A couple of weeks ago one of my friends, Geoff, texted me that Seryn was coming to my favorite venue in Oklahoma, The Blue Door. I’ve wanted to see this band for a year or so and was half-heartedly thinking about a trip to Dallas in June to catch them. But…they were coming to my backyard! Nearly literally! The Blue Door is about 3 miles from my current house (about 1.5 from my new).
The show was on a Wednesday night, which is a night when I always have my kids. They had been to their first show a couple of weeks ago and these tickets were only $10, so… family outing! The day of the show I took them straight home from school for snacks and disco naps. We were all set.
Seryn on Band Camp. Feel free to start the music while you read this post.
Geoff, his wife Holly and two of their kids saved us a seat on the front row. They also saved us cupcakes.
The show was incredible. I get a little judgey of bands who fill the stage with lots of people as often one or two of those people’s only function seems to be to provide body count and perhaps more cowbell. Not the case here. They keep six musicians on stage who all play something besides their primary instruments. And what a line up of instruments! That night I saw banjo, drum kit, extra tom tom for the lead singer, violin, ukelele, misc percussion, several assorted guitars, electric bass (sometimes played with a bow), two xylophones (one sometimes played with a bow) and a partridge in a pear tree.
Additional elements of the soundscape were provided by Mother Nature. That night a typical, tornado-possible, dramatic spring storm came rumbling through the state. As several of the songs ended in their beautiful, delicate arrangements the music would soften into near silence while the thunder rolled in the distance, seemingly on cue. It was magical.
They had two more members of the band who were production people to help with things like sound and merchandise. Eight total. As the show ended, Holly heard one of the band members mention that they needed a place to stay. She wished they could but their house was in El Reno, 1/2 an hour away.
Flash to a seemingly unrelated moment earlier in the day when I saw my friend Ann post that she often makes decisions based on the story it would provide to her life. And that she was moving to live on a chicken farm.
Seryn was my chicken farm.
I gave my contact info to Jenny, the only female band member. That seemed the least creepy way to go about it. I am not one so desperate for a story that I’ll hand my name, address, phone number and Instagram handle to a guy. Yet.
I told Jenny that I had a five bedroom house about three miles away. That we were about half-moved out and that there weren’t enough beds for everyone. She enthusiastically said they mostly needed just a roof and floor. I moved my son’s extra mattress to an empty bedroom and put my daughter into my bed before they arrived. (BTW, it’s been years since I’ve slept with her. What an ENORMOUS bed hog.) Sure enough, about 40 minutes later after I arranged kids into bed, she called to say they were on their way.
My front door seemed like the gateway from another realm. Eight hipster humans, all very nice (and most very tall) entered my living room laden with backpacks and pillows then took off their shoes. I really urged them to look at the carpet because that wasn’t necessary, but like I said….they were nice. They thanked me profusely, asked for the showers, asked for directions for fast food and worked out their sleeping arrangements. It turns out that only three of the eight had to sleep on the floor (I think. I didn’t check with my own eyes.) I stayed up late talking with one person or another. I had a long, lovely conversation with Trenton about SXSW, Newport Folk Festival (bucket list for both of us for different reasons) and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival (which both of us loved dearly for the same reasons). And about his Native American culture, lovely wife who is in the restaurant biz and music in general.
After not enough sleep, I got up and got the kids ready for school. We walked softly around the house and tiptoed through the living room. My daughter whispered as she looked at the guys sleeping on the sofas, “This is so weird. But so cool.”
I took them to breakfast at Kitchen No. 324 after promising them that it really was just down the road. I think I clinched it when I explained the “free” part. They marveled at the space (hell, I still marvel at the space) and raved about the food. I was proud and happy to have extended hospitality to a group of talented artists who were also nice people. If you get a chance, check out a tour date.