The Absolute, with Philip Ross, Anthony, Ashton Likes, Ryan Driscoll, Michael Pozzi

Hollywood – May 23, 2012

Press Play first…

The lighting was like every other nightclub in the world – dark, and impossible to photograph well with my ‘fancy’ camera that was now just another bulky object taking up space in my purse.

“Then we’ll just have to put out our natural light,” he said, gesturing invisible light rays from his chest.  The funny thing is that what he said was exactly what I would see when The Absolute started playing.  I’ve known Michael Pozzi for a year or two but I’d never met his band before the show.  I hadn’t even known the band’s name until last night, only that my friend had joined them about a month ago.  But when they took stage and played the first notes a strongly connected energy flowed from the five of them directly into every one of us.  Sound waves mixed with colorful light to create a vivid portrait.

When good music takes us out of our self-conscious minds and lets us dance, our bodies move effortlessly and we feel light.  Making music, I’ve discovered, is the exact same way.  If you are free enough the music actually seeps from the instrument through your skin.  You can see it in your stance and the way you roll your shoulders, whether or not you close your eyes or how you move your hands.  When you feel the music you look different, your mind is someplace else while your body is in a room full of people watching you.

This was the first time I’d heard my friend play, really play.  My first time at Boardner’s too.  It was fantastic.  There were two separate rooms with bars and music, and a lounge up top.  Leather couches and fountains made for plenty of seats.  Our room was mostly open to the sky and the air fresh except for cigarettes and liquor.  Cobblestone floors were not great for wedges but it wasn’t too packed and everyone present was pleasant.  But most importantly, I could stand right in front with room to breathe and see the band’s faces.  I could see the elegant movement of Phil’s hands as he sang and strummed.  His voice was so raw it took your breath away.  Michael stood so near that I could see his eyes smiling, and they didn’t stop until his solos when they would shut and his face would melt and morph with the sound the he was shredding from his strings.  I could watch all four that stand close in toward the drummer as they built up the song, stepping with each other as if in conversation, and then when it reached its peak their energy would explode and all attention would move into the crowd, letting us feel everything they were playing.  When I gazed around me, everyone had the same smile in their eyes as Michael’s.

As always, live music is about a feeling for me.  Experiences like these remind me of how that connection is supposed to feel.  No one can go to a giant festival with hundreds of thousands of people and feel the music like I did.  When you can look an artist in the eye as he plays his songs for you, it’s a one-of-a-kind memory.  First impression of The Absolute: Electrifying.  Now all I have to do to complete the picture is listen to their lyrics.  I will be seeing more of this band.

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