I listen to One EskimO on my favorite Canadian radio station The Peak almost every day. Luckily, I live close enough to the border that it clearly comes through as I drive my car around, as I am less than impressed with the Seattle stations. A few weeks ago in my concert update emails I was ecstatic to see One EskimO playing at The Triple Door for $15 dollars a ticket! So naturally I was anticipating my night out seeing them live.
After the two-hour drive we arrived at our hotel just blocks away from The Triple Door. With our stomachs grumbling we headed down the street a few blocks trying to dodge the drizzling rain under the awnings for Happy Hour at the Musicquarium. Entering the dimly lit lounge we took a seat at the bar and admired the long aquarium with a polka-dotted skate. After ordering a brew and few items off the $3 menu a gentlemen named John sat next to us and we started a conversation. At some point the conversation turned to writing. We talked about books and stories. He asked about what I was writing and so I talked about my characters and their adventures. It was nice to talk about the story and not boil it down to a few sentences of a pitch. Very liberating.
The Triple Door
I do not like large stadium concerts and therefore have not gone to many. I could count the number of concerts I’ve been to on both my hands. I prefer small venues where you get more of a connection to the musicians and the music. When they look out and the crowd is only a few feet away you are no longer this obscure fan, but a real person sitting right in front of them. Seattle has a few such venues that are perfect for this. The Triple Door was beyond my expectations. Every seat has a fantastic, unimpeded view with its own table. The furthest anyone is away from the stage is 35 feet. We were about 25 feet from the stage, a perfect mid-point view of everything. Each row had a waiter who brought you cocktails and food from Wild Ginger. Overall, the whole Triple Door experience was really great. I plan to keep updated on what shows they have.
Connection & Audience
As I said before I like small venues because of the connection the audience receives from the musicians. I was so excited to see One EskimO and not only hear their music live, but get a sense of who they were as their music is very intimate and reflective. At large stadiums, unless you have killer seats, the band feels so far away. Small venues take away the one-sidedness and add a much-needed dimension.
Every song One EskimO played sounded great. Just as good or better than their album. It was obvious their sound, their voice, their music was genuine. The only problem I had was lack of connection. I could count the times on one hand the lead singer looked at the audience or talked to the audience. He seemed much more interested in dragging his mike stand around the stage then he was in the people there to hear the music. My husband politely reminded me that maybe that was how the lead singer got in his own grove to sing and that I should focus on the music as that is what brought me there in the first place.
Maybe that’s true, maybe that was how he got into the groove and I am being overly picky. I can only imagine the pressure of carrying a presence on stage for over an hour. It was just odd that I had not experienced that lack of connection with a live band before. I haven’t gone to tons of concerts, but the ones I have been to did not make me feel awkward as if I was an onlooker instead of a participant.
Connecting to the Audience
This whole experience got me thinking about what it means to connect to your audience and how important it is whether you’re a singer, musician, actor/actress, writer, playwriter, author, etc. If people feel a connection to what you have to say, sing or write their natural response would be to want to continue being a part of that somehow, no matter how minute.
That song they love may feel as if it was written about their own heartache. That passage in a book my reflect their own feeling or thoughts. That scene in a play may feel as if it came right out of their own life. Connection to your audience is crucial. When it comes down to it I’ll buy One EskimO’s next album as I love their music, but in reality I’m not to hip on seeing them live again.