I often find that after I get off stage I still have more music left in me. Hanging out with our friends in Nickel Creek in Chicago taught me what to do with the leftover music. You play somewhere elsI often find that after I get off stage I still have more music left in me. Hanging out with our friends in Nickel Creek in Chicago taught me what to do with the leftover music. You play somewhere else in town after the show. So we've been trying to find places to play after our shows, (usually a bar or a coffee shop within walking distance) where we can bring in an acoustic guitar and get all the music out that might have been left over from the show. Lancaster, Nashville, and Tulsa were all really amazing experiences where this
materialized on this tour. In Nashville our friends Sarah Masen and Bulb came up and played a few tunes. In Tulsa Pretty much everyone on tour from Ryan Ferguson (who opens the shows), to John "Radar" Cooper (who sells our shirts), joined in on the fun. Nothing's off limits and everyone wins. The leftover music can sometimes be as good as the
earlier show making up for whatever might be lacking in polish with a bit of spit and surprise.
So for our day off here in Amarillo, Texas, we found a coffee shop that we could play some tunes at. I was expecting to do some weezer and dylan covers in the corner and have a good time with a few friends. When we got to the coffee shop, the parking lot was completely full and there were kids (I use that term loosely), everywhere. The place was overflowing. Somewhere between one hundred and two hundred people were milling in and around the coffee shop. I honestly thought maybe there was some other event going on... Anyhow, to stand up on the counter and have a camp fire sing along with a bunch of people I've never met was truly an honor. No mics. No amps. Just a guitar and a
room full of voices singing along. We pretty much played whatever song was shouted out for an hour or so and managed to get a weezer tune and a dylan cover in there somewhere as well.
The whole thing got my wheels turning. This was one of the better off days I've had in a while- really invigorating. I began to wonder if we should plan these sorts of things... And yet, if we planned this sort of thing, it wouldn't be an off day after all. If we had planned this, we would have had mics and amps and a tuner.... but it certainly wouldn't have meant as much. Maybe it's best to just let these things happen. Maybe that's when some of my favorite moments happen, when music happens without any fingerprints. Honest and awkwardly naked. Like a little kid at the beach running around without his trunks. Unencumbered, without the highly refined, stifling sense of self-awareness. It's the type of thing that makes
you blush and giggle and thank God that you're alive. Yes, I'm fairly convinced that leftover music is one of my favorite meals.