“Make Music Matter” has been AboveTheBridge’s mission statement since the beginning. We believe that music has amazing powers, the power to bring people together, make you feel any emotion under the sun, to heal emotional wounds and bring peace to otherwise cluttered and stressful lives. Last night, May 29th, we experienced why music is powerful first-hand with our team and amazing community, and despite the craziness and unfortunate events, we are still ever-passionate and loving towards our community and supporters.
My name is Ian Parish and I have been on the ATB team for nearly 2 years. As someone who grew up in a musical household where I was taught to hold the powers of music near and dear to my heart, I strive to find ways to make music matter to myself and the people around me. During my 2 years on the team, I have been exclusively working from St. Louis, Missouri, despite AboveTheBridge being central to the San Francisco Bay area in California. After lots of hard work and dedication, we managed to schedule our first show for May 29th, 2022, at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco, and I decided to make the flight out to show my solidarity and support to the team and the local musicians that were kind enough to join our bill (Shoutout to Ha Vay, Carego, Lance Redeker, and Vida!). I got into town on the night of the 27th, and I was immediately excited to finish our final touches on the show and see a successful new beginning for ATB, but San Francisco had other plans.
The night of the show came, and after 3 hours of sound check and another hour of people streaming in for the show, the venue was relatively packed and excited for the first act to begin. The night had been a whirlwind of setting up, taking photos, running social media promo, and meeting too many new people to count, and finally Ha Vay was ready to take the stage and begin the night. The crowd was immediately electric, excited to be there and see the fantastic talent that was set to play later that evening, and things were off to a fantastic start. The sound was great, the crowd was fun, the band brought an immaculate stage presence that was refreshing to see after being concert-free for nearly 2 years due to a global pandemic. All was right with the world. After a few originals, Ha Vay launched into a fantastically played rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon”. The energy coming off the stage was silky smooth, with twinkling guitars and gorgeous lead vocals filling every corner of the music hall…and then out went the power.
It turns out that AboveTheBridge was somehow “lucky” enough to schedule our first ever show on the same night that San Francisco experienced a major power outage, spreading through the city like wildfire and leaving us with no amplification, no lights, and a complete inability to continue the show as planned. Lets give credit where credit is due, Ha Vay’s remarkably talented drummer Cam kept the crowd entertained with a fantastic drum solo, linked here, but we were soon left with nothing to do but wait for the power to come back on. Our fantastic supporters waited around for nearly an hour, before we inevitably decided to call the show early and reschedule for a later date.
I was a little crushed. I had flown across the country, dropped almost $500 on airfare, and had been hyping this show up in my mind for months, and now I was going to go back home without seeing the show, and probably wouldn’t make it back out for the rescheduled date. But in his unwavering kindness, Ha Vay’s drummer Cam invited everyone back to his house for a small show and get-together to try to make up for what was lost. We arrived, set up gear, and suddenly the night wasn’t so terrible anymore. Carego took the “stage” and put on one of the best intimate performances I’ve ever seen, rivaling some of the best Tiny Desk Concerts out there. Lance Redeker put on a fantastic performance as well, with some great original tracks and smooth covers to close out the night. It was an unfortunate set of events to start the night, but this community seamlessly banded together and brought one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life in a matter of hours.
At one point, I was standing on a staircase on the side of the makeshift stage, looking out at the small but excited crowd of maybe 30 people, and just taking in the faces of folks having a good time, talking to their friends, enjoying what we had put together on the fly, and then I realized something: this is what AboveTheBridge stands for. Sure, growing and being a profitable company is on our list of long-term goals, but if sacrificing impromptu moments like these that show off what music can truly do is what it took to attain those goals, we would choose our community and the love of music over anything else. I went from being utterly crushed to incredibly proud in a few hours, and nothing else could do that better than music. I will forever cherish the memories of dancing next to the rest of the ATB team during Carego’s set, seeing people band together simply for the love of music, and Ha Vay’s drummer Cam running one of the most badass drum solos after the power went out without missing a single beat. Sure, the circumstances were remarkably unfortunate, but at the end of the day, we still brought a community together to experience what we all love: making music matter. We will be back on June 30th, same lineup, same venue, same time. We'd love to see you there.