What we did in the day doesn’t matter. Rob took the train from Stäfa to Flavil with Meret, who came to see him play the last two shows of our tour. Kevin, Keith and I drove to Winterthur to pick up some items we left at Esse bar. We took the back roads through the hills and farms. It was beautiful. But that doesn’t matter. We showed up at the venue way too early. I bought a watch for my son. We had lunch at a Spanish restaurant where no one spoke Spanish and they were all out of tortilla. Kevin ordered chicken nuggets and was served fish and chips without the chips. That doesn’t matter.
What we did after the show doesn’t matter. We returned the drums to Paul and paid him his cut of our hard earned cash. We packed up our gear and got ready to hit the road early for the airport. We slept for maybe five hours and then got on a plane. It’s not important.
What matters is this. We played our final show of a fifteen night tour in the loft of a beautiful old barn-turned-club for a small audience of wonderful, excited, lovely people.
We nailed every song, but more importantly we nailed the feeling. That feeling where the band and the audience are one organism breathing, flowing, existing together briefly. It’s the reason we play. The connection. The thing that matters. We played our entire two set show. Beth showed up with friends and sat in with us on a few tunes. Each song Kevin sang, the crowd was right there in the story with him. Every time Rob hit the crash it was a wave washing over all of us. Keith’s harmonies wove around every heart in the club. My guitar sang, allowing me to put into music those things I have never been able to put into words. It was one of those times when everything fits just right. That is what matters. The beauty of a life in music is that we learn to recognize those moments while they are happening. I soaked up every second of last night because I know why I play, and this is it.
Born to Run is the ultimate rock song. At least it is as far as I can tell. It sums up that real, palpable sense of desperation and longing that we have all felt so many times in life, and it does so in less than five minutes. I’ve always considered the song untouchable. The sound is so big, even coming out of a cheap radio. The idea of covering it just seems a bit too over the top, especially for the size venues we play. But last night when we finished our encore and our tour with a version of Born to Run worked out in sound checks, bars and hotel rooms over the past two weeks, it felt just right, because instead of playing it for anyone, we played it with everyone. Everyone sang. Everyone moved. Everyone was present. We, all of us, nailed the feeling. The connection. It was the perfect ending for a perfect ending.