Uptown Theater in Napa. Holy cow. It was just an amazing night. I don’t want to make all the other shows we have done feel bad. Honestly. When I said you were the best… I totally meant it. But tonight’s show here in Napa… this may have been the best. I’m not saying it was a better audience. All our audiences are exceptional in their own way (good save)… it’s just kind of everything onstage coming together just right. It’s mostly us. Let’s leave you the hell out of it for a minute. Does it always have to be about YOU? Tonight it was about us.

The sound on stage was great. I’ve been using in-ear monitors for the last few tours and as nice as it is to hear as much of yourself as you want (I can never hear too much of myself. I’m a fan) I had forgotten what it sounds like to truly HEAR the band out there… to hear your voice tucked into this fabulous roar of noise and be one part of a confluence of sound. Is that actually a word? I’m going with instincts here. Inigo Montoya might say “I do not think that word means what you THINK it means.” I am crossing my fingers it does and moving on.

I swear some of the songs tonight were the best versions we have played so far. “Another Spring” made the hairs on my arms stand up. Then lay down. Then stand up again. They must be exhausted. “Little Victories” really got me. I hope you don’t think that we just go thru a checklist of chords to play and words to sing up on that stage. When the song is right and working… we are as touched and moved as you are. When we played “Dream” I felt like we were playing the anthem that we hoped we were writing when we wrote it.

We strive for that every night. Some nights we almost get there and fall a little short… in OUR eyes. I’m not sure the audience would notice the difference between an A show and a B plus. But we do. And we can’t wait to get another chance on another night to improve our grade. Do a little something for extra credit. Back when I toured with Carole King, Rudy Guess, the other wonderful guitarist (does that read like I am referring to myself as a “wonderful guitarist? I ain’t bad… but Rudy was a class above all us mere mortals.) and I played a little game. We tried to sing every song perfectly. Absolutely from first note to last note perfect. Every harmony, every lick… and at the end of every song, if we were as perfect as we wanted to be, we would cross the stage and whisper “Yup.” It didn’t happen often but when it did it was exhilarating. Mostly we crossed the stage in silence. But we always knew we would have another chance to say the word.

That’s how we feel up there. Tonight we hit with a good enough average to get us into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Come to a show. I promise you we will try for nothing less. Watch us cross the stage. Look for the “yups.”