This column ran in the June 23 LOOK@OKC.
Whenever I wanted to volunteer for something in school, from kindergarten to college, I raised my hand as high as possible.
I think a lot of local bands are doing the same thing.
I recognized this trend after hearing about a fight breaking out in front of the Sooner Theatre in downtown Norman during the 3rd annual Norman Music Festival in April. A fan of The Non wrestled with a security guard in a desperate attempt to see the Oklahoma City instrumental quartet play with an orchestra.
People wanted to see this show, but hundreds were turned away.
This situation is ridiculous and awesome because this rarely happens in Oklahoma. I thought I’d witness a scissor-tailed fly catcher with two heads stealing a baby before I’d see people react to a local show like this.
What made the show special is simple: two groups decided to work together. And the best thing about this collaboration is not only did it make The Non sound epic but also it gave the supporting orchestra an audience clamoring to see them.
I could only imagine the amount of confidence the orchestra received after that show, and all it took was a suggestion of teamwork and a solid follow through.
On June 13, the Flaming Lips performed a show similar to The Non’s collaboration and it was another great example of how powerful working together can be.
The Lips played a private show for the 78th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, but they didn’t perform alone. The Oklahoma City Philharmonic joined the Lips and played beautifully. It was as if the orchestra had been secretly touring with Coyne’s crew for years.
Because I freak out any time the Lips are within a 50 mile radius if me, I made my way to the stage and took photographs as soon as the rockers took stage.
Before I knew it, there were 100 people out of their chairs with camera phones in hand. The four-song concert brought mayors that were full of steak, lobster and cheesecake to their feet.
The very fibers of the planet began to tear.
Even Mayor Mick Cornett had a gigantic, goofy grin on his face as he listened from the front row to our State Rock Song, “Do You Realize???”
Maybe music can’t change things, but creating an experience bigger than yourself does have huge potential.
I’ll raise my hand to that.
SHOWS TO SEE AND NOT TO SEE…
June 25: The Pretty Black Chains will be playing its first show in months at the reopened Blue Note. It’s free to get in and if there were free beer at the show then I have a feeling the Blue Note would have to close again after a PBC set. @ Blue Note Lounge, 2408 N. Robinson Ave.
June 30: Just say this band’s name and try not to laugh: Andrew Jackson Jihad. The demented folk act will surely make your sense of humor three shades darker. @ The Conservatory, 8911 N. Western Ave.
July 3: Nothing says America like a healthy dosage of Taddy Porter’s southern-fried rock tunes. Bring friends and ear plugs for a wonderfully loud show. Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E. Sheridan
July 4: I will start cranking Bruce Springsteen songs and lighting sparklers at 6 a.m. in my front yard. See you there.
July 6: Justin Bieber lands in Tulsa in order to make it on every Oklahoma teenager’s top three shows they’ve ever seen list. Sadly, my Bieber Fever is flaring up again and giving me rashes, so I might have to sit this one out. @ BOK Center, 200 S. Denver, Tulsa