~ A night out on the town ~
Podunk, Oklahoma didn’t have a ton of musical acts come through. We would occasionally get a name brand act come through the base, like Lee Greenwood on 4th of July (where he was selling pre-packaged patriotism to a fan base that loved the soldiers as a backdrop to the photo op, but never could find a recruiting station when it mattered). But by and large, it was a whole lot of folks on the fringes of the music world, or occasionally you would get some up-and-comer who was sort of from the area, like the time Dangerous Toys (from Texas) played in town.
So here comes Tangier, playing at the only real club we have in town that’s actually primarily a live music venue. And it’s a band we’ve actually heard of, and seen on MTV, back when Headbanger’s Ball existed, and actually played music. And you know what, I don’t care how derivative and mediocre the band was. On that night, they were awesome. It was a glorious night of a bunch of teenagers and twenty-somethings at the local rock club watching live music tear the place up. Heavy blues, fast dueling guitars, and some smokey vocals while watching everyone gyrate around the club as best as you could dance to late ’80s hard rock
This was the lead single from MTV and the only song most of the crowd knew. I happened to have a copy of the album, so I knew the rest of what they were playing, too. While this was the show-stopping highlight that brought the house down, it wasn’t the best musical performance they had that night (“Sweet Surrender” was).
And that’s totally okay.
Sometimes the vibe has nothing to do with musicianship and everything to do with the organic feel of the whole performance when the audience and the performer are totally in tune with each other and just grooving on the flow like there’s nothing else in the world going on.