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Stair Steps & Shining Eyes – Notes and Set Lists from the Past 3 Weeks

Zen Mustache enjoyed another round of outdoor performances the past three weekends. For me it was stair step experience.

Step: On May 21st the Upslope Get Down was a crazy-fun party on the loading dock behind the Upslope Brewery in Boulder. I personally felt comfortable out in the (hot!) sunshine; however as a band we agreed our performance wasn’t as tight as we would’ve liked. The 12 other bands were outstanding and I want to give a special shout out to Punch Drunk Munky Funk – they shredded it!

Step: On May 28th the Big Wonderful proved to indeed be a wonderful stage with fantastic stage hands and a friendly neighborhood crowd at Geneva Park in Littleton. I personally felt a stronger musical connection with the band; all our energy was excellent. (Side note: The good people running the Big Wonderful are creating a truly community-empowering phenomenon and Zen Mustache can’t wait to join forces with them again for future events.)

Step: One June 4th the Chalk Art Festival was a celebration of street-smart artistry and creativity. We had our best performance of the three weeks, and we couldn’t have been gladder to be part of the lively scene at Larimer Square in Denver.

Powerful stuff is this music thing.

There’s a TED talk by Benjamin Zander that grabs me. Zander is on a mission to make classical music more accessible to everyone in the world – to help everyone experience the beauty in something he cherishes. It’s an inspiring talk and includes a magical piano performance – and then toward the end Zander shifts gears slightly and asks us to consider a remarkable question: What are we doing to make “shining eyes” in the people around us – our friends, children, coworkers, family, strangers. He suggests we measure our success in life by the number of shining eyes surrounding us.

I heard a quote recently that we are what we love. Whatever it is that we love, that is what we are. I love music. And I love community. I seek those experiences of community-building that happen when people dance, sing, play, and join together with each other despite differences. I think I understand now. In those fleeting moments, if we on stage play from a place of honesty and goodwill and expressive fun – then all our eyes are shining.

Set lists (more stair steps):

5/21 Upslope Get Down         5/28 Big Wonderful         6/4 Chalk Art Festival
Left Work Early         The Valley         Whiskey Wind & Wheat
Awakening         Left Work Early         Left Work Early
Grandma’s Place         Come Together         Come Together
Go On Living         Awakening         Awakening
The Valley         Whiskey Wind & Wheat         The Valley
Hey Jane         Best I Can         Sweet Inspiration
I Can’t Stay Here         I Can’t Stay Here         Best I Can
Best I Can         Grandma’s Place         When My Time Comes
When I Leave         Baby Hold On         I Can’t Stay Here
Sample in a Jar         September         Grandma’s Place
Mountainside         Women & Wine         Baby Hold On
        When I Leave         September
        Go On Living         Go On Living
        Can’t You See         Women & Wine
        Mountainside         When I Leave
                 I Know You Rider
                 Sample In A Jar
                 Can’t You See
                 Drift Away

Chalk Art Festival 2016 - ZM On Stage

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