And it doesn't change. The same explosion of emotion that is not the product of expectation but expectancy. By that I mean that expectation is the reasonable probability that a certain outcome will result if certain preconditions are put into place. Expectation leaves little or no room for anticipation. Expectancy, on the other hand, is full of anticipation because it rests in a state of mental openness. Anything can happen. And what happens when The SoulMates perform is...joy.
Here is an example. There is a young couple who comes to the Candlelight to see The SoulMates very often. Last week, the young woman was leaning against the wall of the dancefloor listening to the music. Jarrod was singing the lines "I love, I love, I love everything about you..." and this young woman just spread her arms out and began to twirl. She wasn't dancing, just twirling.
It makes me think of the wonderful scene in the movie Almost Famous when Kate Hudson stands in the empty concert arena remembering the music she had just heard and starts to just spin with her arms out stretched. The scene lasts only four or five seconds but I always want it to just go on and on.
This is the feeling that comes from listening to music of such hope and openness. It is the feeling of joy and that joy expresses itself in so many different ways. After the finish of All Day Sucker," the dancers lined abreast to collectively applaud the band. During a performance of "Can't HIde Love," John Paul--at 77 years of age, the oldest and longest attending fan of Jay "Bird" Koder and The SoulMates--shouts out "You can't hide love! I'll betcha!" Listeners will grab a partner and, failing that, have no problem dancing alone because that joy simply must have an outlet.
However, it is not just the dancers who are responding. Not at all. Those who choose to simply sit and listen are enveloped in the emotions. From shouts to whistles to smiles and even tears, there is a profound response to the joy created and reflected in the music of The SoulMates. Paul Creighton, lead singer of Intervision, sits with a huge smile and bobbing head as he listens with deep appreciation as Jarrod sings The SoulMates arrangement of "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover," especially when they turn the end of the Paul Simon tune into a samba. Michael Magaurn shouts out after "Fly Like an Eagle" and the offering of "Sukiyaki" dedicated to my wife causes her to respond with tears in her eyes. All of this is a response of joy.
The headwaters of all this emotion is The SoulMates themselves. Jarrod was grinning ear to ear as he sat between Jay "Bird" and Reinhardt who were like the Monitor and the Merrimac exchanging broadsides. Then watching him erupt into laughter as "Bird" tears it up on "All Day Sucker."
Reinhardt breaks into smiles when he is finding the groove and he pushes "Bird" and Jarrod forward. He plays with so many others but you can tell that Reinhardt loves this band. He doesn't like to be away from it, even when traveling the Seven Seas on tour with other musicians.
Jay "Bird" will break into a smile as he interacts with the audience but the smile is equally enthusiastic when he is bending the music just the way he wants it. You can see him turned away toward the wall as he plays his guitar solo and he reacts with a smile that just comes from the depths of his soul.
The joy that he and Jarrod and Reinhardt create sets off lights around the Candlelight like fireflies in a meadow during the Summer. This is the feeling of joy that keeps the Candlelight full on Monday nights. The music they weave is the sound of that very same joy.