kids on stage for a better world

alessiasmusic: I’m never good at thank you’s, but I have to try my best to let these four dudes, the entire crew, and every single person reading this know how grateful I am to have been apart of this beautiful tour. the best band in the whole world let me share their stage and play my songs in places I had never imagined I would be. thank u endlessly to the band, the entire CP team, and of course my band and crew for making this tour one of the most memorable things I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t have asked for better people to share this with. I ALSO GOT TO WITNESS THESE STARS KILL IT EVERY SINGLE NIGHT AND IT WAS MAGICAL. (get ready for the worst pun ever:) I’m very much a kid with a head full of dreams and I’ve lived a huge one because of u @coldplay. thank u from the bottom of my heart. 💙

LiveFreeFriday | It’s Courtney Act.

A stage performer taking the world by storm, glamorous drag queen, Courtney Act, is a self-described pansexual, vegan, environmentalist, and hippie child. “I look like a girl but think like a man, so I’m kind of the ideal woman” she jokes.”Just kidding, just kidding.” Her idea of a good time is camping out at music festivals and singing in the shower.

Putting herself out there has meant developing a thick skin, and Courtney knows using tobacco won’t make her feel better. She explains that acknowledging how you feel and can make you feel like you want a cigarette but that people need to remind themselves why they’re not smoking in the first place.

For Courtney, living without tobacco is as much a part of community health as personal health, and she ties living tobacco-free to progress the LGBT community has made. “We’ve come so far, especially in the last couple of years,” she says, “and then we’re smoking cigarettes at a higher rate than everybody else. Kind of like two steps forward, one step back. I think it just makes sense to be tobacco-free.”

What’s your LiveFreeFriday story?

Say what you will about Shadow the Hedgehog’s B-movie plot, but yesterday while playing Air Fleet’s Hero mission I experienced a legitimate case of fridge horror due to one throwaway line by Tails.

Air Fleet has several sections where you must go outside via rail grinding or platforming. If you have Tails as your partner when you first go outside, the sight of the sunset will prompt him to say: “I guess I used to take sunsets for granted. I’m afraid of nightfall tonight.”

He doesn’t say anything else about it, but it becomes doubly creepy when you realize that in that same section, Doom’s Eye will say this is the last time the humans will ever see the sun. Implying that Tails’ intuition is warning him that he’d better take it all in.

Triply creepy? This stage is on almost the irredeemably Dark path. Tails has all the reason in the world to be afraid, and it just unsettles you deeply to realize that the kid who helped stop two catastrophes before is now really scared.

the guitarist

You’re a guitarist in a mediocre wedding band.

A long time ago, though, you were a prodigy. Gifted. You blew them away as a kid and everyone agreed big things were coming your way. Your parents found a way to fund private instruction and a high school for the arts, and from there, you got into a university with a world-renowned music program on a scholarship. 

The gigs get bigger and better. You cut your teeth in a high school cover band and a couple of college party bands. After school, you are in demand for session work, the object of bidding wars between bands on the way up with a bullet. You play every stage in town. Eventually, you’re signed to a local label with a good chance at a national distribution deal. Radio play follows. A couple of regional tours, peaking with opening for mid-level talent at huge festivals for tens of thousands of people. You’re close. So close.

Until you weren’t. When a chance came to forge your own path, separated from those who’d carried you up with them along the way, you got lost. The gigs got harder to find. Wasn’t long before the bookers weren’t taking your calls…the guy who used to be with that band, not even the main guy? Yeah, we’ll get back to you.

It only took a few years from there. Now, you’re a guitarist in a mediocre wedding band. Your skills are still pretty sharp, though not what they used to be, since what’s the point when each weekend only brings a slog through Robin Thicke covers and being ignored by the cute bridesmaids. Every Saturday night, you pocket your $250 and throw your gear in the car, get home too tired to unpack it, and fall asleep in your Zubaz on the couch.

Then, swear to God, out of the blue one day Dave Grohl calls you. He found an old recording somewhere and he’s excited: you’re exactly what he needs for his next record. He’s pumped. You’re pumped. He wants you to audition.

There’s not a lot of time, but you practice when you can. You get yourself and your gear to LA. You unpack, set up, polish your guitar, check your gear. You wait, nervous for the first time in years after so many weekends mailing it in in banquet halls. Dave arrives, shakes your hand heartily, grabs his own guitar. Taylor sits behind the kit. It’s time to jam.

And you choke. Jesus Fuck, how you choke. Your hands take leave from your body. Everything that had been second nature since you were eight years old— technique, ear, tone, feel, theory, posture—abandons you at once. Your forearms lock up like stones. It’s hard to grip the pick for the flop sweat. Did you ever know what you were doing? God. How sad.

Dave cuts it short, embarrassed. “Thanks, buddy, we’ll get back to you.” Smile, thank him, try to look cool as he leaves shaking his head. Pack up your shit as you wish to sublimate so you won’t have to go home and tell anyone what happened.

You’re a guitarist in a mediocre wedding band.