than watching one of your friends having the time of their life. Wednesday night was one of the happiest nights of the year for me. My dear friend, Evan Jacover, took the stage at Schubas' to promote the release of his CD, "One Pair of Shoes". Not only is Schubas' my favorite venue in Chicago, but Evan is one of my favorite performers. His music is folksy and fun, clever and catchy, and his performance is always sincere, goofy and oddly intimate. Seriously, this guy could make friends with a rock.
Come to think of it, that's kinda how we met. No, I was never a rock (but if I was, I think I'd be some sort of clastic, like shale or sandstone), but I wasn't out looking for a new friend when I went to one of his shows at Uncommon Ground. I was actually on a date, and we'd gone there to see my friend, Kelly (of Divebar, who also played with Evan on Wednesday) sing backup. I like to hear Kelly sing anytime I can. The lady has a voice sweeter than a marshmallow angel smothered in honey (doesn't that sound good? yeah, so does she). As I sat there, watching and listening to this goofy guy with his guitar, singing about food and candy and math, I felt like I HAD to give him a hug. So, after his show, I did. He gave me a t-shirt. It was nice. Looking back, I realize how awkward that exchange was, but I also know that we're friends now, and it's purely because he knows how to make an audience feel comfortable and appreciated, which is something a lot of great performers lack.
I've been to numerous shows, and I feel that the best shows are like a see-saw, with the artist on one end and the audience on the other, with the music as the board, and the board balanced on a structure of appreciation. Without that appreciation, the board, the audience and the musician are left flat on the ground, with nobody having dangerous playground fun. When everything is in place, though, everybody gets a chance to experience that high and watch others experience it, too.
That's what Evan's show was like. Like a trip to the playground. It was fun. I wish I had a picture to post, but I don't, so I'm just gonna tell you to picture the happiest thing in the world and give it a guitar and a mop of curly brown hair.