every Tuesday at Junior’s in River Falls, Wisconsin I’ve gotten to know audiences and understand why KISS did what it has done for what, thirty years now.
Getting an audience’s attention is hard. Being good isn’t good enough. It helps but why were the Bay City Rollers famous and a thousand people who played better in their sleep still working the Dirt Circuit? Audiences are fickle, easily distracted, easily bored, and always looking for a limit to be pushed. It’s not the words, not the tune, not the talent, but the show that matters. Adam Lambert pushed a man’s face into his crotch and finally got the attention, but what’s next?
No, I’m not going to play bass and spit blood all over the stage. I plan to keep my clothes on, the profanities off, and do a show my mother could attend. That probably dooms me to little things here and there with audiences talking and eating while we play. That’s okay because I’ve come to an understanding.
Human audiences will always be what they are, but the audience of heaven is what matters most. I sometimes stand in front of crowds that could care less but when I stand in worship I am standing in the presence of One who accepts whatever feeble song I can muster with a love rooted not in the show but in the character of the Listener. There is a tyranny in being on the stage, there is none standing at the altar.
Amazing what a bar and grill can teach you.