My favorite line from the U2 article in the latest Rolling Stone is a quote from Bono:
“Look, sometimes our audience isn’t as groovy as we’d like. “
As I read that line, I found myself thinking, “Yeah, I understand.” From my days playing with various ensembles, bands, and artists to my days in the realm of speaking & preaching, I’ve had my fair share of times feeling that the “audience isn’t as groovy” as I’d like.
Sometimes that is an indicator of the audience’s lack of ability to groove. Sometimes it is an indication that the performer just isn’t connecting with the audience. So, who needs to take the responsibility when the groove isn’t there? Can one place the blame on the other…or do we all share the blame?
I believe the groove is important because that is where the performer connects with the audience. There is something transcendent when the performer and the audience find the groove. There is a unity between the artist and the observer that goes beyond explanation. The lines of distance between the performer and the audience begin to disappear. The performer and the audience mold into one.
If you’ve ever experienced the groove, you know what I’m writing about. In the midst of experiencing the groove, one attempts to hold on…to lock-into the moment. After one experiences the groove, he or she begins to once again search for another encounter with the groove. You may have experienced the groove at a concert, a spoken word event, a worship gathering, a drum circle, a dance recital, a conversation. The groove is happening..the groove is out there…waiting for others to participate.
The article goes on to point out that American audiences tend to be a little “less groovy” compared to others.
Are you in the groove? Are you a hinderance to the groove (if you clap on 1 & 3, you probably aren’t in the groove)? Are you seeking to participate in the groove? Or are you simply “less groovy” and have given up all hope of experiencing the groove?