Diet soda in hand, I made my way through the crowd to the far edge of the terrace and sat on the end of a stone bench.
Several people were wrapped in blankets, but the crisp air felt refreshing to me. I turned my attention to the band.
I had arrived at Pour Bros tired, frustrated, burnt out, and stressed to my limit.
A friend had even commented on my foul mood that day, which never happens. I could have easily stayed home and gone to sleep early. But, a recently discovered love of live music along with a desire to make some changes in my life, had driven me to commit to seeing as many local bands and venues as possible... something that was completely out of my comfort zone.
Ten minutes in I realized something magical had happened. I didn't know how, but Nathan Taylor and Friends had cast some sort of spell. I took a deep breath of the cool fall air. There was no tension in my neck or shoulders. I wasn't frustrated about anything. I smiled. I felt great.
"This." I thought to myself... "This feeling is why I want people to be able to find live music when they want it."
It's not about the music, it's about what the music does for you, how it makes you feel. It's about the experience.
Pour Bros was my first of three venues that night, and being there had hit the "reset button" for my attitude, setting the tone for the rest of my night. When Nathan Taylor's band was finished, I moved on with a much better outlook.
I ordered some fantastic Irish Nachos at Brasky's Bar and Grill, enjoying Dexter O'Neal and Funk Yard for the second time ever.
The first time was a couple of weeks before, at Dexter's 50th birthday party. The band was a little smaller this time, but just as enjoyable. And while they are all talented, I always find myself captivated by Tyler Dringenberg on the saxophone.
I hated to leave, but wanted to catch the last hour of Highway J at Knuckles Pizza, just down the road. I was quickly impressed by Highway J. They had a solid sound and I love that they can move between Duran Duran and Red Hot Chili Peppers without stopping to explain or tell us what was coming next. They play what they love and the audience loves it too. I was pleasantly surprised with each new song. And they had so much energy!
Instead of heading straight home, I drove for Uber for a few hours and talked to people about the bands we had seen and venues we had visited, pointing a few towards Peoria Music Live on Facebook.
By the end of the night, it was completely confirmed for me that making something notable out of Peoria Music Live was worth pursuing. It started as, "If I'm having trouble finding live music, other people probably are too." and quickly turned into, "There are a lot of people in Peoria who don't know what they are missing. I need to tell them."
There are some great plans in the works for Peoria Music Live... all centered around helping you learn when and where to find live music in the Peoria Area. Stay tuned.