Better Than Perfect

I played a gig on Wednesday night in the South Loop of Chicago with my old friend Gregg Ostrom.  The venue was outside; we played in the courtyard of The Glessner House Museum. Conditions were perfect for a show.  The sun was perfect.  The cool breeze was perfect.  Our soundcheck was perfect.  The lawn was full of people drinking wine and tapping their feet, and as we launched into our first set, everything felt as you might expect:


At the first set break, all hell broke loose.

The storm clouds rolled in out of nowhere.  The rain poured down on us and our instruments.  We quickly dragged them into the carriage house of the museum.  The audience followed us.  The interior of the carriage house was made of bricks and cement, and we all piled into it and flopped onto the cold floor like piles of wet laundry.

I knew there was no point to setting up our amps, PA system, and microphones.  So instead, Gregg and I just sang and played--unamplified--in a dank dark carriage house.  I belted out songs acapella. The natural reverberance wasn't perfect.  The lighting wasn't perfect.  And the poor audience would tell you that the seating wasn't perfect.

But I argue it was better than perfect: it was a night none of us will forget.

Reader, perfect isn't the best that things can be.  Imperfections are the stuff of life.  As we go through our weeks, it's nice to think that--when all hell breaks loose--we can wind up with a more memorable outcome than we ever planned for.  With that, this songwriting cook is off to embrace the punches this week.  Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, and I'll see you next Monday. -Em


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