I know it can be pointless to try and create a profound statement by asking a question and then rearranging the same words to ask another question superimposing some sort of great paradox… so trust that is not what I am up to, this time anyway.
I cannot get this question nor it’s ramifications out of my head today.
Was water made for thirst? Or thirst for water? You see, because water was here, long before we woke up thirsty.
This leads me to ask; was truth made for inquiry? Or inquiry for truth?
Lewis asked us, I just need to nail down my answer.
Relativism can not proclaim itself, or even recognize itself, without defeating itself, entirely.
A woman complained that she had prayed over and over, “God, help me find you,” but had gotten nowhere.
Her friend suggested that she might change her prayer to, “God, come and find me. After all, you are the Good Shepherd who goes looking for lost sheep.”
She concluded when she was recounting this to me, “The only reason I can tell you this story is - he did.”
This fall you will have a unique opportunity to host an intimate living room concert with me, Jeremy Spring, frontman of Abandon Kansas. Imagine being able to invite a couple dozen of your friends and family over to enjoy an hour of music, stories behind the songs, tales from the road, and the genuine company of an authentic singer/songwriter. Sounds awesome right? I’m sure you already have questions, so here are a few answers.
What in the world is going on?
This is The Living Room Tour 3. It’s “The Living Room” because I am going to be playing in none other than your living room. It’s “#3” because I have done this twice before and people can’t get enough of it, and neither can I! I’m pushing my bags in a car, bringing an acoustic guitar and sharing my music and story with you and your friends in your very own home. I will be playing Abandon Kansas songs, new and old, plus Christmas tunes, cover songs, and leading in some worship if it fits the occasion. No two nights will be the same, that’s part of the beauty of this tour.
Why in the world are you doing this?
I love playing with my band mates, we play hundreds of concerts every year, and there is nothing like a loud rock and roll show. But this tour is unique because it gives me a chance to spend time getting to know you and you actually getting to know me. For lack of a better term, the living room tour creates “space” to allow the songs to breathe, conversations to happen, questions to be answered, and a unique exchange to take place. Sure, the night will be centered on the acoustic performance, but I will be in your home, eating at your table, with plenty of time to hang before and after, and we will become family, if even just for a night. In past years, this tour has brought songs to life for the listeners but it has also changed my perspective on what music and ministry could really be when some walls are taken down. Playing in your living room is a lot different than a public concert for a lot of reasons and I believe there is some real significance in connecting with AK fans in this environment.
This all sounds great, but it probably costs the host $1,000, right?
Wrong. Hosting even a small concert for an out-of-town indie artist can easily cost several thousand dollars. There are a lot of expenses like flights, hotels, food, and Starbucks that are usually the financial responsibility of the host, but not this time around. On this tour I am doing everything in my power to cut expenses on my end to keep the evening as affordable as possible. I am charging a flat fee of $200, dinner, and a bed to sleep in for these living room shows.
Can the host collect donations or have a ‘cover charge’ to help with that fee?
Absolutely. While some hosts might not have trouble paying $200 outright, creating a free event for their friends — other hosts might just rely on their connections. If 30-40 people each chip in $5, that fee is covered — so I hope I am making this realistic for anyone, no matter their financial situation. One important note: If the host takes up a collection of some sort, and more than $200 is received, the excess will go directly straight to my gas tank and/or McChicken fund.
Will you have merch available on this tour?
In years past I have brought along a t-shirt design or two, the band’s albums, and some exclusive living room tour posters. It will be a fairly bare bones merch setup, but yes, there will be some AK merch available.
I’m sold! How do I offer my house for a concert?
Excellent. It’s an easy 3-step process, as follows…
STEP 1: Shoot an email to email@example.com with your city and state in the subject line. Please make sure the following information is included in the email: Name, City & State, how many people your living room can hold, how many people you think you can get to come over, & preferred month (November 2011 or December 2011). I also need to know if you mind if the concert is open to the public. This would mean your address is posted online, and while I seriously doubt any creepers are going to show up (it’s never happened before) it’s your right to have the concert be totally private. At this point you are only showing your general interest in being a host — no commitment is being made. All tour interest must be submitted by August 15, 2011.
STEP 2: I will gather all of the email submissions, and figure out what regions of the US have multiple people interested. When I figure out the best route I will be in touch with you about nailing down a specific date. I have taken the living room tour throughout the Midwest and southeast in past years. I have never taken the living room tour out west or Canada (or Hawaii for that matter) but I am certainly not opposed! Nothing in North America is out of the question.
