Friday, November 15, 2013

Survivor - Halfway Jam

Survival is a tenuous position, you either survive or you become high-grade loam so its very easy to delineate between the two, if you succeed in surviving I suppose.  Depending on your beliefs of life-after-death you may know which way your cookie crumbled but survival is never that easy.  Second chances must be figured into the equation if not for the simple reason that survival and second chances are kind of the same thing.  In the world of music second chances are as close as their next performance.

When I saw the band Survivor at America's River Fest in Dubuque, Iowa on June 15th, 2013 it was a great day until the mother of all monsoons forced the band from the stage and until that happened I was satisfied with the performance of the band.  Yes there was a little "hiccup" in their set as the band wasn't able to perform "Eye of the Tiger" much to the chagrin to a specific woman sitting behind me.  I was disappointed but it wasn't the be all end all partly because their performance was still great.  I knew I would get the chance to see the song and all of the others for that matter, when I ventured to "Halfway Jam" in Royalton, Minnesota I would see the band once again.

Halfway Jam is a spectacular place to see great talent and with that in mind I was excited about seeing the band for a second time.  The aforementioned statement doesn't go without some precedence that being the 2013 lineup of Halfway Jam was stacked full of greatness and when the evidence is that clear it increases the anticipation of the show.

Steam Rises - Temperature Cools
When July 26th, 2013, the second day of Halfway, began it seemed as if the weather gods were not going to cooperate once again.  The weather was chilly and as nightfall began to fall, so did the temperature.  I've been to Halfway Jam three times and this is the first time that such unseasonable weather appeared.  I'm sincere when I tell you that I was starting to think there was some planetary alignment or a curse I had upon me trying to force me to not enjoy the band, or at the very least keep me from hearing "Eye of the Tiger."

Well weather be damned because I stood up and listened with a packed audience but the opportunity to actually see a full set was kind of important to me.  Not because of the one song but rather because I knew they would be great and I wanted to see it through.  That could be partially the reason, another possibility would be that I expected the band to be as good as they were in that monsoon.  When the performance began precipitation was the farthest thing the band had to worry about, the chill in the air was front and center, but honestly they had absolutely nothing to worry about.

The nice thing about seeing the band earlier in the year was that I really had a chance to know what was coming and I was able to pair the two and make an "average" interpretation of their performances.  That was definitely a plus and why you ask?.  It's simple really despite the rains in Iowa and the chill in Minnesota the band proved to be  flawless.  Many moons have passed since the days of the bands early success but really bands that can perform at this, or any level still are rare.  With that early seasonal chill in the air, vocally they were spot on and at the same time they seemed tireless moving about the stage.

While the vocals were spot on, the onus was then placed on those musicians and their individual skills.  A friend of mine once told me about a performance with a college marching band, he claimed it was so cold that when some of the people performing actually had their lips stuck to the mouth pieces.  With a chuckle and a couple of laughs he continued the tale by telling me that when they tried to remove their lips, they some lost skin.  With the exception of the kid in "A Christmas Story" and some personal experience with a chest freezer in the basement, I had really never heard of it happening but man did we laugh.  Those memories came flopping down from wherever they resided and despite a little chuckle I was curious to see what might happen.

How could my curiosity not be piqued?  With the absence of horns from the performance the possibility of seeing the carnage was slim to none and slim left the building.  The musicians within the band grabbed the attention of the fans and kept it throughout.  Sure weather could affect the band but that was far from the case.  This show was something unlike anything I have seen before, and I think it was a good thing.  Using a little reasoning the realization that Survivor provided me with an opportunity to take information from the recent past and add upon that information I gathered from this performance.  Survivor really brought their "A game" to Halfway Jam vocally and musically, they were excellent.

When I saw Survivor in Dubuque, Iowa I was happy.  When I saw Survivor at Halfway Jam I was happy.  A little weather wasn't going to change my happiness not by a long shot.  I was happy because that drunk woman behind me in  Dubuque, Iowa wasn't there screaming behind me.  I was happy because I got to see a full set and I heard "Eye of the Tiger" live.  Sorry drunk lady, maybe you can catch another show and hear the song.  My advice to her and to you is go see Survivor live.  I'm guessing the band will be near you soon.  Why you ask?  They're Survivor(s).  Killer show!

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