As Matthew Wilder once said, "Last night, I had the strangest dream." I was at some sort of educational and/or military compound, and in the main dining hall there was a musical performance. My friend, a local photographer, was with me, and we were excited about the show. In some ways, it could have been any Friday night at one of my favorite Denver venues, but this space was large, and it was not unlike the mess hall in MASH
. When it came time for the show, it turned out it was the Killers, except, as dream logic would have it, this band looked nothing like the Killers.
I'm not even sure I would know what the Killers looked like if I woke up next to them in my bed. Still, in my somnolent sense, I accepted that that's who they were. As the band launched into the song, it became clear that the frontman (Brendan Flowers, I assume, though he looked more like one of Jack Black's characters from Mr. Show) was too drunk to perform. Just before the vocals kicked in, he fell face down on the floor and stayed motionless.
Being a true professional, however, he began to sing at his cue, though in a bizarre and cartoonish falsetto. As he lay on the floor, various clueless fans attempted to pick him up off the floor. He used the brilliant passive resistance technique of going completely limp so that they couldn't get a grip. Meanwhile, my friend, the photographer, and I, both snapped photos and kept discouraging members of the audience from touching him and getting involved in the obvious theater of the moment.
I've actually had this very same experience at multiple performances by the incendiary Denver band Git Some. Luke Fairchild -- arguably one of the most potent, theatrical and engaging frontmen in town -- frequently frightens uninitiated members of the audience by falling to the floor, falling off the stage or falling into Andrew Lindstrom's drum kit. With grace and intent, Fairchild creates the illusion of being completely out of control when, in reality, he is the Jim Morrison puppet master of the venue, gently coaxing the audience into actions and reactions it would never expect of itself.
Apparently, Git Some shows are so effective and so affecting that they've imprinted themselves on my subconscious mind and crept into my dreams. Live music can be that powerful. It can re-map synapses and take up residency in your brain. And I happily let it do so.
Anyway, when I woke up this morning, I could still hear the melody and the lyrics clearly in my head. I even knew the title of the song. I thought it might be off the Killers' new album, but it isn't. I Googled some of the lyrics and came up dry. I gave up. But the song stayed in my head all day.
And then it occurred to me, much later in the day, that the lyrics weren't from some big time rock band. I hadn't heard them on the radio or on some hip podcast or as part of some CD a record label had recently sent me. The song was actually a variation on a tune by Mike Marchant, the Denver singer-songwriter and frontman for Widowers. It's a song I've only heard once -- at that campfire set at Forest Room 5 -- and of which I don't own a recording. But it's a beautiful, powerful song, capable of embedding itself far below the level of consciousness.
I didn't even know that I knew the song. It just burrowed in and made itself at home, until it was ready to be released in my dreams. Live music can be that powerful. It can take over your dreams. --Eryc Eyl