I've officially passed the halfway point of the Digisaurus Spring Solo Tour. As I’m writing this, we’re driving down to Asheville, NC from Washington, DC. It’s been a somber mood in the van today as we're learning about Prince’s death. I had a post written up about the past week, but it feels completely irrelevant to share at this point. In summary, I spent some time around the area I grew up in and my new home in Philly. It was great to be in my childhood home, my new home, with family, and with friends old and new. But that’s another story for another time.
This has been a tough year so far for deaths in music. It’s especially tragic when it happens to someone who’s always been so...alive. I was introduced to Prince's music pretty late in my childhood. In fact, I think the first time I remember hearing about him was when he was introduced on an awards show as “The artist formerly known as Prince.” That introduction alone peaked my interest, and from then on he’s had a pretty consistent presence in my life.
More recently, I've been playing one of his songs over the venue PA right before I hit the stage on this tour. I have a little pre-show playlist put together to test levels during my line-check, but more importantly it helps me control mood right before I go on. The opening song of the playlist is “Kiss,” and as soon as it starts coming out of the speakers you can feel a shift in the room. Everyone sort of picks up from their slouch, straightens up, orders a drink, and starts chatting to the person next to them. People start laughing, pointing at the keyboards and lights on the stage, and realize…we’re about to have some fun. The atmosphere carries through the show and I'm amazed by the power that song carries. Hearing it every night has helped me perform my best whether it’s for five people or for a hundred people.
We sometimes throw around the term, “larger than life,” but Prince has always seemed to transcend music, art, and even his own identity to create cultural shifts. His music has gotten me through some low points and helped amplify the atmosphere in my greatest moments. But most importantly, he’s reminded me of how much music can personally connect with and affect people. In turn, that's helped remind me why I'm doing what I'm doing. I’ll miss you Prince, and you better believe I’ll be blasting “Kiss” tonight right before I hit the stage.