It was a small spotlight, but a spotlight nonetheless. The color-changing glow from the small lamp still emanate warmth, like a kind of comfort to those who find themselves beneath the rays. The stage lay empty at this time, but every soul in the room held their breath in anticipation- I was no exception.
The venue was small, but more of the exclusive size than a small-stage feel. After a stamp on the wrist and a trip to the bar I was exploring this community of artists and fans integrating with each other. There were only a few minutes between arrival and the beginning of the show, which took place in the upstairs portion of the modern-industrial setting. The paintings, photography, clothing lines and various other artistic pursuits laid bare for all to see- proudly. This was fitting as each one of them was unique and beautiful, each one evoking excitement for the possibility of a future to come, for both the art and the artist. These pieces of work were not just entertainment to be enjoyed an forgotten, they were the physical manifestation of the dreamers who’s hands had created them- they were living, they were evolving, they were showcasing their worth to the world, and they made it very clear that they are priceless.
With a glance at my watch I am spurred to action- it was 10:30pm and the show upstairs was about to begin. i made my way up the stairs, passing local socialites dressed to the nines the whole way, I could tell that I made it to the stage by the buzz in the air around me. Standing two arm lengths from the performers I watched as a spoken-word poet let passion flow from his lips, every word shedding light on social injustice, every sentence a stab at the status quo and a wake-up call forcing us to open our eyes. Even if sound never resonated from his vocal chords, you could see the passion in his face, you could see how close to home he really was, you could see that these words might as well have been tattoos on his existence. As the lights fell with his last word and the stage became dark, I could feel the heat from the spotlight leave- signaling the next performer: Caleb Jermaine.
In the summer of 2017 a national phenomenon occurred as the moon totally eclipsed the sun from our view for the first time in decades. In this one moment almost every eye in the country was looking at the same thing, our attention as a country transfixed in unison. Caleb was the eclipse, the stage was his sky and the packed venue was our great nation. We all watched, we all listened, and we all dared to dream. Caleb sang his songs beautifully on Saturday night. He described a love that’s just fingertips away in “more than a friend”, reminding everyone that the greatest loves are those that transcend emotional and physical bonds. They are the kinds of love that are rooted in the bonds of friendship and in the simplicity and comfort of making the day-to-day a once in a lifetime adventure. Caleb ended his set, albeit all too early, with his anthem- “Dreams”. As meaningful as it is catchy, Dreams is a passion project, Dreams is a rhythmic sky banner that shouts to all listeners the importance of painting your dreams in the stars and chasing them. Maybe even more importantly however, Dreams was a musical depiction of the evening. Dreams was the fight song of Love & Unity 2018, echoing forever in my mind that big dreams are alive in small places and one day sooner rather than later, they will be too big to stay there