Bands are some of the most intimate relationships people can have. Music is like the raw energy of love/conflict/pain/joy flowing simultaneously. A band trying to lock into the vibe of that energy is often on the edge of volatility. If one person in the band is not focused, the energy will blow up. The stage is the eye of the storm, the center of the vortex. The audio experience for the audience is always different. The center of the vortex could be collapsing and the audience can be oblivious to this action. A dropped beat, a missed cue. An audience of die-hard fans or trained musicians will notice the hiccups. The lack of focus of one band member will create a black hole, growing and ever expanding.
I say this because at when all is said and done, we as musicians have to respect our craft. We should love to listen, study those who inspire us to play, track down and investigate sounds and get consumed in the sound of our instruments. Learning how to practice and what to practice is essential. Developing the focus and concentration to be a positive part of band energy comes from practicing well.
I thought about long and hard over the last weekend because of STM's last TC's show. The crowd was into it, but our vortex was collapsing, falling into the same traps, missed notes and beats that have plagued us for the last 2 months. We all need to concentrate and not fall for the biased opinions of our friends and fans. In the end, musical sloppiness catches up to everyone. To paraphrase basketball prophet Rasheed Wallace, "Beat don't lie".