The Bluebird Cafe
I had lived in Nashville for over a year without ever seeing a show at the famous Bluebird Café. Sounds crazy right? But the truth is because it’s so famous, tickets sell out immediately. I had previously attempted to see a friend from my Song Salon group at his debut show, and couldn’t for that very reason.
This time, however, my friend and killer guitar player Justin Love was playing. I had again tried and failed to snag a ticket, but he had another friend who had some extra ones. I was finally going to make it! I was happy that my first time there would be to support a friend. It made it all the more special.
Truth be told, however, if The Bluebird wasn’t THE Bluebird, one honestly wouldn’t think of much of it, especially from the outside. It’s located in a little strip mall next to a cleaner’s and a hair salon. There’s nothing modern or fancy about it, one could even say the area looks a little run down. I found myself pondering the value we humans create all our own while I was waiting for the show to start.
As the music began though, it became clear that there was magic in this room, a special feeling you don’t feel in other venues that is hard to explain.
Here, the set up was circular, all of the seats and tables surrounded the performers who were in the middle. The seating chart seemed to be just fit as many people as we can. This brought a coziness to the place it wouldn’t have otherwise had, and the fairy lights and shingles on the room's perimeter made it feel like we were all outside sitting around a campfire.
With each song, you could feel everyone in the room feel a bit more like friends and less like strangers. Suddenly we were all moving through the stories together, feeling a little more connected and a little less alone. It was beautiful.
I’m not a religious person at all, but I truly feel like, in spite of the chaos of this world, moments like this are why we’re here; what we’re actually meant to be doing. Music can transcend so many barriers, and especially in this day and age, it feels like one of the few things that can still bring us together in spite of our differences.
I imagine playing a show at The Bluebird one day, what it might feel like, what I’d say, what I’d sing. I look around at the famous faces on the walls, faces that used to be merely young hopefuls taking a chance at something they loved, having the audacity to believe they could do something big with it.
One of these faces was plastered on a photograph to the left of my table. It was Taylor Swift, and I couldn’t help but feel like she was grinning at me.