We usually wouldn’t think to spend an entire Two Story Road’s #TwoStoryTuesday post on one performance, but when you get to play the Bluebird, it’s definitely worth sharing.
Some of you may be familiar with the Bluebird because of it’s frequent appearance on the TV show “Nashville”. What you may or may not realize is that the Bluebird has been an iconic venue for years. In fact, perhaps only the Ryman Auditorium, which is where the Grand Ole Opry first called it’s home, has more history than the Bluebird. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal that we were able to sit in one of those chairs where so many legends had previously sat, and play our music. Here’s how that night looked to us.
With the show starting at 9pm, we got there around 8:30pm so we could do a quick soundcheck. Seeing a long line of people outside waiting to get in as we drove up put a huge smile on our face. Fred Wilhelm, one of our good friends & frequent co-writer, had invited us to join his Songwriters Round & he was the first to arrive. Besides him and a few people from the Bluebird staff, it was surprisingly quiet when we first walked in. With the room being so empty, the history of that venue was incredibly transparent. You could see every photo on every wall of all the greats that had played there. It was one of those moments where you feel like time stands still and you just take it in. We quickly took a panoramic shot of everything we were looking at.
Shortly after we said hello to Fred, his other two guests for the night, Ryan Kinder & Luke Sheets, walked in. We did a quick soundcheck & then our wonderful audience for that evening started walking in. The Bluebird puts the songwriters in a small circle facing each other in the middle of the room while the audience surrounds them. It is by far the closest we’ve ever been to the audience. At one point, a woman tapped us on the shoulder and asked if she could buy us a drink. I don’t think she even had to lean in to reach us.
One of the best things about the Bluebird is that the audience comes there expecting to hear great songs & the stories behind them. With Nashville being a songwriters town, it’s great to have venues like the Bluebird where it’s not all about the sound, the lights, & the production. There’s a different kind of magic you get when you hear a song in it’s purest, rawest form. You’re getting a very rare glimpse at how the song took shape & was created on day #1. When you’re performing with a full band and you’re trying to put on a high energy show, there’s usually not time to share those kinds of stories about the songs.
A magical moment that we were able to share with the audience that night was when we performed an original song called “Better When You’re Home.” It was the first song that was ever written with Two Story Road in mind. After we told everyone the story of how & why the song was written, we did our best to convey the emotion we were feeling…remembering writing that song at our home & now performing it at The Bluebird Cafe. It was one of the most rewarding “full circle” moments we’ve had to date.
From 9pm-11pm, Fred, Ryan, Luke, & ourselves entertained the audience with the best songs we could. We all laughed together at some hysterically funny drinkin’ songs. There were also moments when a ballad was so moving both musically & lyrically, it just leveled the place. Ask anyone who was in that room and they’ll agree that it was about as magical as you can get. After the show, we spent a good hour talking with everyone who was there. There were people visiting Nashville who came from Canada, England, and even as far as Australia, and they made sure that coming to the Bluebird was a “must” on their to-do checklist. One of the best compliments of the night came from the most unexpected person. As the security guard was walking us to our car he said the following:
“Ya know, I’ve been working here a long time. I can’t remember the last time that not one single person got up from their table and came outside for a quick cigarette break. Y’all must have been singin’ some great songs in there.”
With that, we drove away the same as we drove up… With a huge smile on our face 🙂
8/25/14 – 12:20pm