Experimenting with something new.
The lights turn on and you step out from behind the screen, the audience welcoming you with applause. You check the settings on your effects pedal one last time while the drums tickle the excitement in the crowd. You look up and your confident eyes sweep over the eager crowd. You say, “Welcome to the Summer Festival!” unleashing your audience’s squeals.
You glance at your bandmates, and a ready smile spreads on your face. You were born for this.
Your hands rise over your head and you clap, the fans joining you before you even tell them to. A quick look to your right tells you it’s time. You throw your hand like you pulled a trigger, “Bass.”
The low notes spill over the percussion like a warm touch. You nod your head to the beat, and it takes your whole form with you. You wait to extend your arm and sing in scale, “Piano.”
The keyboard’s first sweet note collides with the cymbals like the splash of the ocean. You grin as the sound blooms and blue lights wash over you. Your gaze floats up and you breathe in, as if you were overlooking the open sea. You call out, “Fast acoustic.”
The music builds up and a swing from your arm heralds in the guitar. The audience aahs. A mic from across the stage whines, so you answer, “Hey!” the echo hanging over your shredding on the lead guitar. The crowd screams, enraptured, but all your focus is on the six electric strings vibrating under your fingertips.
You move like you are the guitar’s timbre. Like you are the pulse. The music swells and you give one final strum before the music cools and you relax. You stride back toward the mic, and the audience takes the opening line from you. Your eyes twinkle, as if welcoming in a friend. You motion, “Come on,” and more voices add to the richness of the verse.
Your arms mill at the elbows to their singing; your head bobs to the beat. They know all the words. Your gentle hands fall over the mic and you duet the next lyrics with the crowd, pulling them in to listen with the twist of your wrist. Every time the second voice comes on, you pull back just enough for a grin to peek through and the rhythm to course through you.
Your every gesture keeps the crowd’s attention rapt. Feeling a little mischievous, you turn away from the mic, and, with a finger up in the air, cue the audience. You mouth the words, they fill in the blanks. Satisfied, you get right back in and complete the verse.
“Whoo!” you cry, ending your turn in time to hop back to strumming your guitar at the crash of the cymbals. The canorous pre-chorus has taken over you, and you’re almost unsteady on your feet, dizzy with delight.
Your forehead knots as the guitar soars, and you bite your lip until the cymbals clap and the music cools again. Ecstasy-drunk steps whisk you away to the corner of the stage, but the dancing lights still find you. You aren’t even the one singing, but you’re a show all your own. Nothing stops the grand harmony from sweeping you away to another planet.
You orbit back to your spot, drawn by the crescendoing music. When you jump into the chorus, you take the whole audience with you. Your lips move along to a line that isn’t yours, and your eyes close, feeling every chord and syncopation. It’s your song, but its beauty still overwhelms you enough to push you a few steps back. The cadence ripples through your limbs as you sing along. The rhythm breathes through your whole body. You lean your head back as you bask in white light and musical revelry.
Your eyes open and you smile, remembering where you are. The lights color you yellow as you nod and speak something inaudible to the crowd, but everyone just understands. This was it. You were going to let it all out. The last chorus explodes over the speakers and everyone leaps into the air. It’s nothing but lightness and freedom, dancing and emotion, sunny hues and song.
And just like that, the piece ends with the last stroke and the audience erupts in cheers. You look down at your pedals, preparing for the next set – completely unaware that for four minutes and twenty-five seconds, you had become everything Joy looked like.
Most of the things I’ve written are based on something internal or imagined, and I wanted to try writing about something that I observed outside of myself. When I saw the video this was based on, I immediately felt like I needed to write. There was just something so contagious about it (of course, I took some artistic liberties in how it flowed, but it’s mostly faithful to the video).
I wrote this song in such a way that I hoped the reader would maybe feel the same kind of excitement and joy of doing what you love and living every moment of it. I kinda want to use this as a reminder to go through more and more of my days like that.