DAVID GRAY - an interview with a fan
This woman knows music. She grew up singing and playing multiple instruments. She was a music major in college. Her senior thesis- which took an entire year of research, multiple all-nighters, and plenty of practice runs before she presented in front of the board of the music program- was analysis of Isicathamiya. Most of us aren't as knowledgeable about music, so let me fill you in: it wasn't just a critique. It was a complete history of the music style and the struggles of the people; it was an analysis of the chords, notes, tempos, and how all of the above compared to other music forms. It was a 50-page thesis designed to make one understand, appreciate, learn from and love this music. She got an A.
Her immense knowledge of music is not what drives her today. Robin’s interest in music is inspired by her passion. She enjoys music because of how it can bring her back to a certain memory—good or bad.
My name is Robin Beers. I am 33 and I am a teacher. I used to work as a special-education teacher working with kids with autism. Now, I teach 1st grade. I teach because I like the kids, obviously. I like the feeling that I can do something positive for them, each and every day. I have the opportunity to provide light and happiness into the lives and minds of young people. And the funny thing is, they give that right back to me. I get a lot of joy from these kids. It’s tough, though. I hate all the constraint that the system and the powers-to-be put on us. It makes it hard to do our jobs. Recently, I have been working with the teacher unions to help the teachers (and the kids) have a voice. I’m really enjoying this aspect of it.
This story is about the David Gray tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion, in Columbia, MD last summer. I'm not as familiar with David Gray's newer stuff. I just love that even when it's not music that I'm familiar with, the energy that you get at a live show is just kind of infectious. I love live music. I just love the energy of going to a live show.
Being VIP at a show has been on my list for a while….Actually, this may be one of the only things that's ever been on my bucket list! I have never been able to experience this before. Mission accomplished…and it was awesome! It’s just a totally different experience than being back on the lawn or even back of the pavilion. I guess you just feel even more connected to the experience being so close.
I like Merriweather. I've been to quite a few shows there. I've sat in the front of the lawn, the back of the lawn, the back of the pavilion, now the front of the pavilion. I think it's a good place to see a show. My favorite venue of all time is Rams Head-On Stage in Annapolis. It's the only venue of its kind that I've been to. It's small and intimate. You get table service right at your table. It probably seats only 100 people. And while, you miss some of the vibe of people dancing, you don’t even notice that you‘re missing it because the intimacy you have with the artist is intense. Generally, I've found that people that go to see shows at Rams Head are typically hard core fans of live music and that always makes for a great experience. Sharing the moment with a crowd of people that are there with you is what it’s about, right? It’s about the connections we feel.
There’s no way I can choose a favorite artist. One of my top 10: Marc Broussard. I have seen him at Ram's Head On Stage at least 10 times and I feel like every time I go, it's my favorite show I've ever seen. He is an amazing live performer; his recordings do him no justice. The energy he puts out on stage and the passion with which he performs, you can't help but to get swept up in it. I am definitely attracted to artists that you can tell would be performing music because they can't imagine doing anything else, even if nobody heard their music.
My guilty pleasures: Kid Rock. When I was in college, a good friend won tickets to a Kid Rock show, and she knew that I had the same affinity for Kid Rock and I remember jumping up and down when she said she wanted to take me, and we had the best time ever sticking out like sore thumbs at the Kid Rock show. And, whatever you may think about him, he played ALL the instruments during that show. He did amazing things musically. If you could strip away all the dancers on the poles and the strippers in the cages, then, it was actually quite a great live music show. So, there you go-I admitted it. My guilty music pleasure- everyone has one.
After the David Gray show, I was on such a high. It wasn't just about being front row, although that helped add to the experience. Simply, it was about being there.
Live music is my religion. I've never identified with any organized religion, but what I get from a live music show seems to be what other people get from going to church. Which is a sense of…..a sense of peace, and a sense of hope. It's one of the very few times that I feel like I am truly present in a moment and not thinking of what I have to do at work, or what made me mad yesterday or 4 minutes ago. It's a feeling that I've yet to find in any other part of my life. I’m just in the moment and I’m thankful for being part of that experience.