I made it through afternoon traffic in time for my Allentown gig in PP&L Plaza for the Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting ceremony. I followed several community teen groups, which was cool because it seeded the crowd with arts-oriented kids and parents. Some nice moments when the crowd sang the Falalalas, and Rudolph’s nice and public, and by themselves. I try to make this happen, so that we can all experience the people’s voice. Rare, indeed, in our modern society.
Occupy’s Mike Check… that’s the new one…
Towards to end, I invited kids up on stage to play, dance and sing with me. The stage filled up with inner city kids, and gave me a new prop to play with. I launched into Mary had a Baby, a rocking SC island carol, and we jammed. I actually got them going rhythmically, sang, and then, as they played, I taught them the tune’s chorus, which they picked up and maintained to great effect. It also gave me room to explore the tune. It was so much fun, and the essence of what I do, and, amazingly, what the event folks could be proud of. Community and arts in action. Downtown…..
I diverted from Xmas to Xdance, since the kids were up on stage and cookin’. We did a freeze dance, and urban kids are not afraid of dancing (another lesson). This is all great vaudeville technique, by the way, along the lines of dog and pony show and other great animal acts, and it expanded the ‘production’ to very nice levels. (Who needs a band?) … and I could stretch the set….. and play guitar….. feed the artist….
We finished with Jingle Bells, with kids singing, playing shakers (let’s hope not too many walked – but what the hell, as long as they use them). I let them sing the last time through, and it was perfect. The community singing to the community. I also broke a string, which is karma for the same thing.
It was a great gig, as it turned out. Tomorrow, RockRoots in Scotch Plains, NJ at 9:30 am. Crack o’ dawn…..