The show that reminds me why

I'm going to preface this post with a simple statement: I love the fact that my job is performing on stage every night. It's something I've felt called to do since I was a little kid. I thank God I get the opportunity to do it for a living and try to not take it for granted. That being said...

It's still a job - this is referring to touring in general - and every job has things you don't love about it. There are days where I wonder if this is what I should continue doing no matter how much I love it. It can be wearing - both physically and emotionally, lonely (even in a bus full of people), and can make me wonder if being away from home and missing family/friends is really worth it. That's just the truth of it. At least for me. I know some people are reading that thinking, "are you being serious? You get to travel all over the country and get paid to play music! That's the dream!"...and yes it is, but every dream has its sacrifices. And those sacrifices have seemed worth it so many times I can't even count. However, I have doubts and fears just like anyone else does in any other job. Doesn't mean my love and passion for it is gone or waning - I just have to choose to keep chasing it. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, but I always say it beats the hell out of a day job. I'm known to be an extremely honest person, and that's about as honest as it gets right there. 

Needless to say, the point of this post is to say that one show can make all of the doubts disappear and make everything seem so worth it. I recently experienced this in the last place I thought I would. July 4th - the band is enjoying a day off in North Carolina on the beach. We have to leave that night to play a show in Fort Loramie, Ohio. To say I was less than thrilled to leave our paradise to play a show in OHIO would be an understatement. All I could think to myself was, " sheesh, let's just get this one over with and get on to the next". 

That next day we did our usual routine - load in, sound check , dinner, showers, and then it became close to show time. I made my usual pre-show vodka/tropical redbull (don't knock it til you try it!) and walked up side stage to mentally prepare for a 90 minute headlining show in some of the worst heat and humidity I could remember. I barely took a look out at the crowd as we did our pre-show huddle. We're finally ready to get this one done. Lights out, Derrick (Tuck's drummer) starts his usual rocking tom intro and we walk 6,000 people screaming their heads off. At that moment, I felt this rush of adrenaline and pure excitement as I looked at all the guys who had these big smiles, mouthing, "what the f**k?" in amazement. From that moment on, it's a pretty big blur as I rushed around the stage having some of the most fun performing I've had in longer than I can remember. I was left, right, center, on top of speakers, on top of the drum riser far more than usual, making funny faces at everyone, laughing for no reason. I remember looking around at the band and crew as we looked like we were all kids again just jamming in some garage somewhere. It felt pure and not covered in any sort of bullish*t. The show flew by - it felt like the fastest 90 minutes of my life. Did I play a perfect show? Hell no. Did I laugh, smile, and run around like a child on Christmas morning? Hell yes. Walking off stage, everyone just looked at each other and said "that is exactly why we do this!" There's a joke about what type of night it's going to be using my last name, Knop (Ka-nope). I always get asked, "is this a Knop night or a Kyup night?" It was about as Kyup a night as it could've been. And, yes, I know that's lame...just go with it. 

That night probably re-energized me for another year. It made those exhausted doubts and fears disappear - if only for a few minutes. This show was an example of why I ever picked up a bass and decided to chase this whole dream. Thanks gave me a reminder that I needed more than you know.

Fort Loramie OH. 7/5/17

Nigel Knop