My favorite band used to be a group called Underoath. I say “used to be” because they are no longer a band. I still love theirÂ music and cherish the handful of times I was able to see them play live over the years. Even though Underoath no longer exists, I was excited to see that the frontman for the group started his own new band named Sleepwave. When you’ve found a person you musically connect with you want to follow them on all of their projects. This new group is a perfect example of this. While Sleepwave’s album is a bit more mellow than an Underoath album it shares much of the same feel and obviously Spencer’s (the lead singer in both) sound.
Last night I had the chance to see Sleepwave in concert. This was also the day their new album officially released. I preordered the album weeks ago and was eagerly awaiting the show. To begin with, it was at a venue in Phoenix that I’ve never been to. This meant I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect in the size of the event. When my friend Steve and I got there we instantly realized this would be a very small show. Sleepwave was headlining and there was a handful of local bands before them. One in particular was exceptionally awful. By the time Sleepwave got on stage there were about thirty people in front of them (literally… I counted).
That’s when I realized this was about to go one of two ways. Option one was for this to be a joke of a show and to be a night I regret paying money for and driving that far for. Option two was for this to be a rare chance to see an artist I admire and an unforgettable memory to be made.
They chose option two.
The guys in Sleepwave played their show as if they were in front of a sold out arena. But there was still just thirty people in front of them. Had you just watched them on stage you would have never known this. They brought their full energy and passion for what they were doing. It’s a reminder to me that when you are doing what you love it doesn’t really matter the results at the end of the day. This wasÂ the smallest show this newly formed band had yet played together. And there they were bringing all they had for those of us who were there. Even better was that I had the chance to meet Spencer after the show. I not only had the chance to tell him personally how much I appreciated and respected his music but also to hear from him on his experiences. Because of my role at Central I’ve had the chance to meet a variety of well known people who I have respect for. Meeting them in person either causes me to lose respect for them or for it to grow. My respect for Spencer grew exponentially last night.
I’m so grateful for last night’s memory and I’m left ruminating on some of the insights from it.
People are always drawn to someone doing what they love versus someone doing only what gets them success. Spencer left a band with an established name, a cult-like following, and an easy open door to bigger venues. He left that to pursue the music he really wanted to make. While I’m sure that makes for some difficult moments for him like last night, I admire that.
Reward the people who respect and understand what you are doing instead of punishing them for the other people who don’t. It would have been easy for them to mail it in for last night’s concert. Instead, they provided a great memory for the few of us who were there. I’ve had the opportunityÂ to speak in front of some great large crowds. This means that it can sometimes feel difficult when I find myself speaking in front of 20-30 people at an event. As I was reminded last night, don’t punish those who are there becasue of your disappointment for those who aren’t.
Memories often come from unlikely situations. It is precisely when things don’t go as planned or don’t go as they normally do when you have the opportunity to make a special memory. I doubt I’ll ever see Sleepwave at a show like that ever again. I’m confident their following will grow dramatically in the years to come. And yet I get to have a special memory that those later fans won’t have.
You can find out more about Sleepwave and their music by clicking here. Below are a few pictures from when I got to be onstage for an Underoath concert years ago. Click to zoom.