We are in that special period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve when we are especially grateful for so many things in our lives. For many of us, home is secure, work is secure, family and friends are secure, and life is good.
We in the music community are grateful and thankful as well that there is so much music to hear — on albums, on the internet, on the radio, and in clubs and concert halls and at festivals. We cherish every opportunity to hear live music from performers and bands with whom we have established deep relationships and others we have just discovered.
More often than not, we just don’t think about our road warrior heroes, those performers and bands who tour relentlessly, taking them away from homes and families to be with their extended musical families (that would be us). And most of us cannot really imagine the realities of road trips, luggage and equipment stuffed into cramped vans and a seemingly endless string of motels, restaurants, gas stations, laundromats, and club owners whose personalities cover the entire spectrum from Bill and Melinda Gates to Ebenezer Scrooge.
They do all of that for the privilege of sharing their wonderful music with us.
Try to keep all that in mind the next time you are fortunate enough to hear live music, from all musicians and in particular from touring musicians. Here are some ways you can say thank you:
Many clubs have no cover charge. Be sure to hit the tip jar; certainly you could do with one less adult soda.
Buy your beverages from the establishment; don’t bring your own. The band gets a percentage, and you cut into that when you BYO.
Buy albums and merchandise when on sale at the club. This revenue goes straight to the band — no middlemen.
If you see band members before the show, tell them how thankful you are that they have come to your town to perform. If you’ve seen them previously, tell them how much you enjoyed those shows.
If you see band members after the show, tell them what a great show it was, thank them for coming, and say you look forward to the next time.
Consider purchasing live recordings via various internet outlets such as bandcamp.com and soundcloud.com.
Support online projects such as gofundme.com and kickstarter.com to assist bands you love.
And, last but by no means least, LISTEN to the music when you go to a club or concert. There is plenty of time for that vital conversation… later. Respect the musicians who are working so hard on stage. Claps, whistles and cheers are also highly recommended.
We know that the best advice is to make sure that you tell people you love that you DO love them. That goes for our beloved musicians as well, to whom we all say:
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