September 28, 2018
"Sarah doesn't walk into a room. The room steps back and allows her to pass."
I love the sound of Deni laughing.
In particular, I love the sound of Deni laughing when I know he’s listening to the Steel Panther playlist I made for him on Spotify. Even better is when Deni is laughing hard enough that Sarah wants to listen too, and we play a little Panther in the van and Sarah laughs so hard she can barely drive. I’m so glad I have that moment as the enduring memory of yesterday.
Because, frankly, some of the others weren’t so great.
True confession: The road can be tough sometimes. Tough physically. Tough mentally. Tough emotionally. Most of the time we really do have a ball out here, but some days are a challenge, especially for people like me who have extremely high standards and equally excessive reactions when I feel like I don’t meet them. I wasn’t at my best last night in Oederan. I could give a bunch of excuses for that, but the reality is I’m human. Last night I made a couple of mistakes that nobody in the audience would notice (that perhaps even the band wouldn’t notice), but they don’t sit well with me.
The challenge for me and others like me is to learn how to respond when that happens. I’m still not good at it, but I’m getting better. When I was younger, a sub-par performance like that would take me into a fast and violent thought spiral. I’d very quickly get to, “I don’t have it as a drummer and I never will and I’m going quit playing now.” A spell like that could last for days, and it would be agonizing. Now that I’m a bit older and wiser, the spiral spins out at about 24 hours. The road is great for that. It doesn’t leave time for wallowing. There’s another show tonight. That’s an opportunity to shake it off and get back to work.
But it’s hard, man. It’s so freaking hard. I lose sleep over it. Literally. Everything is an inner game, really. Everything is perspective. It’s a lesson you simply have to learn if you’re going to be in this or any other business. You have to learn how to believe in yourself, which has always been my biggest problem. You also have to learn how to humble yourself and see where you can improve. You have to be diligent enough to make those improvements. You have to be courageous enough to try again.
And so tonight we try again in Gotha, Germany. And it’ll be great.
That’s not to say yesterday was a total loss for Sarah and the Glitterboyz. We awoke in Eisenach and the weather was glorious. Ethereal Carolin took us for breakfast at an outdoor patio on the edge of the town square in what is a gorgeous little city. It felt so civilized. It’s another world from where we live in Canada. It really is. The ancient buildings. The cobblestones. It is just so utterly charming. After breakfast Sarah loaded up on fruit at the grocery store. Then we hit the road once more for a drive through rolling brown fields and across tree-lined country roads. What a beautiful country this is.
After the show it was just us for the first time in a while. The last few shows have been followed by after-parties and that sort of thing. Last night’s show was kind of tough for all of us, and we were able to sit together in a hotel room and talk together. You need those nights on the road. Deni and I are usually roommates, so we talk into the wee hours all the time. Last night it was the four of us alone, just bonding. We share this experience together. We support each other.
I want to give yet another shout-out to Lexi and Kerstin, members of the German superfan crew, for being there last night. It was their 30th Sarah Smith show. How’s that for dedication? They pretty much got an exclusive, which was well earned. Thanks for your support, you two. We appreciate you building us up. We also appreciate the photos you share with us!
We also met a great guy named Holger, who runs Cactus Rock Records. He was very complimentary about the show and we appreciate it. This is still how it works in the indie world. One fan at a time. One show at a time. We play, we build, we go on.
Get ready, Gotha.
It's time to rock and roll.
*Live photo by Alexandra Liebert