I was late and Jillian had just sent a text letting me know what was up. All it said was, “When you get inside walk all the way towards the stage (past the bar area).” And with that, I flew straight to where she was sitting and exchanged a happy chatter of pre-show giddiness. There was some talk of getting my hands on a PBR or Yuengling, just so that I might keep things respectable and cheap. I ended up getting a Guiness though and quickly regretted all that gray fuzz. On the way back to walking towards the stage, I bumped into a larger lady with frizzy brown hair and we exchanged violent “I’m sorry’s”, before hugging each other unintentionally with bits of cinder flicking from our eyes. It was all accidental, so I just brushed off the wet alcohol slop that had splattered all over me and the wood floor, and let it disappear into that lovely kingdom of: “It didn’t happen. Get over it, NOW.”
Jason appeared at Pete’s calm and ready. He stood up at the side of the room, instead of using the dinky stage, which made me respect him immediately at the get-go. Me and Jillian quickly decided to stand up ON TOP of our chairs to better see and he said “Oh hey” from afar, like a friend bumping into you at summer camp, after a two month intermission of never seeing their face ever. It was nice. From that moment on, I was good and ready and fully capable of loving every person in the room. I was a flower.
Hanna, a newly acquired friend, stood beside me and looked on in earnest. With that, Jason started off nice and slow and tranquil. What started as a soft bird singing solo, turned into a whole house of gals whooping and hollering and bumping elbows. A lot of his songs encourage this, IF NOT ALL OF THEM, and it made me happy in a way I haven’t felt, in I don’t know how long.
It was like what you see in the video footage above, except the crowd was more reactive and explosive, more raw, and a bit more tender and romantic. At this particular show, Jason didn’t sing the song Queen until we had re-situated ourself outside on a street corner, for another post show, which would rival the one that took place confined indoors. While still inside the pub though, he sang his song Green Point, and it was something that fucking soared, if only because it was about the ground we were standing upon. It was everything we knew as kids from New York. It got us excited and proud.
The sing-along that took place outdoors is what left me completely thrilled though. A group of fifty people collected in and around Jason and we were all singing on the top of our lungs and were left feeling completely glad and united. It was a moment in which we really were invincible. Right then, right there, we made magic where there wasn’t any, and it was ‘love’ magnified.
It was better than a snooty concert at the Beacon Theater or The Mercury Lounge, it was better than the grungy one-room venues in Brooklyn just like the one that Jason had played in earlier. It was real, it was human, and we were handing off our hearts, if only to live safely in each other’s arms. We broke all the rules, by pumping our fists and issuing our declaration of happiness. And hell, we accomplished the most genuine of smiles.