I arrived a little early, so I could get a good seat, a bite, and a brew. Often when I go to The Hideaway, it gets pretty packed. There weren’t many people when I arrived though, so I ordered the Gibson flatbread (love that horseradish sauce!) and a cider. I journaled while eating, drinking, and people watching before the show started.
A few more people trickled in, but at show time The Hideaway was still pretty bare. I guess the Tampa Bay area is unfamiliar with the awesomeness that is Sarah Peacock.
Though the crowd was small, and the energy laid back, Sarah didn’t seem to mind.
She opened with her soulful, evocative, powerful voice. Over the course of the night she had me crying during at least five of her songs.
It’s always an interesting thing to try to look casual while tears stream down your face in a room of strangers…
One of the songs that got my tear ducts going was “Cool Kids.” It is an anti-bullying song that describes the pain we (all?) felt growing up when the cool kids said those piercing mean things to us. I think it’s important that this song also points out the pain everyone feels that makes the cool kids act the way they do.
It is moving…
“Stronger” was another tear jerker. Sarah wrote this song for a friend who was going to have a third (yes, a third) liver transplant due to autoimmune hepatitis, which occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the liver. Sarah said her friend had her first liver transplant when she was 12-years-old. It’s a song of survival.
I don’t want to give the impression that Sarah’s music is a downer because I cried through so many songs. Though her website says her music is “Country Rock,” I’d have a hard time pinning a specific genre to her style. Certainly she has a bit of a country twang to her voice, which comes from her Atlanta origins. Otherwise, her music ranged from bluesy to rocky to poppy. In between the times I was crying, I was also swaying or dancing in my chair.
She’s also a wonderful guitarist, and she put that to the test on covers of Heart’s “Crazy on You” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”
Sarah is a great musician, but I also appreciate her sharing her stories with us. Some of them I mentioned above, but she also shared some of what life is like on the road for her. That is something that I think many of us with “normal jobs” have a hard time identifying with. An artist may make hundreds to thousands of dollars for a show that lasts a couple of hours. But how much time goes into writing those songs? How many experiences? How much time is spent alone, or at least isolated, on the road, sharing that music with those who will listen?
Sarah talked about the vulnerability it takes to be a song writer and performer. To do her job well, she has to open up her soft spots for the world to see. Whether the song makes us laugh, cry, or anything in between, it takes such skill, effort, and vulnerability to touch people’s souls.
In answer to Sarah’s song “Are We There Yet?”, my answer to is yes, you are there. You move people’s souls upon first listen. Your music is important. I hope you get a financial break that makes it easier for you to concentrate on your craft, but you are doing it right. Please don’t stop doing what you are doing. It is important!
I really enjoyed Sarah’s show. She’s an all-around great musician. I hope more of the Tampa Bay area comes out to enjoy her music next time she’s in town.
For now, I hope you’ll enjoy her music no matter where you are.