Let me start this blog with this - I have played 4 shows with Jars of Clay this weekend. A first for me with these guys, though i have known them for a while. Know them as in fun little conversations at cocktails, not laughing heartily over jokes by a fireplace. Know them, but not KNOW them. That got weird. I digress.
The thing is, Jars’ first album, their self titled debut with “Flood”, “Love Song for a Savior” etc, might be in my top 20 albums of all time. That album occupied an interesting space for me - that space right before i started to play music a lot and became a little too jaded and experienced to really fully enjoy it/the other space of knowing enough about music to really listen and enjoy it actively. I was at Centrifuge (yep) in 95 and very clearly remember walking into the room as we were meeting that night and the video for Flood being played - i very literally stopped in my tracks as it played. Few songs have done that since then. I was completely interested in every way. They were selling early copies of the record that week and EVERY day i would go to my room and sit and listen to the record during down time. EVERY DAY. Since then i have continued to listen from a distance - i honestly don’t own the last couple of records - though “Since I Left the Zoo” to me might be a perfect pop record. Bought that in college and it still blows my mind.
Sitting sidestage i was reminded how great these guys are at what they do. Still. Still writing amazing songs and playing amazing parts and singing amazing harmonies. Last night took me right back to those moments listening to their music the first time. I was amazed at the same things all over again.
Here’s the thing. The guys are even greater than their music is. I don’t know of a bigger compliment than that. THAT is awesome. That is what i want so badly to be. Greater than what i do. Over these last few days of being on the bus with them, i got used to thinking of them as normal guys. Just dudes. And then they got on stage and played, and i was blown away. And at the same time was so thankful that they let their music and lives say the same thing, but separate from each other. They are, in EVERY way, the anti rock stars. They are guys who are really good at something, and you don’t know that until they do it. Their lives don’t speak of music, their music does. Their music doesn’t make them who they are, their lives do.
They haven’t had a career for 16 years because they are rock stars, they have had a career for this long because they write amazing songs and play amazing shows. No gimmicks.
I want to live in that world, where rock stars surprise you. Where an identity and a occupation live in separate spheres. Where good music is rewarded for what it is and does, not because of how it looks. That is a world i want badly to occupy, and i’m doing my best to earn my keep in it.
Cheers to you Jars guys. I’m thankful, inspired, and in awe. Keep doing it and doing it and doing it well.
To everyone else. Go see this tour. I’m only on another weekend of it, so that’s an unbiased thought. Really. Come see this show. It’s truly amazing. THEY are amazing. And buy their albums.