Music is my God. That what Simone says. Beyond my wife and children, there isn't anything I couldn't possibly live without except music. Alex, my 9 year old son, is an actor and takes voice lessons. His dreams are on the stage. Delaney is 12 and is such a wonderful piano player, even though she is 12 and has a predictable pre-teen destain for something most would kill to master the way she can. Simone is the one with the credentials. She has a degree in vocal music from OBU. She taught for three years before she went to law school. Every day in the trenches, and her voice just floats on the air. Real, actual talent, all three of them. Dad is just a listener. Like the DJ between the songs. No real skills or knowledge. On the flip side, occasionally I think, somehow I am the one that loves it the most. She says I use it to feed my soul, like many do with religion. I'll buy that. I know there isn't anything else in the world that makes me feels as good or as much as a song. Especially a good one.
Tonight was date night. Simone and I went to a wonderful dinner at The Metro (Its not hip, but its really a great restaurant. Any city would be lucky to have it, so take your significant other there and have a great meal. Yes I am biased, and if you know me, you know why.) Due to some allergy related, allergy drug induced, weekend morning weirdness, Simone was up at 4 this morning. Yep, that stinks. It stinks at 4, 5 & 6am, and at 8pm, when, after eating well, you are supposed to go out on the town with your husband on Date Night. She pooped out. I don't blame her. Not happy about it, but I don't blame her. But I wanted to see Graham Colton. Chad was nice enough to put us on the list, and I wanted to hear the music. In case you didn't know, my wife is awesome. She didn't whine or lump around, she said, "Go to the show. Don't come home too late." She knows I can stand there by myself and enjoy the music alone. Thats the point, right? The music? Anyway, I went without her.
Class of 1988, Casady. I've been around here my whole life, and yes Heritage Hall seems to have all the famous folks. Barry Sanders' kid, Wes Welker... Graham Colton. (What about Clay & Aubrey, hell they went to Casady. Go Cyclones!) But for all the Oklahoma City I've seen and heard, before tonight I have never heard a note of Graham Colton. No, I'm not ashamed. I'm old, with children and as much as I love music it has never bubbled up to the top, but tonight I was determined to check it out.
I couldn't be more impressed.
Colton and his band started off as all the good ones do, a little late, and with lots of energy. I don't know which songs were new and what was "old" but it all sounded relevant, familiar and positively inspired to me. So much of what I hear, and its a random and unscientific sampling, is just not interesting to listen to. Every song I heard tonight, I was drawn to. As much as the Final Four beckoned on the TV's around, I was compelled to listen to what came next. With each song I became more and more impressed. At one point I found myself face to face at the bar with "Jarrad from Tuttle" the guitar player backing Graham. All I could say was, "I'm a big fan of yours Jarred from Tuttle. Well done." I meant it and he seemed to take it in the manner in which it was intended. Tom Petty is my favorite, and if you like Tom, you know about Mike Campbell. Campbell is the guitar player that makes Tom's music come alive. Watching Jarrad, reminded me of watching Mike during Petty shows. Making all the good stuff happen while the popular guy sings the song.
They started with some up tempo stuff, both new and old (what do I know) and then the band took a break (Hence my Jarrad encounter) while Graham continued on his own for an acoustic set of songs that were captivating. No, I never saw one person divert to the bathroom. All eyes were on the home town boy, and he was doing good. Real good. Since the show was a homecoming of sorts, Graham talked a lot, and thanked the crowd for being there repeatedly. It makes sense, if only because he knew most everyone there. At the same time, it was a real Rock & Roll show, and he was a real star. He looked it, he acted it, and best of all, he sounded like it. Yep, he sounded just like a star, with great songs, and good moves, and a great band behind him. I could see him on TV, or on any stage in the country easily in my mind. It was fun to watch, and yes, it fortified my soul, as music will do.
Just as they were wrapping it up a thousand OU football games took hold and I readied myself to leave "to beat the traffic" but the moment of the night kept me there. As I left to leave, I went to buy some cds, but all I had was a credit card. The towering (and I even had my boots on) guy tells me, "To take a credit card you have to wait until the show is over." I'm a good soldier, so I ask him to write up my stuff and I'll wait. Another song gets played and I'm watching from a side stage perspective now which is different and revealing and fun, but the thought surfaces, "Why am I waiting?" Sky scraper dude say, "Graham's phone takes the credit cards." So I waited, and the star of the show jumped off the stage, reached in his pocket and processed my credit card, right there. Technology is powerful, and thats another post. but so is music. Its personal, and uplifting, and local, and timeless, and powerful. Graham has power because he can make those wonderful sounds. I had no idea how good he is. Frankly I had an inkling the local folks might fawn on him because he's from around here, but I was wrong. Every bit of attention he gets is because he's got great talent. I can't do what he does, and I've tried. Tonight was a great pleasure, and tomorrow, when Backroom Records opens, I'll be there to buy the albums that came before the one I bought tonight. I have some catching up to do. But as long as you listen loud, my God is very forgiving.