Strolled over to the Rusty Rudder one night this week to check out a live band called Loveseed.
My cousins told me I had to go see them. Sounded important. Like I was missing something.
Loveseed was supposed to start at 9 pm at the famous outdoor bar beside Rehoboth Bay in Dewey Beach, Delaware.
Still no Loveseed at 9:40.
The tease was on.
Fans don’t wait around for bad bands. Everybody waited.
The restaurant tables got moved aside so the dining area could be converted into a college basketball-sized dance floor just a seashell throw from the Bay’s harmless waves already slow dancing with themselves.
The DJ got the packed outdoor bar scene well-lubricated, playing songs that made it almost impossible not to move your hips. I watched men and women dancing, getting in the mood, and the band had not even taken the stage.
Anticipation filled the summer air. Standing on the wooden deck, I noticed flat-screen TVs plastered above bar tenders’ heads. A steady stream of people kept sauntering towards the scene, waiting and waiting for Loveseed to fortify and nourish their hearts and thoughts and maybe their souls.
Then, finally, some bald-headed guy I’d never seen before charged to the front of the stage and heaved out a few dozen pink and lime green glow sticks that women wrapped around their necks like costume jewelry.
When would they play? Who are these guys? Why am I here? Are concerts even worth going to?
This song: “All These Things I Have Done.” By the Killers.
“I got soul but I’m not a soldier.”
About eight times the singer and crowd sang that line.
Everyone knows this song.
Everyone loves this song.
Everyone with a soul.
Oh my, I thought. They’re playing The Killers. It’s always interesting to guess what song a band will start with to rev up the crowd. I would not have guessed this one.
But I was jazzed by the choice because it made sense once I heard Loveseed’s backstory. As a young man, the 50-ish lead singer would come by the Rudder and listen to live bands play outside in the same spot his band jammed this week. All those years ago he decided he wanted to be on that stage in the same spot – one of the most gorgeous and relaxing in America or anywhere in the world – and play for the crowds of beachgoers most with sun-tanned faces.
And there he was doing what he wanted to do as he has every Thursday night during the summer for 30+ years right here in this scene, rocking beachgoers’ souls, showing he has soul even though he’s not a soldier.
A captivating opening. I’ll remember it for at least a year. Loveseed is all about high voltage, ear-pleasing sound. They’re all about up-tempo like a band running the fast break on a basketball court with each guy filling the lanes with harmonious and well-choreographed fluidity and precision.
Liquid soul poured out fast. Weaving the instruments like adroit seamstresses.
OK, great opening. What else do these guys have in their souls?
Oh my, “Wagon Wheel.” Darius Rucker.
A little change of tempo, a bite of country rockfish. A band revealing genre and generational versatility.
“Mamma rock me,” the throngs of people sang along with the band. “Rock me, Momma.”
Rock me Loveseed.
Hearing my yearning, this group pulled out a tune I didn’t see coming. It’s about a girl’s Mom but not just any Mom.
She’s got it going on.
But you knew that.
The fact that you knew that, however, didn’t make Loveseed’s performance any less arousing. Stacey’s Mom appeared on stage and danced around the lead singer and band.
In jean shorts.
What a Mom.
I hadn’t been to a live outdoor concert in, I don’t know, 20 years. I wouldn’t have gone had I not been given a strong recommendation from someone I could rely on.
Figured I’d leave after 15 minutes, but how could I with them cranking out The Killers, Wagon Wheel, and Stacy’s Mom?
Doing the Killers, they killed.
Wagon Wheel spun everybody up.
Stacy’s Mom danced on stage.
She had it going on so we did, too
Gazing around, I saw people dancing. People drinking. People singing.
Chilling at the Rudder.
Loveseed planted seeds of love. The onset of lives. The seed meeting the egg. You know what I’m trying to say.
In unison, we all – the band, the crowd, the bartenders, me – consummated our love of music, Dewey Beach, and the Rudder.
Together — as one.
In love with Loveseed.
A marriage consummated.