“Last night must of been so crazy..”
It was, as I went to see an old friend perform here in NYC for the first time in almost four years. Austin Brown, the son of Mrs. Rebbie Jackson-Brown vibed out to a symphony of fans in a small and very intimate setting in the heart of Manhattan. Rockwood Music Hall, located on 196 Allen Street off of East Houston st quickly filled up as fans from all over united in harmony of good ole’ soulful music. Twice before (2012 and 2013) I have seen Austin perform with the same electrifying vibrancy as his late uncle Michael and Aunt Janet Jackson, but this time it was more than calm, but tranquil, relaxed and welcoming.
It was truly delight to not only witness big sister Yashi perform but to also meet her for the first time. Around this time last year, I wrote an article about depression. Not just about any type of depression, but my depression. There was a time when I couldn’t find the top from the bottom and I needed a way out. Without even knowing, Yashi’s words have not only played a salient part in realizing what the core issue was to my problem, but it was just comforting to know that there is someone out there who is brave enough to share their pain, their struggle, their hopes and dreams to the world. As Yashi shares her most intimate self in her spoken word poetry, brother Austin puts his poetry to music and creates a sound that is harmonious and raw.
One long island Iced Tea and a shot of Vodka later, I can honestly say that this show was probably the best of his thus far. Although, there were a lot of “Excuses me”, and people talking among the crowd, there just seems to be something fervent about performing with just a guitar and a microphone. Between the stories of his father, jokes and forgetting the key notes to one of his song, courtesy of Tequila–*Plugs*– Austin showed his most stripped down and candid self to a room full of friends.
After the show, fans had the opportunity to speak to both him and his sister to share their admiration of both them and their family, an act that most celebrities take for granted. It was a kind gesture that Austin does after each show to display the human side of an artist. I was fortunate to tag along with friends of mines and fans of his music to not only enjoy a night out on the town, but to also revisit what made me a fan in the first place. While new friendships formed, old friendships were amended over good music and hard liquor.
2017 is becoming a year of learning about myself through the eyes of others. A night of thot juice and laughter can really bring several realizations to a person. I learned that I was taking myself far too seriously when it came down to certain life situations and held too many expectations. Expectations that may people feel uncomfortable and uncertain. It took a night of high spirits and being childless for a few hours to make sense of everything. Life is only as hard as you make it, so make it as pleasurable as possible.