Playing at the Charleston Windjammer


Alexis Perry, Assistant Website Editor

I waited for an hour in the crowded beach venue, nervously bouncing my leg.

I looked over my shoulder periodically for familiar faces, waiting to catch sight of a friend.

I knew they would be coming soon. They were going to be there for me. Although, searching for them did not calm my nerves. It terrified me to know that they would be there. So I kept nervously bouncing my leg.

I watched the stage like a hawk, afraid that if I looked away it would just disappear. I could not let that happen. This was the moment I’ve been impatiently waiting for since last year.

Some of my friends arrived. I nervously clamored towards then and watched the other performers to distract myself from the energy building up inside of me. It wasn’t a huge venue, but it was the prettiest one I had ever seen. The lights on stage danced together in yellows and reds and blues and purples. I breathed in sharply, knowing soon those lights would dance across my face.

Soon enough the time had arrived. I saw my friend and producer signal me to get ready. I quickly ripped my guitar from its case and let the adrenaline build as I walked towards the stage. I fumbled my way to the microphone, and as soon as I got to it and had scanned the crowd, I heard someone talking. A moment later I realized that it was me talking, explaining that my first song would be Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” before I segued into some of my original songs.

All of the sudden I was flushed with a sense of calmness. When I look back on it now, I can see that it was the first time all night that my nerves had left me. I still had the adrenaline pumping through my veins, but it was nothing more than a cocktail of energy, confidence and excitement.

As fate would have it, I messed up the intro to the very first song. More than anything, I was annoyed with myself. I had practiced that part until it was carved into my skull, yet that all seemed to disappear when the pretty lights hit my face. So, maybe I had been overconfident.

But before I sang the first word of that song, I reminded myself to relax. I shook off the insecurity blanket and forced myself to live in the moment. And it was great.

As the songs progressed, I got more comfortable. I probably looked insane on stage. I could feel the music pouring out of me. Everything else faded into the background. It was incredible to see the crowd’s reactions, to see that they actually liked it, or were at least nice enough to pretend to.
Never before had my heart been filled up to the brim so fully and so warmly. When I sang my last song, an original, I smiled and watched the crowd cheer. I knew that I would always look back on this night and want to go back. I wanted to stop time and soak up that moment forever.

I could have cried. But I just smiled. First at the pretty lights but then at my friends, and then to my parents.

In a way, I think I was surprised to see them all still standing there. I half expected them to have disappeared and for this to have never happened.

Eventually I got off the stage, still smiling, and I placed my guitar softly back into its case when my friends greeted me with a hug. All the love and support from them overwhelmed me. It hit me then that this was the happiest I had ever been.

I would be okay with that being the happiest I will ever be again. It was more than I could’ve ever hoped for.

The night was so beautiful. I went to the beach for a bit and then headed back inside to listen to more musicians perform, hoping that they felt everything I had.

Now I just look to the future and to a time where I get to do everything I did that night and feel everything I had felt. All I want is to share my words and my music with people and to feel the lights dance across my face as I sing and smile and cry.

All I want are more moments where I am surrounded by music. And art. And friends.