Hey guys! Happy Thursday!
So I've been a long time fan of The Summer Set, I remember finding the song "Cross Your Fingers" on iTunes during a really hot day in June, where all I wanted was a good song that I could dance in my underwear to (No joke, it was really hot out)
Needless to say, I found that song and I've been dancing ever since.
The reason I'm bringing up my love for The Summer Set is because I had the opportunity to spend an evening with them last night in Toronto at their Legendary Unplugged show! And may I just say now that it was nothing short of legendary!
What I loved most about the "unplugged" aspect of the set, is it was like they took some of their best songs and made them totally different and new to the audience. At one point I heard a girl in front of me say "What song is this now?" before realizing it was her favorite. I honestly can say that I don't think I've ever seen someone smile so big. We went from a countryfied version of "Jukebox" to an insane piano ballad of "F*ck U Over" where Brian sang solo and blew the crowd away with his vocals.
That's probably when I realized why I've stuck around with The Summer Set for so long, its because they're just themselves onstage and offstage. I find that false personas in the music world are becoming more and more common, when really there is no need for it! We see too many musicians in the world that are totally different when they are performing/not performing and I say performing, because that's what it is. A performance of a sometimes industry made character. Its really a treat when you can see a musician and they are themselves onstage and offstage.
During the meet and greet The Summer Set just walked in and started talking to their fans as if they knew them. It was so relaxed, there were no false characters, and in turn it made the experience more heartfelt and genuine. Really, that's what the whole vibe of this show was, heartfelt, intimate and very genuine.
Speaking of genuine, I must admit that the members (and even the crew) of The Summer Set are so genuine it's unbelieveable. Out of all the bands I've ever encountered, The Summer Set sets that bar to a new level. With me, growing up and always traveling back and forth to Nashville to take part in songwriting circles and sitting in little venues watching acoustic sets. I always appreciated the genuine feel of an artist that was stripped down to where they're onstage with just two things: Their heart and a guitar.
Yeah, they may have made some mistakes, forgot words, off time/key whatever. But that's what made them an artist, that's what made them real to me. The jokes between songs, the little banter between band members, the little stories shared to the crowd, the amazing acoustic songs that's what music is to me, a connection to your audience and sharing your passion. That was last night for me, it was like I was in Nashville again, its like I was home.
In terms of stories shared onstage, I have to share that John Gomez really made me think. He was explaining and telling the audience between songs about a fan he met and how she had told him she just felt sad and was upset that she was sad. To which he said, its okay to feel sad! In a world of over positivity we forget sometimes that its natural to feel sad, its not a bad thing to feel lonely or upset. But a blessing that we have the ability to feel that emotion and experience it sometimes. We are human, and that's only natural.
I teared up. It was amazing.
His words gave me such a different outlook on the subject, and a feeling that I have never experienced at a concert before. And it wasn't just me effected either. Even during the meet and greet and during the show, I saw their fans in a different way. When they interacted with the band and even if it was for a second, I saw them look at The Summer Set not only as a group of musicians but as that little patch of perfect in a world that can sometimes be not so nice. And that's EXACTLY what music is, a piece of heaven you hold close when you need it the most.
You know when they say you should never meet your heroes because they may dissappoint you when you see them in reality? That doesn't even register remotely with these guys, because obviously the people who say that, have never met The Summer Set. They've never seen the genuine passion behind these individuals first hand and that's what Brian, John, Stephen, Josh and Jess do so well. They connect with their fans and share what they love with the world by doing it the only way they know how. Genuinely.
Overall, I had such an amazing experience and it is for sure a show that I wish I could relive time and time again.
All I have to say is see you at this year's Warped Tour Summer Set! and thank you very much for a great night in the heart of Toronto.