A night of dancing and music with Eric Ian Farmer and his band
Last night I went to see Eric Ian Farmer and his band at Zeno’s Pub in State College. It was such a fantastic night out! I almost didn’t go. But I decided that day after talking with some friends that it was silly of me to sacrifice something I was looking forward to for a month just to avoid possible awkwardness. So I did what any rational woman would do: I went to Goodwill and bought a new dress for the occasion. And I looked amazing in it! I’m fairly self-conscious about my body, and this dress was cut above the kneecaps, a huge no-no for the Gina Thompson wardrobe. But the woman staring back at me in the mirror in the dressing room kept saying, “Buy this dress. You have to buy this dress.” I felt so beautiful last night — it’s rare that I let myself get fancied up. I got so many compliments from friends and strangers; it made me feel like a human being, and not just a frumpy, middle-aged mother.
I’ve listened to Eric Ian Farmer perform before, so I knew what to expect. He is, hands down, one of my favorite singer/songwriters in State College — or anywhere! His songs are soulful and magical. He sings with such passion and soul. He is beautiful (inside and out) and it’s just an absolute pleasure to watch him perform. So I was excited just on that alone. But what I was not expecting was being blown away by Eric + FUCKING AMAZING GROUP OF MUSICIANS. Here was the line-up:
If you live in the State College area and aren’t familiar with these cats, then you need to be yesterday. They are all incredible musicians. There was so much energy and passion coming from the stage that this little heart of mine found it to be a bit overwhelming (in a good way). It felt so great to just let loose and sway to the music, close my eyes, and imagine an easier world. I’ve heard these musicians many times before (except for Bob Hart, who recently moved here from Brooklyn) but it was only the second time I had heard my friend Jason on soprano sax. I know him well enough to believe him when he says he used to be good. But I was shocked by how incredible he still is (or has become again) after a long music hiatus. I felt lucky to get the chance to watch him and all of these musicians play and sing their hearts for us all.
At some point someone, that first person, got up to dance, and then the rest of us followed. So the second and third sets were spent in front of the stage, dancing with other beautiful souls, some I knew, some I didn’t. One of my favorite moments was when my friend Alana came on the dance floor and just took my hand and spun me! I laughed and smiled and just completely relaxed at that point. I had completely forgotten about my drink, abandoning it on the table. I had both arms in the air, on my head, fingers snapping, legs, bent at the knees, feet grooving and jumping. There was a point during one of the songs that the band went into jam mode, and Daryl just took off on drums. I wish I could put into words how incredibly powerful it was. I felt each beat vibrate through my body, from my toes up through my hair follicles. I felt my soul ignite and my chest felt like it was on fire. At some point I started to breathe heavy and I felt tingly all over. I closed my eyes and let my body move in whatever way it was called to. It was euphoric. It felt alive and invincible. After the song was over I had tears in my eyes and I felt similarly to how I feel after having an orgasm… all tired and satisfied. And I just wanted to do it over and over again.
I kept wanting it not to be over and each time they played another song, my heart did a little skip of joy. Eventually, though — the bar erupted in clapping and cheers for the band as they played the final notes of their last song. It was bittersweet. I know that may sound ridiculous, but I’m being completely serious. I wanted to take all of the musicians into one big group hug, squeeze them tight — try and give back some of the love and joy that they gave to me that evening. I can’t remember the last time I had a night of dancing and music and out-of-body, visceral joy. I was incredibly happy leaving the bar. (Topped off by the bouncer begging me not to go and complimenting me on how good I looked! Talk about an ego boost!)
I left the bar with my feet lifted inches off the ground and glided to my car. I can’t wait to do it again.
Thanks to the musicians: Eric, Molly, Daryl, Bob, Ted, and Jason.
And thank you to all of you that came out to share in this beautiful night, but especially my friends who I talked and danced with: Irene, Nancy, Amy, Sam, Brandi, and Alana (I hope I’m not missing anyone).
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you.