it's an intense moment.
The intensity and energy swirled around inside me the other night. I was proud too - that I had come full circle to be there again. Amidst the little waves of nostalgia there was also confidence that someday I might pull off something this magnificent. The key to a successful showcase - and perhaps one's successful business - is the ability to build excitement and create connections and emotional experiences for people.
Here is video of Danu. Just know this does not capture the intensity I described above. Imagine this times 100. I hope you are as entranced as me.