It was very cold.
However, we live in Michigan, and shrug off cold and wet and dismal and dreary, like so many untended potholes. We know that soon, there will be the enviable, Spring. The sun will awaken this slumbering land and promise will boom once again.
Knowing all of that, we are still faced with several more weeks of frigid and often bleak days and nights ahead.
What to do?
Well we Michiganders could retreat from it all; and I’m sure that some do, hold up in their fortresses of gloom, weary of everything the outside world assails them with.
But, by and large, most of us mush forward, short day by short day. Bracing ourselves from the cold and finding warmth wherever it springs forth.
On a Friday night, people could steel themselves from it all at home, or venture out into the frozen unknown. The choice is most always their own. When they do come out and join us for a night of music and fellowship at a local watering hole, we appreciate it more than they will every know.
We met some fun girls who had already established themselves in front of the barrels at The Three Blind Mice Irish Pub in blustery downtown Mount Clemens, the other evening. Fun and playful, they begrudgingly relinquished their spot so that we could set up to entertain for the night.
It was a good start, since they made us feel relaxed and yet, somewhat annoying.
By the time that we began our first set, the tables were mostly all occupied and already in mid-conversation. Through the first and second sets, we were hardly acknowledged at all by the absorbed patrons. After all, they ventured out on a night such as this, and were going to focus all of their attention on their conversations and thier friends.
No matter, Carl and I had one trick up our sleeves to break through the ice: our old buddy Al.
Alcohol, (his given name)
O’l Al would take care of things. He would help us reach each and every single person within earshot, and in no time.
It didn’t take long as a matter of fact. As the patrons who began the night with us said their good-byes, and more arrived, the focus turned to the music and then to song.
We met a delightful set of twins who made sure that we knew how much we were appreciated, even if the other people couldn’t or wouldn’t vocalize it.
That in-of-itself made us enjoy the rest of the evening to a much greater degree.
Every gig that we play is different. The venue, the atmosphere, the calendar, the people. So much goes into how a show is received that no two dates are ever the very same.
On a night like this, where the music was kind of secondary, we understood that mostly the patrons just wanted to be out with other people.
You know, people needing people.
The cold will subside. The clouds will part, and the sun will take its rightful place in the hearts and minds of most Michiganders.