STEP 3: If you’re in a region I’m traveling to, I’ll try to coordinate with you and the others in that region on the best dates for a house show. Routing a tour is comparable to a puzzle, so it is best if the host can be as flexible as possible on timing. I’d rather not zigzag across the country. I would expect that in some cases the travel timing and the host’s availability just won’t match up, and I might have to scratch some names off the list. But I’ll be doing our best to make it work for everyone! Once we have a date & time booked, the host can start inviting their friends & family for a terrific evening.
What?! This sounds too good to be true!
Start telling your friends about this tour now! Even if you can’t host a show, most of these dates will be open to the public and I would love for you to bring anyone and everyone. I’ll be posting info online for the house shows that are open to the public.
What if I’m a church or coffeehouse — can we have Jeremy perform at our establishment as part of this tour?
You bet. However, the $200 rate is an offer only for house shows. We do have a rate for other venues (based on venue size) that will still save a church, college, or venue over 75% from what it would normally cost to bring in an indie artist like Abandon Kansas
Who is traveling with you? That will be different every date. Depending on the city Brad and/or Brian may be joining me for the evening. In other cities I may have locally based artists join me and share the experience with us. Don’t worry, this won’t affect your fee and you will be notified in advance.
What are the technical needs to pull off a house concert?
This tour will thrive on simplicity. For most ‘normal’ sized living rooms, no sound system will be needed. Snacks, red bull, coffee and any other treats will make for a happy Jeremy all around! This tour is close to the holiday season and in years past people have made these house shows a Christmas party as well with goofy sweaters, hot chocolate and all.
You have done a fabulous job of answering all my questions… but I’m concerned that MORE questions might pop up?
“They say good boys keep their livers clean
and smoke out of their lungs
cause it’s all about what you’ve done
good boys don’t make mistakes to learn from.
‘cause when heaven comes
they won’t be caught being young
Grace make your way to the well
to those who deserve it
after all they’ve earned it
but vain, its in vain
cause they don’t need it.”
The Hoard - As Cities Burn
Some grand memories listening to, watching, and playing with that band.
When I was in high school I completely jumped ship on bands when I found out a member did anything questionable. If they smoked or drank or had too many tattoos or cussed from stage or banged their girlfriend or weren’t up front and open about their beliefs I would give up on their music entirely. Remember those days? I have moved passed that. Partially because I am dealing with the pressure of being on the other side of it, and partly because I am learning how to separate the art from the artist. In other ways I am seeing how to mesh the art with the artist completely.
There is no question that some people are held up higher in our minds than others. Some for good reason (politicians, pastors, professors) but others for no real good reason at all (rockstars, athletes, celebrities). Regardless of how a person earns their status, people will most likely start to emulate them and at the very least pay attention to how they act and react to anything and everything. I paid way too much attention to bands when I was younger, looking for any inconsistencies so I could call them out on it. I really got a kick out of letting everyone else know what I found out as well.
When you resent someone, you find yourself able to believe the worst about them without thinking much about it. It’s a terrible form of gossip, because celebrities seem untouchable and therefore unhurt by our jabs, but then we talk about these people like we know them, like they let us down personally. It’s twisted.
Both jobs are exhausting and impossible. An idol can never keep their reputation spotless. Even if they manage to get their act together completely, somebody will make something up. A fan will never find enough dirt on an idol to feel better about themselves, and will ruin every thing they loved about that person in the process.
At some point I came to a place where I really felt compassion for artists who’s lives did not add up with their message. A lot of times I found that their “message” wasn’t their message at all, but had been assigned to them by outsiders. And the rest of the time I found that their “hypocrisy” was really just an honest mistake, a season of life that has haunted them for their entire career. I have said this before, but hypocrisy does not cheapen the message of the gospel, if anything it proves even further our need for grace. All the sudden I was less concerned about how they conducted themselves in front of me or behind closed doors, and more interested in how realistic and honest they were about their battles when I got to know their stories personally. It took going through some real trials myself to appreciate their relentless transparency.
I suppose the balance is this; a person in the spotlight needs to act responsibly, honoring their platform without forsaking who they truly are. A fan needs to listen and watch responsibly as well, not abusing how much power an artist has in their life.
God can do incredibly powerful and beautiful things with the most inconsistent and broken people. After all, who else does He have to choose from?