When Sun Brother picked up Zach Jackson as a permanent bassist, we began playing many shows. All of us are a part of a fledgling music event planning organization on campus called Brave Sounds Entertainment. BSE has thrown two shows so far and Sun Brother has been lucky enough to be chosen for both. Some people suggested that it isn’t fair for SB to play these shows because we’re all in the organization, but when it comes time to vote for shows, none of us have ever voted for our own band.
Beyond being asked to play, we also try to give ourselves opportunities while we wait for our record to be mixed. (In this picture can be seen all of us except Zach.) Until we have a few more current demos off the album, we don’t really have anything to send to surrounding Peoria/Bloomington/Normal venues. One way that we’ve played is by creating house shows. There have been 4 house shows at Ryan Moore’s off-campus house this year, 2 of which we have played. We will be setting up a fifth as an album release show and possibly a sixth for the end of the year.
The other way we’ve been contacted to play is by word of mouth. There’s talk of us partnering with a different group on campus to play an event of theirs in April, and that organization only knows about us from other shows and by reputation. We were also asked to play for public access television. Here’s the link to that episode. Skip to 21:00 in order to see my interview and our performance.
Perhaps more intriguing than the way we get shows is the way we are received at shows. Though the idea of a ‘band’ is new to me, the other guys are seasoned pros. They have all had their fair share of music groups, whereas I’ve only had one super group in Naperville. This being the case, they also have experience with playing energetic shows. I’m new to the idea, really jumping on the bandwagon this summer, but I have been getting really into the live music we’ve played.
It sounds strange to basically say, “I really like playing my own music live” because of its slight narcissistic twinge. For those readers who are picking up where I left off from last year, you’ll know that I really began to understand how important performing is. The joy behind it was unmatched and I felt connected to myself in a way I usually don’t. You’ll also possibly recall that in several of my posts, I was frustrated; I felt that nobody was actually listening to me play. That is not how it is here.
I had a hunch that when I got to school, I’d begin to be considered as a real artist. Not only because I was older and could be safely taken seriously, but also because not many people going to a small private school in Peoria, Illinois really dig deep enough into music to go to a live concert. The people that do feel that way, however, are always at our shows and are always pumping up the atmosphere. This has thus far led everyone else feeling like a newcomer to an undiscovered and untapped community of people. That raw excitement coupled with the good reputation that our band has been blessed with has made nearly all of our shows something really worthwhile to see. I can say that confidently not exclusively because I’ve observed it from onstage and within the crowd, but in addition to something else that I’ve been receiving a lot of that never actually happened in Naperville.
I’ve known most of the musicians from Naperville even before high school, so there’s a comfort level between us all. That being said, it’s a really rare moment for a genuine and awe-inspired compliment to come out of one of our mouths. Either because we’ve built in mostly criticisms for one another’s music over the years or because most of us are guys and perhaps it feels strange to compliment another dude, but we really don’t exchange very many.
After every Peoria show, however, it takes several minutes to speak to the lines of people who all want to congratulate us on our performances. We even receive praise in random instances. For example, I was walking into a dining hall on Tuesday and someone I’ve never seen before walked up to me and complimented my voice (that in itself felt particularly satisfying; a girl in Naperville once told a friend that I sound like I’m in pain when I sing—and not because I was singing with passion.)
To top off all of the new things from this year, we’ve begun light work on a new song, bringing me to my goal for this week. I took scraps from an old work in progress—Bible, and sort of injected them into this new song. There’s an entire mid-section that I’m lyrically unhappy with, however, so I’m going to rewrite it this week while I have time.
I’ll see you guys Sunday!