I’m getting increasingly bad at a lot of things (thinking, living, thinking some more), though one of those things is figuring out quite what to say whenever I am called upon to go on a stage to introduce a band. Words have been consistently escaping me anyway over the last couple years, but especially anymore, at the end of these events, it kind of feels like there were approximately 5,000,000 things that I forgot to say and/or should have said. So, by the time midnight on Saturday came around, I thought, “Well, at least I can try to make up for this on Playlist.” I’m sure I’ll fail, but … hell.
Anyway, thank you. No, but really. Thank you.
A big sloppy, sweaty kissing hug of thank you goes to Old Indian for being gracious enough to close out the first installment of an idea that could have very easily fell apart about 48,000 times. When we did the very first thing we ever tried to do – the initial installment of the Frederick Music Showcase – in February of 2015, I went to them and essentially said, “If you aren’t going to do this, then we won’t even bother, because I feel it’s essential to have you guys be part of this.” And, being the fine young men that they are, they obliged. Having them play their final show at that building was an honor for all of us, and we are eternally grateful for all they’ve given not just us, but also the Frederick music community as a whole. They’ve been a rock in this town’s music scene for years and they deserved every inch of love and respect and admiration that they received Saturday night from all you lovely faces.
Another big sloppy, sweating kissing hug of thank you goes to the six other venues that decided to give this idea a chance. First-year things are always tough to believe in, and you’ve gotta believe me when I say that the amount of the word “No” we heard in the months leading up to the event’s announcement is an amount of something that, were it worth its weight in gold, we would all be trillionaires. But, alas, The Cellar Door, The Blue Side, Cafe 611, Cafe Nola, Olde Towne Tavern and Gravel & Grind? The people who make the decisions at those places are gosh-darn saints, gosh-darn-it. We can only hope that we didn’t make them feel like they completely wasted an afternoon by allowing us to put some music in their fine establishments, and we can only hope that should, by the grace of God, there be a The Thing Volume 2, maybe some of them would be happy to sign up once again. It takes guts to believe in something in its infancy. Those places need to be lauded – and I mean lauded – for their support.
Equally as deserving? The artists, of course. Nobody really wants to play an afternoon set on a lovely June afternoon inside a bar, especially when they aren’t even sure if anyone will show up to see them play on said lovely June afternoon inside a bar. Sound systems. Venue policies. Egos. Communication. The amount of things that can go wrong from an artist’s point of view when it comes to these kind of events is nearly endless. To think that almost 30 acts were kind enough to get behind our tiny idea is both extraordinarily humbling and intensely encouraging. We just hope that it was worth their while, even if it was on some tiny level.
And then we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer up gratitude to some local businesses who helped out far more than words can explain. Somehow, someway, Goldwater Bank offered to help chip in, which, in all honesty, is just slightly mind-blowing. I mean, we can hardly get food vendors to care sometimes and here comes a bank who believed in it enough to offer support (though, unfortunately, “support” does not necessarily translate into “large blocks of gold” in this instance, and that would have been cool). Anthony Owens, who has been a supporter of all this nonsense since day one – we’ll never, ever, ever be able to thank him enough for all he’s helped out with. And also Showtime Sound, which is just filled with dudes who I personally love. That’s a company that goes out on national tours, yet whenever we have a date for an event, they always manage to show up with lights and sound equipment and each time, I’m mildly amazed that they’re actually there and they haven’t yet run for the hills. Oh, and we can’t forget Spotluck, either. Because, wow. They’re the best.
Finally – and there’s no way anybody is still reading at this point, I know – I have to say the following: You can’t even think about trying to put on an event like this if you don’t have a whole bunch of people who are great. The sheer manpower that’s needed to run and organize it is intimidating in and of itself. But a lot of the staff here at the Frederick News-Post gave up a portion of their Saturday to help take care of things and they, really, deserve way more credit than most may realize. It would also be irresponsible to ignore how important it was – and is – that the upper management at this company gave all this stuff a green light in the first place. I don’t know much, but I’d be willing to guess that there aren’t a lot of places ’round here where you can lay something like this out in front of your bosses’ bosses and hear some form of “OK, let’s try it” in return.
OK. So. If you bought a ticket or a wristband, or maybe you told somebody about it at some point, or … well … let’s be honest: you weren’t part of the large chorus of people who almost instantly began picking apart the notion the second we tried to explain it … then THANK YOU. And THANK YOU. And THANK YOU. Thank you for being kind. Thank you for giving it a chance. Thank you you for being you. We’ll have a few more announcements soon regarding some things we have planned for the summer. For now, though, one more time: Thank you, Frederick. You’re pretty great.
Onward and upward.