In essence, every instrument is a paintbrush on the canvas of sound. My brush happens to manifest in the form of the bass guitar. I first picked up the bass at 15, and I’ve been playing gigs for almost as long. I haven’t kept count, but there have been a lot of ‘em. Most of those gigs have been great. Some have been pretty incredible. And, some have been downright shitty, and have made me question why the hell I ever wanted to be a performing musician in the first place was. But, once in a while, one of those gigs comes along when everything just comes together. You know the kind of gig I’m talking about; the vibe is just perfect. The energy in the room is palpable. The band is firing on all cylinders, and the audience is reflecting that energy right back. Playing your instrument becomes a transcendent experience.
And at that peak moment, you realize, This is it. This is what I live for. This is why I play. It doesn’t matter what else is going on in your world. Your chaotic route to the show, your boring ‘day’ job – all of those things are redirected to the who-gives-a-shit part of your brain. At that moment, you’re serving your purpose. The music is manifesting itself through your body and truly nothing else matters. Your spirit soars and everything just feels right in the world. That is the power of the gig. I love playing gigs. Nothing else makes me feel more alive, more vital, more relevant.
As for the bass, I love the way it sounds, the way it feels, the way it looks. I love the way it makes the stage rumble. I love how anyone in the room can feel it in their heart. The guitar can make pretty melodies that tickle your ear, but the bass can actually vibrate your entire body. I really like that physical thing. The bass guitar is such an amazing voice – unassuming and humble, yet so powerful in its foundation.
As for the fans, It’s generally implied, but it needs to be said that without you out there in the crowd supporting live local music, these feelings don't exist. It is a circle of energy – you feed off us – we feed off of you. So thank you, and thank you music.
Adam Moskowitz is the bassist in Fort Lauderdale, FL-based reggae fusion band BUSHWOOD. His favorite gigs usually involve jamming out with sand between his toes.