Last night's show was hands down the most intense and personally rewarding show I've ever had the good fortune of playing. Why exactly? Because when it was over, I knew with absolute certainty that there wasn't one thing I could have done to a higher degree with what I had in me.
I've played some really fun shows, but something about last night's was different. Maybe it was the fact that we played over an hour, which is something I don't think I've done since the farewell show The Great American Beast played in 2010. Last evening was different because there was total immersion in what was going on. I looked out and it was cool to see the people who stuck around for the whole thing, but at a point in the set, after most of the people who were there for the first song had wandered away either because we scared them, they thought we sucked, or they were bored, it was all about us.
That may sound a bit harsh, but when I say it was about us, I mean that it became an event of inner-band responsibility. Any thoughts about how we were coming across vanished. There was no consideration given to how we played compared to the other bands. When I say it was about us, I mean the only benchmark that existed was the one that we knew internally as a slightly abstract arrow pointing to a truth that said you can go THIS hard. At that point, you either go in the direction of that arrow at a full sprint or you watch it disappear and allow yourself another "decent" performance.
The way to get the most out of yourself is to do what you do to the best of your ability. It doesn't mean going out and trying to outdo another showman. You can't. That doesn't work. There's always going to be something you didn't think of that this guy or that guy ends up doing. Good for that guy. When you were playing, did you let it go and become your own performance or did you look out at the eyes on you and wonder what they were thinking? There's no time for questioning when you're up there, but sometimes I've made time for it. Last night I did not. And when I got home I was bruised, hoarse, scabbed, and fucking proud of it.