That got our attention. I thought to myself, this guy’s crazy. But then again, nothing could be worse than the last half-hour of truly painful open-mic performances we had to endure at Kafein while we waited for Dawen’s set to come up.
I was sitting with Emily, Andrew, and Lilian (I think – Lilian, if you weren’t actually there that night, let me know and I’ll amend), sharing a brownie fudge sundae or some other delicious dessert concoction that seemed synonymous with Kafein, I’m sure.
The performer was Scotty Iseri. Five seconds after he started, we realized this wasn’t just any open mic performance, stumbling over words, melodies, and chords. This guy was GOOD. His lyrics are witty and poignant, comical and honest. This guy had a message! We sat entranced for 15 minutes.
I bought his CD afterward – it’s possibly one of the best $7 I’ve ever spent in my life. I listened to the album (a live performance at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival) non-stop all summer, which was the summer of 2004 – right after graduation – and what I’ve always referenced as one of the best and most fun and relaxing times in my life.
Just this week, I popped the album in my car, and that summer came flooding back. Isn’t it funny how music can do that? What did his songs bring back for me? TAing biology aka working 3 hours a day and hanging out with the TA girls. Emily getting me cupcakes and balloons for my birthday – bought in downtown Evanston, and schlepped one mile up to Tech. Following Dawen to every single open mic he played at. Thinking someone was getting physically abused in my apartment when they were actually…ahem…enjoying themselves. Meeting Amber Benson at the Chicago Wizard World Convention – to which Lilian had to drive me, then pick me up, with Chris and Ike in tow. A fudge brownie a la mode melting on the plate and us trying to eat it as quick as possible so it didn’t overflow the plate (we failed). Ravinia. Frantic trip to the ER to find a quick fix for laryngitis. Late night runs to JK Sweets. Running out in the rain, in shorts and a tank top. Running home at 2am after playing Dynasty Warriors at Emily and Andrew’s.
“If you ask me for my autograph I promise that I’m not gonna be one of those stuck-up kind of famous people cuz you’re helping me out with my feelings of insecurity.”