And I could relive that day any time I need to put a smile
on my face. I swear that a smile was all I wore for the longest time. As
Tuesday night ended, the smile overlapped onto Wednesday and is still wearing
off as I write my prolonged and overdue review.
I traveled to New York City overnight last Tuesday (4/20/10) to see an artist
that I never thought I could witness play live--at least never as soon as that.
You see, it was only a year ago to the month that I was given Sean Hayes' name,
not knowing what was in store for me, only to uncover his voice that I can only
define as sensual and different. The rasp and the soothing tones enveloped me
entirely as I explored each and every album he had produced. To put it simply,
it was magical.
Well, it is safe to say that magic lasted well throughout the year; it is hard
to think of a day when I didn't listen to his music... and that is no
exaggeration. I took pride in having his name as one of my most coveted
artists, and I loved sharing it. Except, I only liked sharing it with those who
I knew would appreciate his nothing-but-unique sound. I wanted others to know
how this folksy feel could completely overtake you as you try to go about your
daily activities. A lot can be said about what lays in store between my life,
and the music of Sean Hayes; many stories lay untold. It was not until this
past winter when he spilled the news of his new album Run Wolves Run, along with the EP Honey Bees Falling. I was more than ecstatic. This meant so much
more to me than just another release from some artist.
[WARNING: if you
do not want to know any more about the background before the show, skip to the
second to last paragraph and pick up there to get more of my concert/after
As I witnessed the news of his new album, you better believe
I wasn’t missing the opportunity to pre-order it. After little complication, I
could sigh a breath of relief as I saw the digital receipt in my inbox. Good
stuff. This new album meant new melodies, new rhythms, and new feeling for me
to experience, better yet, for me to learn. I love learning his songs. And I
love meeting people who know his songs. It's like a secret waiting to be shared
by these distinct Sean Hayes fans.
I waited a couple of months before the awaited package came
in the mail. I still have the packaging it came in. Already knowing a couple of
tracks made it easy to start singing along. I’d been clicking repeat on Sean’s
video “When We Fall In” weeks prior to me even having the album, it’s simple to
now hum on command.
The best part about my trip to New York last week, was the
unexpected splendor held within my plans. I was ready to even go solo, when one
of my friends suggested she’d join me. Lucky for me she said that, because I
had no idea how I was going to spend the night in New York City alone without a
place to go, so in a sense she really was the saving grace to my plans. From
her suggestion, everything fell into place. My bus tickets came to $13 round
trip; the weather matched the music as I listened straight up until the
concert- melancholy sometimes with a hint of a sorrow; life was living up to
it’s standards. The added adrenaline was the perfect touch as an effect of the
last minute plans. It’s one thing to want to do something, it’s another thing
to actually follow through with it. This fact ties in to my two biggest pet
peeves: flakes, and unpunctual people. I hate when people cancel plans (last
minute), don’t make them in the first place if you know you can’t make it or
aren’t one hundred percent sure you want to pursue, and just be on time. For
these plans to have worked, I proved to myself how I try and not be like my two
pet peeves. Hannah and I ended up being three hours early in Soho, and had no
trouble filling our time.
The show came so soon, after only waiting two weeks, we were
already standing in front of Le Poisson
Rouge. The bouncer knew our faces enough after waiting so long that he
virtually made us v.i.p.; my vision of the show couldn’t have been any more
perfect. I tried to mentally prepare my friend for the musical fusion she was
about to endure, but at that point she’d heard me run off on so many tangents
about Sean’s music that she had to hear it for herself. It’s so hard for me to
still find the exact words to describe every feeling I had during the set. I
couldn’t have asked for a better set, and I swear the encore was meant to be
(no matter how much he already planned on playing it). I will write a more
detailed description of the actual show portion sometime soon, there is too
much to incorporate for this entry.
I just want to quickly capture how I felt upon the end of
Sean’s New York performance. Basically, I have to see him again. Seeing him
once just proved to me how much I need his music live at least every once and a
while. I traveled three short hours to be there, that is nothing compared to
triple what I would go if he was within playing distance.
I’d left that show with the most natural high I’d ever felt.
I was in no way intoxicated, for I had ruined any chance for my friend and I to
be served alcohol before any was even available. Just being me, I never want to
change my state of mind with the help of any other substances. One time deals
come and go, over forever. There were so many “fans” leaving to hit up the bowl
and pipe, by all means I have nothing against it. But why should I alter my
state of consciousness when I’ve traveled a distance unimportant and am finally
present for the live music I listened to through headphones for the past year? It’s just my personal preference.
I wanted to listen to Sean Hayes’ music as purely as was
humanly possible, and that I did. His voice sounded as clean live as it was
through my aged boom box. I couldn’t contain myself, after only two songs, the
girl I was sitting next to (my music soul sister is we came to terms with) and
I jumped up and start grooving to the enticing sounds. It was during the
dancing that my natural high started to kick in.
Each new song brought waves of pure ecstasy running through
my veins and into my toes and I couldn’t help myself from belting out the
words. I decided I couldn’t even capture it on camera anymore; I could only
capture it in my mind anymore, and keep it there. I was able to keep the
feeling with me for quite some time following the encore. I knew the show would
have to end sometime, but I never thought my night could get any better. I was
wrong. Sean and his band were more than friendly and I ended up with two
signatures and a hug, each unexpected and greatly appreciated/cherished. I’ve
also got a souvenir of my own that Hannah encouraged me to snag, it is now one
of my most prized possessions.
If this next statement is too blunt for some of you, I don’t
even feel the need to apologize. If there is one question that was sparked in
my mind as a result of my trip to New York it’s this: why does one need any
sort of drug when the highest of all natural highs is obviously attainable? I
don’t care what anyone says, yes I’ve smoked and consumed illegal substances,
but I can’t recall any instance where I felt as happy as I did on the subway
leaving the concert. It was more than just the music, more than just the name,
more than the experience; it was an all-natural feeling. And it was damn good.
I once thought I felt a similar feeling while suspended above the greenest of
grass, underneath the freshest of all mountain air, beneath a blue sky puffed
with white clouds. The truth is, even then I had felt a pang of guilty
conscious. I had nothing to feel guilty about last Tuesday though. I find it
ironic, the date of the concert, 4/20. This day is cherished by so many people,
I find it so degrading and highly unnecessary for this day to consider this a “holiday.”
People don’t know holidays anymore.
The word trip has many meanings. I had an overly successful
trip to New York to see my favorite folk artist of the modern day. I can only
hope that someday more people will also want to define what this sort of natural
trip could feel like.