Scarlet Fever Band kicked off its 2017 season last night with the Kirby/Emrick wedding at the Columbus Athletic Club. Meg and Chris came from Denver, Colorado, as did dozens of their friends, and met up with local family and friends. Due to the sunshine and high-60s temperatures that graced the wedding day, the Denver contingent must by now think that Interstate 70 has become a north/south highway instead of east/west, but no. This is Columbus baby—and we’ll give you a spring wedding in mid-February because that’s how we do!
Okay, it’s probably global climate change; but hey. At least in these early years before we’re all charred to cinders, a sunny, beautiful Saturday in February is pretty hard to beat, right?
I wrote a blog back on May 9th of 2016 called Degrees Of Connectedness that mentioned Meg’s dad, Bill Kirby, had come to a club gig back then to see us, because Meg had chosen us on theknot.com to play this wedding. If the two back-to-back performances in that previous blog reminded me about degrees of connectedness, then the wedding last night was another reminder about circles being completed. Connections that were formed that night ten months ago, as well as at another wedding we played at Via Vecchia some years earlier, came to fruition in our winding up at the wedding last night. Another circle was started when Meg and Chris met, completing the first circle of their journey in life together. Seems like there’s some analogy to wedding rings here, but I’ll leave that to the professionals—I’m here to talk about the musical portions of the evening.
And, the musical portions can’t be discussed without making me beam from ear to ear. Whenever I play wedding receptions and people come up to me to say how much fun they had listening and dancing to our music, I always respond that it was just as much fun for me too—I know the whole band does as well. Sometimes I think folks wonder if I’m saying that because I’m being polite; surely this gig was work for me and not just playing music for fun, right?
Nope. Look, I’ll confess that for more than just myself, some of the bar/club dates we’ve done in years past (especially if they involved faux beach-volleyball) drifted into “job” territory, but I haven’t felt that way about a Scarlet Fever Band gig since we reformed after the Sharp Circle retirement. But weddings… man… there’s just such an electricity in the air. Again, I’ve written multiple blog entries about it, but I wouldn’t trade that feeling for much else in this world. Last night was no exception. I had a smile on my face from the downbeat of our “dinner music” jazz set, to the last note of our closing number, Footloose. I found the newlywed couple’s choice of the Talking Heads song, “This Must Be The Place” to add to our set list for the night aptly summed up my feelings about the whole night.
At the end of the reception, well after last call, the folks on the dance floor were screaming, “One more song!” We would easily have obliged and played several more, if it weren’t for our contractual obligations with the venue. I was tired and sore from three hours of playing (not to mention lugging a lot of gear up a lot of stairs), but I would have kept that guitar strapped on all night if I could have for such an amazing group of family and friends.
It was also a treat to get to share the musical duties of the evening with my fellow Franklin County Public Defender, George Schumann, who played during the ceremony itself. George can be heard playing his signature Romantic Guitar stylings each week all around Columbus. Check him out if you get the chance!
I drove home with my windows down in the warm spring air—I know; just go with it—and an old, favorite Steve Winwood song came on the radio, making me laugh out loud. Getting to play music I love, with such amazing musicians, for a night as wonderful as the Kirby/Emrick wedding reception…
2017 has most certainly found me back in the highlife again.