matt mays at hunter’s ale house.
i was surrounded by body sweat, ironic toques (my own included) and (only) a couple of screamy girls. i walked in thinking “can’t wait for the music, but dreading the crowd”. a typical thought for shows i expect to be packed to the rafters. sometimes fending off drunk girls clawing to be the closest one to the band tires me.
it was slow going, but many squished toes and angry glares later, i was relatively close to the front! a couple of people even asked if i wanted to trade places with them, just so i could get that much closer. whoever you are, thank you. i know i should be there before everyone else, but life doesn’t always work out that way..
matt mays puts on a great show. i am constantly fascinated by these people who get up on stage and just make it all seem so effortless. i definitely regret not going to see him the last time he was here.
a friend used to tell me a story. he told it to me mostly after several beer, so my details are fuzzy at best. a long long time ago back when matt mays played with ruth minikin, possibly in the guthries, they were gathered around possibly a campfire with good friends, singing and just enjoying each others presence. the story goes that it was such a wonderful and heartwarming experience, it would have brought a tear to your eye to be there to witness it.
during one particular song, i forget which, he started to reminisce about those old times on pei. he mentioned a couple of things which elicited ‘woo’s from the crowd. then he said ‘eyes for telescopes‘. if you were here on the bar scene in the early 2000’s, you knew who they were. i couldn’t contain myself. i was the only person who yelled YEAH. i looked around me and realized that most of these people were probably too young for even fake id’s back then! he also mentioned playing with al tuck. it was nice, and unexpected. it was very heartfelt.
my mother, debbie, really likes his music. she even went to see him once, at the festival of lights. i’m pretty sure it rained. she enjoyed the show regardless. i mentioned he was going to be at hunter’s and she quickly asked if i could get his autograph for her, then just as quickly waved the idea off. this isn’t something she asks of me, and i like it when she likes the same music i do, so i decided this was my mission..
to get matt mays to sign one of his cd’s for my mother.
of course, as soon as they were finished playing, he went upstairs.
i always feel awkward and in the way if i’m at the bar past 2am. the bouncers yelling “IT’S TIME TO GO HOME” while they sweep the stragglers (and stumblers) towards the door. i dislike being in people’s way. i was determined, though, clutching his first cd with a fair bit of anxiety.
finally he emerged from upstairs to pack up his merch. i took several deep breaths and tiptoed over and stood there waiting for him to finish.
i also dislike pestering people, especially when they’re trying to pack up. i never know how my presence will be accepted. will i be a nuisance? will my wishes be fulfilled with that canned smile-shake-hands-thank-you-for-coming response? will i stumble and trip over my words like i do 99% of the time?
as soon as he said hi to me, i completely forgot about every worry and anxiety i had. he was sincerely happy to sign the cd clutched in my sweaty hands for my mother. he shook my hand and intently asked my name, then we chit chatted for a moment. as i started to walk the bar to say goodbye to people, he said “tell deb i said hi *pause* i guess people call her that, right?”. after my goodbyes to the staff were said, i walked by the merch table on my way out the door. his hand shot up in a wave “bye moe!”
my point to this overly long story: for everything he has accomplished, matt mays is the most genuinely nicest dude i may have ever met. his kindness makes me wish i was around that campfire way back when. it makes me wish that we were friends.
because the world needs more friends like that.