Last night I attended my ninth house concert (I had to count them up!) where I was introduced to Acoustic Eidolon’s wonderful music. After experiencing Hannah and Joe’s craft I wonder how I’ve lived without knowing them for the past 15 years (which is how long they’ve been making music together). Now that I’ve heard them I’m pretty sure I won’t forget them. Their stories from the road had the entire crowd laughing. A song Hannah wrote in memory of her mother who died of cancer many years ago had me sobbing (yes, sobbing) in my seat, as the lyrics touched those places in my heart that miss my dad so much. There were others self consciously dabbing their eyes throughout that song, and they made me feel less ashamed about my own tears.
Another song brought forth tears as I recalled how much I loved my grandfather’s house and how it felt when he sold it and moved into a condo.
Which reminds me: I’ve cried at ~80% of the house concerts I’ve been too. The atmosphere is so intimate and the music so moving, that I just can’t seem to help myself.
Some might be thinking, “Why would you ever purposefully go to these shows if they make you cry?”
I guess my response is, “Because that’s the very reason I love music as much as I do.” The way I feel when a song moves me so strongly that I laugh, cry, move my body, etc… is exactly why I have a music tattoo on my arm. I love the way I feel when artists’ songs resonate with my heart so much that there is a physical response. It’s a deep and intimate thing… I just wish I would remember my tissues for those moments.
I don’t think I’ll be getting a house concert tattoo any time soon, but I love house concerts as venues for listening to music for some of the same reasons.
Every time I attend one, I meet more and more people who move and inspire me. There were the ladies who sat in the row in front of me and cried along with me, whether they knew it or not. Among them was the woman who was afraid to try new foods, and her friend who would eat anything! There were fans of Acoustic Eidolon who waited years to finally hear them live.
One fan adapted one of their songs to be played on the flugelhorn. He wasn’t invited to share his rendition with the crowd, but I’m certainly impressed with his level of fandom! Conversely there were those who hadn’t heard of Acoustic Eidolon before getting the house concert invite, but who braved coming to a stranger’s house to hear music created by strangers. The fact that 65 people RSVP’d for last night’s concert is inspiring by itself! I love how house concerts brought us all together for a night to share a wonderful, musical experience.
I’ll also admit that I love house concerts because of the food. Along with experiencing wonderful music and meeting so many different people, many house concerts feature a pot luck before the show. Considering there were ~65 contributors to last night’s pot luck, you can imagine that it was a good one. I got there a bit early, got a plate, and went on the patio to eat since the weather was so beautiful. Every time I walked back in the door there was a new, delicious dish on the table. I restrained myself from totally pigging out, but I certainly didn’t leave hungry either. And my homemade jalapeno, cilantro hummus (modified from this recipe) was a big hit! I don’t think I can make a good “living daringly” argument for the food. It’s just one of the wonderful things that go along with house concerts.
I’ve written about house concerts a lot (here and here) in comparison to other topics I blog about. As I write more about them, I learn more about how they help me to live daringly. They challenge me, move me, and feed my soul (and my body! ). For all of these reasons, I hope you’ll attend or host a house concert in your neck of the woods! If you don’t, you are missing out!
Me? I’m already gearing up to see Joe Crookston on March 22! I saw him last year, and I can’t wait to hear the songs from his new album.