I was first introduced to Jake Bugg by my daughters. They both like his music and played it for me, and I immediately recognized his brilliance as a songwriter. Then, while on a family vacation to England, we visited the Cavern Club in Liverpool, and what was on display there alongside Beatles memorabilia? One of Jake Bugg’s acoustic guitars. Clearly, he was a musician worth checking out. So when he booked a show here in Asheville at the Orange Peel, an intimate venue, I knew I would be going.
Not surprising, my daughters also wanted to go. My older daughter was putting money away for college at the time, so my younger daughter decided to buy her big sister a ticket for the show, which I thought was so sweet. Anyway, it ended up being the whole family going: me, my wife, and our two girls.
The concert was amazing. Jake had a great band backing him up, and he roared through a set that was a nice mix of acoustic and electric songs, demonstrating his versatility as a songwriter and performer. He was not the type of person who spent time talking with the crowd, which was fine by me. He got up there, played his music with all he had, and then ended the show.
We were fairly close to the stage, and I have to admit that Jake looked pretty rough, like he was either burnt out from being on the road, or he had been overindulging. Very likely a combination of the two. That said, it did not seem to impact his performance, which I appreciated. I’ve seen too many musicians suck on stage because they were too stoned. But I felt a touch of sadness, fearing that he may become another in the long list of talented people who burn out way too soon. Hopefully, that will not be the case.
What will always stand out for me about this show is the joy I felt being with my family, watching my two daughters together, and sensing the sibling love that they have for each other. What more can a parent wish for?