Dear Audience Member:
I mean it, thank you.
I’m not just saying that because it’s the thing to say when we finish a song, every song, sometimes before any applause has even started, often to indicate that, “Hey, the song is over now, you guys!”
This is different. I want to explain a little bit about what we mean when we say, “thank you” from the stage.
We mean, “Thank you for taking time out of your life to listen to us play music you more than likely don’t know. That’s a leap of faith, and you have our gratitude for it.”
We mean, “Thank you for pausing your conversation to listen more closely to something you heard and liked or thought was interesting. We can tell when you do that. We see it. It’s wonderful.”
We mean, “Thank you to the people we don’t know and who don’t know us who just wanted to go out tonight and see some live music. The world needs more of you. We need more of you.”
We mean, “Thank you to the friends who have never heard us play, but who came out that one time because we posted something about it on Facebook and you figured what the hell, it’s a night out and it’s nice to be supportive. Even if you only ever come out that one time, we love you for it.”
We mean, “Thank you eleventy billion times to the friends who have seen us play before and still come out, still smile when you hear a song you recognize, smile when you hear a song you don’t, applaud like you did the first time you heard us play, and then come out again the next time we say we’ve got a show.”
You, Audience Member, may never understand just how glorious it is to see people in a crowd, listening or even half-listening-half-talking-to-friends, and occasionally smiling or clapping – unless you, too, have once been up on a stage.
You might not know that even if every note is played flawlessly, that one show can be declared a bust because there was no you (and how, conversely, an imperfect show can be elevated because you are there).
You may not realize how much we need your reinforcement, especially if it seems like we must be extroverted egomaniacs to willingly climb on a stage in public (we are not).
You probably think we’re just saying, “Thank you” because we’re supposed to. But we really mean it, from the bottom of our hearts.