Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Merch Table and the Advent of the Lobby Guitarist: College Series

Last night, at freshman orientation (or Ucamp, as I've been calling it. Due to the nature of it's resemblance to summer camp rather than college life) Matt Wertz came and played a concert.
He was quite good. I was thoroughly impressed- and I'm fairly certain I speak for the student body when I say that we didn't expect it to be quite that spectacular.
After the show, there were HUGE lines to meet him. Everyone wanted to talk to him and shake his hand. Now, I have to admit in advance, I have this weird aversion to meet and greets and to merch tables. I'm also aware that I'm the only person in the world who wouldn't particularly have any desire to meet rockstars at shows. Call me crazy, I'll try to explain it.
After you've performed a good bit, and you understand the dynamics of what makes a great live show, you understand something:
What you have to say has no reflection on who's listening.
No, really. It doesn't. This i learned when I met my hero, Jon Foreman. An avid fan since the 5th grade, It had been my dream to meet him. And he was so nice and amazing and _add compliment here_ everything he should've been. But I walked away and I realized something. He would be doing that even if I'd never once listened to the music. He would be writing words that have made me cry and have made me change my mind. He would be going to Africa. His life, his words, he plays them for an audience but they're not really FOR us. They're sung because they need to be sung. Regardless.
And on a deeper level. When I sing, I sing for an audience, yes. But I sing because it frees me. Because it allows me to go places that words can't take me. Songs have shook the nations. Songs get at us without our permission.
And what is, IS. Beautiful music will not change when i meet the musician.
I also learned
Sometime's the beautiful music has nothing to do with the person, it just has to do with their God given talent
This is the reason boys date stupid pretty girls, and the reason abusive sadistic rockstars will always have people begging for them. We attribute raw talent or beauty to a person, when, to a certain degree, they were just made that way. A dangerous game, indeed. Sometimes we can be more profound through lyrics than we could ever be in life. I. E. just because someone can write a love song does not mean they know anything about love.

That being said, There is absolutely nothing wrong with meeting someone at a concert. I just wonder the reasoning behind it. There have been some rockstars that i've wanted to meet. I told Don Miller 'thank you' after he spoke and it felt really good. What are your thoughts on this? Do you need to meet rockstars after shows? Rockstars out there- what's it like on your end?

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