If only it were a week and three days ago...

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 concert experience]

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.

Thu 4/29/2010 10:36 PM