DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

September 26, 2008

                                                           

There’s Always Magic in the Air

I was seated in the concert hall and there on stage were two musicians. The singer/guitar player had a deep resonant voice and the drummer had…well, he had his drums. After a few songs, I was not so sure about whether I could relate to the singer and his songs, but then I started to notice something else.

The songs were rather complex and the guitar playing was too, but I started to notice the drummer and how he related musically to the lead singer. Frankly, I did not notice any signals between the two as the melody and rhythm rose and fell and yet the drummer and singer were at one with the song. I rather enjoyed the rest of the set even if the songs did not captivate me; the connection between the two musicians was worth it.

Next came two more musicians for their own brief set of songs. A piano player and singer/guitarist. And, while I enjoyed these songs much more, I sat there again analyzing the connection between two musicians on stage. How did the pianist know when his solo would come and when the guitarist would abruptly shift keys and maybe even tempo? They were not even looking at one another. Their music was their language and they knew exactly what the other was “thinking” and where the music was leading them.

Finally, the star of the show came out on stage. The crowd knew him already, at least we all felt like we did because we had seen him in his recent movie. In the movie, this musician is a struggling/starving musician type and he discovers love and sings some great songs and in the end goes to find his true love. It’s a sweet movie and the music is so great that it was given the Academy Award for Best Song at the most recent Oscar Ceremonies.

Everyone at the Palace Theatre had seen him in the movie; had the CD with the songs on it (I do!) and now we were at the theatre to see him in person and hear his band which has been together for about 15 years. So, we already loved this guy but then he did something to make us love him even more. For his first song he stepped in front of the microphones. He stepped in front of the klieg lights which bathe a performer in cosmic light. He stepped to the edge of the stage over the cables…and he sang his first song with acoustic guitar and no microphone. His clear, crisp voice filled the hall. We were mesmerized by his “coming out to us.” We all knew the song from the movie.

 

The result was that he came to us as a sort of “man of the people.” He broke the wall between performer and audience. He came almost into the crowd. Nothing came between him and us… no stage lights, microphones or stage. He appeared among us and shared his beloved song and we loved him right back.

At that point, if he had told us all to follow him out the front door into the nearby Scioto River, we would have done so. And I don’t think anyone was “on” anything, if you catch my drift. What we saw was a master performer who could connect with the people, something that any and all politicians are trying to do. They always take off their suit coats and roll up their sleeves, loosen their ties and try to appear as a man or woman of the people. Our musical performer WAS a man of the people.

As the concert moved on, we realized we were in the presence of an entire group of skilled musicians who enjoyed their craft as much as we enjoyed sitting there listening to them. They didn’t have to tell us they were gifted. They didn’t have to tell us they had worked hard to get where they did. They didn’t have to tell us they were good or sell us on their gifts. They went about their craft and in the process made us believe in them as artists and individuals.

It was a diverse crowd. A hip crowd. We all like to be among the diverse and hip.

I ran into two couples from church at the concert and they greeted me warmly. I’m not certain that they expected to see me there and it probably made them think twice about whether they could ever again consider themselves “with-it” since they were attending the same concerts as their gray haired minister.

I’m sorry about that. But, being at the concert with these younger people, really did wonders for my own personal “hipness-quotient.”

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing