We're all tuned up and the microphones are hot.
Once again we're launching into a set of songs, guitar in hand and vocal chords primed.
It was 15 years ago that we last stepped onto this small stage squeezed into the corner of the narrow, dimly lit Loaded Hog in downtown Orlando. Tonight, Guitar Dad and his better half are among a group of local musicians invited to play on the occasion of the bar's closing night (demolition and reconstruction of some newfangled watering hole begins shortly).
Sure, it's great to be back at The Loaded Hog. Most of all, it's great to be back in front of a lively, enthusiastic audience of music lovers. My wife and I used to perform regularly in bars and at private parties, before kids and other grown-up responsibilities intervened. Nowadays, we mostly just play and sing around the house, entertaining ourselves and enjoying the magic of music within the confines of home. Which is fine, of course. But I'm reminded, right here on this tiny, creaky stage, just how little compares to the buzz, the excitement and the sheer adrenalin of performing for an appreciative crowd of smiling faces.
Here's hoping our next gigs won't be so few and far between ...
"Music is the shorthand of emotion." – Leo Tolstoy