Have you ever fallen asleep at a gig? A reasonable assumption would be that if you have, it was because you were bored. But I’ve been wondering about that. There is a connection between this and my previous posts. I started by describing gigs I’ve loved or magic moments with live music. So this train of thought is provoked by why it might not be magical.
Here are just two of my snoozing at the gig moments. Firstly, the Branford Marsalis Quartet at the Village Vanguard in New York. I choose this one because I should have been at fever pitch of excitement through out. What a line-up! Eric Revis, Jeff Tain Watts, Joey Calderazo and Branford Marsalis, They told us it was great to be there and ‘back home’ and that there they could play how they wanted to. Why then, as the rest of the audience whooped and shouted for more did I realise I had nodded off for the last bit of the set – I don’t know for how long! I do remember thinking, as I pondered on what I’d heard, that maybe there was nothing left to do with this music. They had deconstructed it, played free, played time, played ‘in’, played ‘out’ and shifted as if a unit telepathically connected- what a band. And yet.. and yet.. More of this on another occasion.
Courtney Pine at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Now if you go to a Courtney Pine gig, you know what you are going to get. Pyro technic playing, heavy grooves, dancing (!). So when we went to this gig, part of the London Jazz Festival, why did I fall asleep?
My first simplistic answer is that a wall of sound, deliver at an unvarying intensity can aneasthetise the senses. It literally ‘ knocks you out’. So Branford and Courtney – give me more light and shade please, don’t just shout at me.