Nervous But Excited celebrated the power of a strong and supportive community with a stellar night of music in Ann Arbor.
Nervous But Excited in the Backyard
On a beautiful spring evening that felt like the heart of summer, we attended a house show in Ann Arbor featuring the always wonderful Kate Peterson and Sarah Clever of Nervous But Excited. The dynamic award-winning local music champions Lindsey Kelley, Andrea Plevek, Dani Loosbrock, and Gail Epstein hosted the show. Ok, they may not have actually won awards, but damn it, they should!
Andrea and Lindsey welcomed family, friends, and assorted fans of Nervous But Excited to their backyard to enjoy an evening of music. Not only did they open up their home, but they also secured the entire block thanks in part to their gracious neighbors. But honestly, who would turn down an offer to close down the street and listen to the sublime music of Nervous But Excited?
Our thoughtful hosts even secured food via the Pizza Pazza food truck. The Frozen Dreams Ice Cream truck had you covered if you needed dessert. Everyone brought beverages, chairs, and blankets to sprawl out in the yard. A few opted to stand along the fence row to take in the show. We plopped our camp chairs down, grabbed pizza (which was delicious), and mingled with folks as we waited for the magic to begin.
If you have followed Nervous But Excited, you know that the strength of Kate and Sarah’s music reflects the love, compassion, and deep support of the community which embraces them. From all over the state and across the country, hell around the globe, the power of community shines in brilliant waves when you experience Nervous But Excited.
I’ve struggled over and over to describe the magic, the power, the joy of the music we experienced this evening with Nervous But Excited. Kate and Sarah’s smiles, laughs, jokes, and stories between songs are as elemental to the overall experience as the music itself. You feel the connection, and then the music opens you up and lays you bare. But instead of feeling naked and vulnerable, you feel alive and loved.
The community around a band is a telling sign of the impact of their music. Nervous But Excited tap into the core of what it means to be a compassionate and loving human. Their music delves into the essential feelings we all experience of love, loss, doubt, and wonder. Their performance on this night highlights the wonder and awe of what it means to experience this life we are given. Being surrounded by people who are equally drawn to this revelation is real magic. Kate and Sarah share their souls in every note, and we know we aren’t alone. Instead, we are all in this together.
Roots and Leaving
Songs such as “Roots” and “The Leaving” were particularly moving. I loved Kate and Sarah’s exchange after the song “Roots.” Kate said, “I wanted to make eye contact with like a lot of people here, and I just didn’t do it because I knew it would break me.” Sarah replied with a wipe to her eyes, “Wow. It broke me. I just made eye contact with your mom. That was all downhill.” We all laughed as we all felt it too.
As an introduction to the song “The Leaving,” Sarah mentioned their friend Christine Sayers “Christine has done a lot of work on ways you can be supported in that and also ways to talk about that with other people, with humor, and with grace. And we feel very blessed that she is here and is going to share some of her humor, her words, and her insights. I feel like Kate has also had some very intimate experiences with death and dying very recently. And it has been incredibly powerful for the two of us to be able to talk about that and to be a support to each other and to kind of try to pinpoint, you know, How we support each other through grief and loss.”
After “The Leaving,” Kate and Sarah took a short break, and Christine Sayers shared her wit and wisdom on grief. With humor, Christine shared stories of her mother and father passing over a short period of time. Her mother’s drive to care for her family was as strong as ever during her final moments as she gave Christine a list of things to take care of for her when she was gone. Items such as canceling her hair appointment so the hairdresser wouldn’t have an empty chair or giving back some DVDs she had borrowed from a friend. Christine’s stories remind us that those final moments are precious and that being present for the passing of our loved ones can be a gift.
Christine also shared that it is ok to not be ok. The hurt you feel is ok, and the loss and pain are normal. It is normal to feel this way. It is also a time to reach out. Christine affirmed that we should have no fear in sharing your truth. There is no reason to face it alone. Your community is here for you. It was a healthy reminder that your friends and family are there for you no matter what.
With the neighborhood curfew looming, Kate and Sarah took to the ends of the carpeted stage area as we cheered them on for not one but two more songs. Our farewell gift was their traditional sing-a-long “Smaller Taller.” We sang, we smiled, and we felt stronger because of the voices around us.
Many thanks to Dave Schall for the awesome sound and again to our hosts Lindsey, Andrea, Dani, and Gail. This intimate performance on a beautiful evening in Ann Arbor was uplifting and delightful. Finally, a huge thanks to Kate and Sarah for the life sustaining music that they make.
We’ve got a few more pictures from the enchanted evening with Nervous But Excited in our gallery. Take a look and share your thoughts with us. Then share this post to spread the joy.
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