I have a song I wrote called 'Black Swan'. It's about a 'black swan moment' which is an event that comes as a surprise and has a major impact in your life. It's a metaphor that's been around a long time and when it happens to you, you'll know about it.
But I think I've just discovered a new metaphor called a 'Poltz moment'. A 'Poltz moment' can either happen at a Steve Poltz concert or at sometime in your life when you are reminded of something that happened at a Steve Poltz concert. It is when you are hopeful of something wonderful happening - and then something wonderful happens!
For the uninitiated Steve Poltz is Singer/Songwriter from San Diego, California . I listen to his music a lot and go to his shows whenever he's in town.
A few weeks ago I performed at the Tantric Turtle stage at Northern Beaches Music Festival. The Tantric Turtle is a cafe set up at the festival and they open their stage for people like me to perform. They are wonderful people.
I had 2 sets booked at the festival one on the Saturday night and again on the Sunday afternoon. I arrived early in the evening on the Saturday and walked around.. Next thing I know i'm being interviewed and performing live on air for the radio station that was broadcasting live from the festival. I've done radio interviews and performances before and it was a lot of fun so I won't really class it as class it as a 'Poltz moment'.
I went back stage, tuned by guitar and did my vocal warm ups, a pretty standard practice. I walked out on the stage hopeful of having a good gig but not quite sure how it would go. The audience had never heard of me before. They were all mixed ages. Would they get in to my stories? Would they like my songs?
They were appreciative as was I and the show was going well.... but then something changed.... about 3 songs in all these families arrived at the stage bringing with them an army of children. I'm guessing they ranged from 3 to 8 years old. The kids charged to the front of the stage and sat down on the large colourful rug in front of me. I was stunned for a minute, not only did my audience just triple in size but I'd never played to kids before! How are they going to find my songs and my stories? I thought 'shit I better change things up a bit here and fast!' I fumbled through my next song then I thought 'what would Poltzy do?' It was then I remembered the 'indie-folk' versions of 'If you're happy and you know it clap your hands' and 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' that I regularly play for my daughter!
From the the first strum they were hooked, on their feet and singing along... I couldn't believe it! Even after that when I went back to my regular set they were jumping around to the quicker songs and slow dancing to the ballads... afterwards they all came up and high fived me and I signed CD's for them and their parents - it was a Poltz moment!... It was what I've seen Steve do so many times and now here I was doing it myself! I was so happy.
Poltzy (yes that's what we call him in Australia) is currently in town and last night at his concert I saw many Poltz moments unfold before my very eyes. All I had to do was look around the room there were so many smiling faces. One that really stands out was a lady sitting in front of me, she was maybe 60 years old and spent the entire show wiping tears of happiness from here face. I wondered when the last time was she had felt so much joy.
As a songwriter I draw on many influences and life experiences to create my songs. But as a performer there is no greater influence than Steve Poltz. There are many times mid way through a set when the thought pops in to my head 'what would Poltzy do?' as occurred at the festival He's an amazing story teller, songwriter and entertainer. Whilst I have my own style and my songs are different I strive to be just like him. I'm working hard at it and maybe I'll get there one day.
Last night yet again I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for the entire show feeling so grateful and happy for Steve that he has found an amazing and large audience here in Australia . We caught up afterwards and had a chat about music. I felt so reassured that I'm on the right path.
I gave him one of my CD's and signed it for him, this is my rule that if I give you a CD I have to sign it so I feel like a rock star!
He gave me one of his and signed it too.... I had a Poltz moment