being in a gigging band can get to seem like all work and no play. rehearsals can be hard. other musicians telling you what you're doing wrong, you knowing what you're doing wrong, you hearing what they're doing wrong: it can all begin to wear on you.
until the next gig. you've hauled the equipment and set it up. you've tuned and adjusted and tweaked. the drummer clicks and the first notes go out. you hit a groove and hear a delicious riff from the guitar player. you settle back and watch people start to enjoy what you enjoy so much. then you forget how angry those critical comments made you feel. you float on the notes, on the sheer joy of making music with other human beings who play and react in that complex call and response that is ensemble performance.
until...the gig winds down, the crowd disappearing as the hour grows later. then you have to break down, reload and drive for who knows how long before you can close your eyes and rest your ears.
i'm tired just writing about the ups and downs...but i can't give it up yet.