Gregory Alan Isakov's songs have awakened my senses and opened me up to appreciating simple beauty. Every time I hear his music, I'm taken somewhere else. I'm taken away from the life I'm living right now. I can't describe it in words, but it's something that no other music has ever done to me.
The Universe, she's wounded
She's got bruises on her feet
I sat down like I always did
and tried to calm her down
I sent her my warmth and my silence
and all she sends me back is rain...rain
I have seen Gregory in concert four times. Four of the greatest nights of my life. First, in Napa Valley, California at the City Winery. It was so incredibly mesmerizing that I don't know if that feeling will ever return to me..ever again. I was in beautiful Napa Valley for starters....seeing Gregory Alan Isakov live! Life couldn't get much sweeter than that. Then, I was lucky enough to spend one magical night at the Mesa Art Center to see him live with the Symphony of the Southwest. The orchestra arrangements of his familiar songs, paired with his deep, perfect vocals were absolutely enchanting. The next two shows were earlier this week. First, he played at the Orpheum Theatre in Flagstaff. The drive there was a lovely stretch of desert landscapes and eventually faded into gorgeous cottonwood trees lining the interstate. The weather dropped 25 degrees as we arrived in Flagstaff and an instant calm somehow came over me. Gregory's music put a spell on me that night and I don't think I'm out of it yet. The venue was a little different than his other shows...not quite as small and not full of the collective Gregory Alan Isakov lovers, but rather full of a bunch of 20-somethings hanging out at the bar. If I hadn't been so entranced by the music, I might have gotten upset at the excessive need for those people attending the concert who clearly had no clue who they were listening to, to continue talking and getting up for "another beer." And finally...Monday night in Tucson at the Rialto Theatre. 3rd row...a very intimate setting...and a night completely all about the music. As Gregory sang each song, I could see him getting pulled into every melody and lost in every lyric. When he's singing, it's like he removes himself from the stage, from the microphone and he's taken somewhere else. He's gone and nothing feels more real to me and more intense than watching him perform. Every last song he sings becomes woven into my bones. I can't help but feel everything he sings and am instantly taken places that I don't want to return from. The journey his music takes me on proves to me that the road I'm on in my life now...is the wrong one. When I sat there in the Rialto Theatre that night, I couldn't help but let him take me away. He took me away from the life I face everyday and I felt so free. He sang about space and the sea and dreams...and the beautiful melodies and impossible lyrics brought me to tears.
And I wish I could leave my bones and my skin
and float over the tired, tired sea
so that I could see you again
Maybe you would leave too
and we'd blindly pass each other
floating over the ocean blue
just to find the warm bed of our lover
I don't need to meditate...because with Gregory's music, I'm overcome with complete clarity. It's all I need sometimes and there's nothing more beautiful in the Universe.
Now the moon sees everything
in this sanitarium
Can I get through, like the moon gets through
across the sea