I originally tried to write this as a column earlier in October, but then the BBM outage happened, and that was a lot more fun to write about. The idea came back to me yesterday though, when I was shooting photos at the Terri Clark concert.
If you’re looking for the short version, I tried to sum it up in 140 characters after Alberta Arts days at the beginning of October:
That weekend, I shot three different concerts — U22 musicians working in a songwriting circle, the actual U22 concert, and One More Girl. The thing that I thought was kind of cool was that in all the groups, there was always one musician who looked like they had so much music built up inside of them, and the concert was the only way they knew how to let it out, but they were doing so in an as controlled manner as possible.
Usually, for the bigger name concerts, it’s not the main musician who I notice with this trait (not to detract from the main musician, but it’s true). In the case of One More Girl, it was their guitar player. I’d actually seen him before, he’s a Canadian session artist that had played a Buddy Holly tribute concert in Bonnyville earlier in the summer. (Note: specifically to him, the other cool thing to watch is that he plays left-handed. If you know me, you might know why this is a big deal to me, and it’s not the obvious answer, that I’m left-handed.)
But all the musicians – the One More Girl guitar player, Jordan Grant-Kaminski from U22, and the drummer for Terri Clark’s band – they all have the same attitude about them.
Like any performer, it feels like they’re very aware of the audience, but at the same time, it doesn’t really matter. It seems like they would play like this whether there was an audience or not.
In the end though, it comes back to you can literally see how much music they have built up inside of them, and I think that is so so cool. The best example of the three is Grant-Kaminski — when it was his turn to play during the U22 concert — there were four artists in total — he performed on both the piano and the guitar. When he was on the guitar, he really knew how to play the mic. I’d guess he’s about 5’10” or so, and he adjusted the mic accordingly, but as he played, he’d lift himself up on his toes during some notes, only to settle back down and then shift and lift himself up again, as if he just couldn’t stay still, the music was that good.
By nature, I’m a fiddly person — after crashing around the office today, dropping some things off my desk and knocking over a mug of water, I was teased that everything around me should be nailed down; I also fell off my chair yesterday, just sitting at my computer — so I guess the other part of it is that I’m slightly jealous these musicians have found a way to channel their energy, and seem so relaxed and laid-back about it.
edited Nov. 5.