Main street — where most of Sundance takes place — was filled with and busy, cell phone wielding film executives, weaving in and around the snow-covered sidewalks, shops, restaurants and theatres.
My own day started at Park City TV. I went to the television station to perform a few songs & do an interview. Then it was on to The Kimball Arts Center to soundcheck before performing at the BMI Snowball Concert.
The BMI event was truly an incredible night of musicians. David Poe went first. He has a dark & brooding voice, and he performed one of my favorite songs of the night: a Spanish duet involving clapping and dramatic almost cat-like hisses in the choruses. I never thought hissing could be so cool. Allen Stone was next, an incredibly talented but humble long-haired blonde boy with big glasses and whole lotta soul!
Then it was time for me and the band to take the stage. I was unusually nervous to play in front of this audience of music and film executives, but once I got up there, I felt a sort of magic happening. As a performer, there are some nights where you are uncertain and you’re over-thinking and you’re not in the moment, but there are other nights where the music takes over and you have no choice but to live in it. After a couple of songs I just had this overwhelming feeling of emanating joy — the kind you feel goes outwards and reaches through the room. I felt so happy and lucky to be sharing my music with the audience and with a wonderful group of musicians on stage: Mona and Chaska from Raining Jane and my dad on the bass.
Up next was Brett Dennen — a bare foot red-headed boy as tall as a beanstalk. To me he has a little bit of Paul Simon and Bob Marley, but still carries his own special voice. The last time I saw him in concert he was opening up for Corinne Bailey Rae, and I stood in line afterwards waiting to get his autograph, so it was quite amazing to be playing a show with him now. Robert Randolph and The Family Band were the grand finale. I don’t know if this is proper magazine etiquette but: daaaaaaang! They rocked da house! Everybody in the venue was on their feet dancing the whole show. I was amazed by the groove of the band and the fact that Robert played pedal steel guitar — a traditionally country instrument — like it was Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. Truly inspiring!
After the concert, I went with some of the musicians from the show to a bar to celebrate. The bar we landed in had two bearded men who were playing raucous celtic music with a violin and guitar — which sounded quite reminiscent of a hobbit’s song (For those of you who read my first journal, you must be relieved to be hearing about Lord of The Rings once more…at last!) We found a quiet room to ourselves but were quickly disturbed by a large highly intoxicated man, whose only volume was INCREDIBLY LOUD. He shouted praises at us a bit too enthusiastically as he pounded his fists on the table. The next place we drifted to was an after-party for a Sundance film. Pounding electronic music hit the walls, and green and blue and red lighting distorted the faces in the room. It was a bit of a disorienting setting. Still, I found myself content observing the beauty of the room we were in: Ceiling-high bookshelves, vintage lamps, old suitcases, and a collage of old-fashioned film posters on the wall.
What I find so wonderful about Sundance is that in all hours of the day and night, whether you are on stage performing, or at a screening, or even at a dizzy circus party, you see an appreciation for art and an appreciation for life.
Bye for now, journal!