by: Thomas D. Mooney
Two silhouettes reflect on the back wall. The dance floor, it’s empty. It seems brighter than usual. I guess crowds absorb light. The song ends and four set of hands clap in unison.
It’s a dead Tuesday in Lubbock, Texas.
Lance at the door, Jamie behind the bar, Michael in the booth, and one watching two swapping songs on stage. They’re exchanging and discussing Merle Haggard and Dean Dillon songs, because well, why the hell not? There’s more posters taped on the windows than there are people on the block.
At times, there’s more people stepping out of Tom’s to smoke on the front patio than there are inside. At times, voices crack. At times, the most impressed one in the room is the one holding the other guitar. At most times, you can hear a cliched pin drop.
Still, there’s some clarity in songs. There are songs personalized because the singer feels closer to the song that way. There’s a bunch of dark and lonely.
It’s this type of performance that builds character and a thick skin. You can’t play in front of a few people without getting your feelings slightly hurt. Any artist worth a damn has gone through one of these–many of these–yet, they find a way to persevere and trek through what must feel like the loneliest place in the world (I guess any artist not worth a damn has too though). Maybe a weaker man would have stepped down.
This is what real Tuesday nights at 1806 can be. Remember that next time some Chimy’s patron says they support local live music. Remember this when you say you support live music.