Before I could even step inside I was already spotted. Walking down Brinkerhoff Street in downtown Plattsburgh last Saturday evening,the bright lights of the newly reopened Strand Theatre could be seen for several blocks. And as I rounded the corner and approached this beacon of culture for the Lake City, numerous familiar faces turned towards me, smiled and ran over to say hello.
It sure had been a long time. And yet, it all felt like one gigantic moment, hung proudly on the mantle of my soul. Standing in front of the theatre, the sounds of legendary North Country rock act Lucid spilled out onto the streets — echoing across the deep waters of nearby Lake Champlain and pushing up in the heavens, ultimately swirling around the ancient Adirondack Mountains to the west. For the last 14 years, their melodies have been the soundtrack of the Champlain Valley and beyond, and now, it was time to put the record on pause with the recent announcement of their hiatus.And yet, the irony lay right at the start of the evening. You see, for as long as Lucid has been together, the Strand Theatre has been under renovation, a longtime storied venue whose rejuvenation rolled along at such a slow burn, one wondered if the embers were just some glowing mirage we’d only hoped for in dreams.
Wandering into the large building, hundreds of glorious beings milled about, most of which standing like a rippling ocean of rhythmic movement at the base of stage. And just as stood there in awe of the spectacle, you heard a noise above you and looked up, only to realize there was a full balcony of music freaks overhead. Sure, there were two full sets of music, roaring like a freight train across the spectrum of the band’s career, making musical stops ranging from reggae to hip- hop, gypsy to nitty-gritty blues. And yes, it a performance that sent a chill through your body, where you raised your arm and could see the goose bumps emerge. But, that wasn’t what the evening was about, at least for those in the band and their inner circle.
Lucid is (was) about creating a space for all walks of life to converge. It was a scene that was created to foster change, understanding, and happiness. It was about pulling into some random North Country town and showing them just how beautiful and mesmerizing the circus can be. It was about you, and me, and all of us. The power of their music, and their presence, is what was at the core of Lucid. They preached love, personal growth, and the joyous possibilities of humanity, where you can wake up everyday and conquer the world with your positive intent and bright light radiating from within.
And as I stood there on the side stage, watching my musical brothers take their final encore for may be awhile, I was struck by how loud the standing ovation was from the enormous crowd. It wasn’t surprising, it was more so awe-inspiring, this never-ending roundabout circle of passion and energy shooting back and forth between the band and the audience — the essence of what music is, always and forever. Lucid chose “Whiskey Dreams” for their encore, a song whose word ricocheted around the depths of my heart when the lyric “we are them, and they are us…” catapulted out of the speakers, tying a bow on a career that, to at least myself, still
has a few chapters left to write.
Life is beautiful, grasp for it, y’all.
Set 1: Suenos Intro Mind Trippin Four Winds>Gemini Eye* Boats Ancient Incantations Green Money Whoa Mamma$ Rainbow* San Pedro^ Po Man’s Blues^ Miles Deep Pushin Dirt
Set 2: Black Smoke Blessed and Cursed Ground on Up Tight Tight Body in Free*% Psychedelic Bad Habit Break a Man* Lucky Dice Came and Went>Silhouettes Styles of the Smooth Backwoods^
Encore: Whiskey Dreams$
* – Meadow Eliz
$ – Chris English
^ – George Wurster
% – Catherine Wurster & Shannon Rigsby