You know, sometimes I realize that that nerdy guy Mark Zuckerberg was really onto something when he created Facebook.
Case in point: about a week ago, I saw the name of an old friend from high school on the feed of a mutual friend and I thought, “Gee, wonder what Scott is up to these days?” A few clicks later, I realized that he was the drummer for a pretty kick-ass Brooklyn-based band called Obits. And in a stroke of good luck, I realized that just a few days later his band would be playing a gig in Orlando — my current town.
I quickly friend-requested him and told him that I lived here, and bam, before I knew it, I was on the guest list for their Sunday night show at Will’s Pub, an Orlando institution.
I have to be honest, I nearly bailed. I was so exhausted from the kitchen project — I painted FOR HOURS on Sunday. But I had already asked a friend to come to the show, and like me, she’s got a 2-year-old at home and Mom’s Night Outs are few and far between. So I bucked up and boy am I glad I did!
We got there around 9 (dude, check me out with the late-night start! I can’t remember the last time my night started at 9. Definitely pre-baby), and I got to spend about an hour or so catching up with Scott.
I’ve known Scott since the 7th grade. We grew up in Allentown, Pa., and spent some time swapping stories about people from high school. We each had some funny rumors and crazy stories to share. You would have never known that we haven’t talked, much less seen each other, in 16 years. Lord, I’m getting old.
Here’s Scott’s very cool story: after studying graphic design in college, he moved to New York. He’s had a pretty successful graphic arts career but he never lost his love of music. So he kept playing, and a couple years ago, he hooked up with his current bandmates and they formed the Obits. Now, they’re on Sub Pop Records label, which is a major label (they were the first label to sign Nirvana and current artists include The Shins and Flight of the Conchords).
Scott and his bandmates all still have full-time jobs (Scott’s company creates most of the graphics for Facebook games), but they still head out on the road for brief tours to support their albums. So cool. I saw them in the midst of a 10-day Southeast tour.
One more very cool fun fact about Scott: unlike me, he actually went to our 10-year reunion and ended up talking with a girl from our class because they were the only two there who lived in New York. Now, they’re married! They barely even knew each other in high school. I love that story!
So, after making Scott tell us story after story of life on the road (as much as he tried to convince us otherwise, my friend and I are supremely jealous and ready to hit the road ourselves. I mean, they toured Eastern Europe last year. How great is that?), it was time for the Obits to take the stage. Keep your eyes on the drummer:
They were awesome. It was a pretty packed house and it was very cool to see people singing along and shouting out song requests. They’re definitely harder rock than a lot of music I usually listen to, but I really, really enjoyed the show (and it’s not just because I know the drummer!). If you ever get the chance, go see them!
I even had my own personal Band-Aid moment (c’mon, you’ve seen “Almost Famous,” right?!?). Scott said they’re trying to get more video of certain songs so he asked me to man their Flip camera. I asked how I’d know which song he wanted me to record since, well, I haven’t exactly memorized their catalog yet. He said he’s signal me. And two songs in, I got my cue — he pointed his set of drumsticks right at me. Who me? Yeah, I’m with the band. Awesome.
They’re all such great guys and I got to talk to them a bit after the show, too. I love that they’re still pursuing their passion. It’s a philosophy we espouse a lot at my day job, and it was so cool to see it in action. Scott’s the youngest guy in the band, with the other members in their 40s, and how amazing is it to see someone doing what they love just for the love of it? They’re making money, but they’re not getting rich. It’s a great reminder that it’s never too late to rock out with your dreams.
And I even got to live my rock star dreams for one shining moment on stage. OK, fine, the club was empty by then but I still pictured the cheering fans in my own head: