You’ve sensed it too, haven’t you?
Is it in the grim way the bands arrive a bit after doors and set up hurriedly? It is in the number of Social Media reminders and nudges you are getting about a night’s event? Is it the way folks ask repeatedly online for tickets to another sold-out “can’t miss” show?
Yes. You or your loved ones may be suffering from show-verlode. Here’s some things you can do to counter the effects.
Yes. I just made up the word “show-verlode.”
This perfect spring storm of events is a good problem to have and a logical result of a massive multiyear stoppage of… everything? Pretty much? The ol’ show gears are turning again and folks are ready to read, perform, act… you name it. It is natural and logical to feel overwhelmed when every night of the week around town is getting close to popping off, when you feel so often called to make it out and, also, to decide between multiple worthy and interesting events.
But to be where we were (locked down) and, now, to return to close where we used to be (2 Fast 2 Furious, the prior Baltimore going rate of speed) as an underground community is strange. Are you ready? Are we ready? Is it safe?
To just rush back out there and not contemplate this is a form of denial of what has just happened and continues to happen. We can’t go home again. We need to mourn and grieve properly and then move forward in a healthy way. But that happens at its own speed for each of us.
Alcohol dehydrates you. Drink water also. Please.
In general, keeping healthy and putting some effort into regular sleep, rest, and a form of routine is wise. These are wild times, filled with wild business, and getting home from a show at 3AM every night will take its toll.
You can easily cross from a place of enjoyment and participation into a place of dutiful fulfilling of obligations. Just stresses. Quiet desperation. Just ask Thoreau. Or DJ Kaled. Both knew what I have learned: the game is real.
You can’t attend every event. You won’t make every show. Yes, the phrase “I thought I would see you there” can be cutting, but the truth is you need time to be elsewhere and to do other things, handle other business.
A good change during these past years has been bands and performers cancelling shows or rescheduling them. Yes, it is disappointing in the moment, but a reflection of the human and flawed being recognized in a system that skews unhuman.
Earlier in her career, I saw Cat Power play a sold out show at the Ottobar in which she was in no proper or mentally healthy state to do so. I can only imagine the pressures internal and external under which she decided to take the stage. It was a lost and confused set, in no way romantic or dramatic. Why does the industry place artists in these positions? Why do we place ourselves in these positions? I know I sometimes do this, pushing forward when I should not, going on for the sake of going on, boat against the current, when I should be home in bed. I try to recognize when the show is over for me, even when the show isn’t over.
Here’s hoping we all take a minute amidst this “show-verlode” to breath, pause, and reflect. And, also, to decide if “show-verlode” is the right word. “Show-verlanche?” “Show-nami”? I am not going near “Show-verdose”. That is a whole ’nother column.