We may not always be this young
We may not always be together
But we will always have ‘Forever Young’ forever
– Rebecca Loebe, “Forever Young Forever“
It seems a little odd that I just met Rebecca Loebe yesterday, since I’ve been hearing her name and voice for years now. She is the old friend of an old friend, the best friend of a new(ish) friend, and although based in Austin, seems to be at home everywhere (which is also where she’s usually touring).
I always take presenting shows seriously and want the results to be the best they can be for anyone willing to spend an evening singing in my house, but in Rebecca’s case, I also wanted her to feel as welcome and comfortable and relaxed as she would feel with any of our mutual acquaintances. (Which was sort of a ridiculously tall order to place on myself for a 20-hour visit, but good luck convincing me of that.)
When I looked at the guest list for last night, I was stressed. Our numbers were … not great. I love how vibrant and activated Memphis has become, but I really wasn’t prepared for there to be a home football opener, two huge fundraising events (with live music), and a free downtown music festival happening on the same night as
the show. As the day wore on and we got more cancellations than new RSVPs, I was feeling fairly low about the job I’d done.
This is the part in the story where it would be great to say there was some attendance miracle and we magically filled every seat, but the truth is, we had even fewer than the guests we expected. And yet, it was still a full house. It was full of warmth and connection. It was full of old stories and new friendships. And it was full of Rebecca’s riveting words and crystalline voice. Ever the professional, she performed with just as much dedication and passion as if she were in front of “12 million people and four very judgmental pieces of furniture.” I certainly didn’t expect anything less from her, but I definitely couldn’t have asked for more. And the size of the group created even more intimacy as we laughed and cried and shared that special experience together.
There are so many talented artists out there, more than anyone can possibly keep track of. It’s the reason reality TV shows never run out of people willing to line up in stadiums or cram into conference centers to show what they can do. But when you see those crowds, it can be easy to forget that being a professional artist takes something truly remarkable – a willingness and ability to be open and vulnerable and accessible to strangers, whether it’s 10 or 10,000. Thanks for bringing us together, Becca, and for proving why that’s so important.
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