The Beautiful Chaos of an Aftershow

The buses were still parked in front of the venue – The House of Blues.

Switchfoot’s gear was still being loaded into the trailer.

A small crowd of people lingered, knowing the possibility of what could come next.

They were waiting for him. They were waiting for that Tweet, that Facebook post, those wonderful words that would prolong the magic of the night.

The crew continued loading the band’s gear as people stood, scattered, on the sidewalk near the buses with their eyes on their phones. After an hour, the message came through. Anyone who understood Jon’s tendency for doing aftershows knew what was happening as soon as they saw a mass of people moving toward the back end of the Red Sox stadium – The Green Monster. Sure enough, Jon had a few more songs left in him.

He walked down the sidewalk, guitar in hand. People followed and surrounded him. He crossed the street, scouting a place to stop and sing, eventually coming across a pair of plastic trash cans which he climbed on top of in the way only Jon would do.

That’s the chaotic beauty of an aftershow, you never know what’s going to happen. People crowd around, not knowing what songs he’s going to sing. Sometimes he doesn’t even know what songs he going to sing. He’ll ask the crowd what they want to hear. He’ll give them option and play a song based on what the people say.

The songs are stripped down, acoustic. There’s something special about there only being a guitar and a man’s voice to carry the notes. Most times people will lend their voices too and raise the notes higher as the melody floats through the night.

That’s the beauty of an aftershow. There’s no drums, no electric guitars, no microphones, no lights, no stage. There’s simply a single guitar, voices and the gift of music.

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