Thursday, January 26, 2017

Better Than Perfect

I just got back from Austin... A quick 24 hour hour trip to see Jonatha Brooke play at the One World Theater.

She played a solo show, and this was an intimate venue- My favorite kind! Jonatha has a long and loyal following, so she played songs from each of her albums.  At the beginning of the show, she mentioned that she had to relearn a few of them, because they were about 20 years old.  They're also some of her greatest ones, so I know I wasn't alone in feeling grateful she went to the trouble.

One of the crowd favorites is her song, "Because I Told You So". Like just about all of her songs, it's in a non-standard guitar tuning.  She has to do a lot of quick, between-song-tuning. As I've heard her say before, she told the audience that she uses these tunings because she's a self taught guitarist, and that's just how she figured things out.  It's also part of what gives her a magical and unique sound.
Jonatha Brooke.  Tuning.

But because I've also written quite a few songs in non-standard tunings, I know doing all that tuning at a live performance is sometimes nerve wracking.  Sometimes, what you think is in tune, ends up showing mid-song that it is in fact out of tune.  And that is not an awesome discovery. But that's what happened to Jonatha during last night's performance of "Because I Told You So."

It must have been driving her crazy because in the middle of the song, she tweaked a knob or two on the guitar for tuning adjustments. But things were still off.  So she tried it again, a little further a long in the song.  But nope.  It had just gotten too confusing and weird for subtle adjustments mid-song.  So she kind of whispered and laughed, "Ugh. This is so embarassing."  And then stopped playing the guitar, started stomping her feet in rhythm to the bridge of the song and sang it and the final chorus of the song a capella.

And for me- that little mishap was the coolest part of the show.

It's why we go to live performances.  It's not to see perfection.  Last night in Austin, we got to see Jonatha in a intimate, beautiful venue and she delivered an intimate and beautiful performance.  Far more beautiful than perfection. To hear her voice, all by itself, emphasized the emotion of that song all the more at just the perfect moment.

And that's why she's a pro.
Better than perfect.
Me and Jonatha Brooke

1 comment:

Valerie said...

That's awesome! And she handled it like a pro. That's what Mariah should've done on New Year's Eve. I'm so glad you had a great trip and great experience! Welcome back!