On a sweltering day in July 1997, I went with my friend Joe to see the Mighty Mighty Bosstones play at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee.
And on a sweltering night in August 2019, I took my wife to see the Mighty Mighty Bosstones play at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee.
For those 22 years and more they’ve been my favorite band, but I’m not here to proselytize to you. (Although I think it’s worth checking out their back catalog for sure).
Instead, I want to share what stood out about their recent show in August:
They kicked ass.
Keep Doing It Because That’s What You Do
It’s easy to romanticize the past because our memory can get a little fuzzy. So it would be simple to be hyperbolic about the Bosstones shows that I saw over 20 years ago.
But they confirmed everything here in the present. I got to watch them play a 75-minute set, straight through. At 110%. In full suits. In a room so muggy that sweat was literally flying off of me when I jumped around on the dance floor.
(I know because my wife, who was standing next to me, politely showed me her arm which was covered in my sweat.)
And here’s the thing: they didn’t have to deliver at that level. They could have phoned it in.
They’ve been doing this a long time. The band is still mostly original members, and they are in their 50s. They aren’t going to have a smash hit anytime soon and they aren’t trying to become rock n’ roll gods.
But they came to a small club in Milwaukee on a Friday night for their fans. And they brought the thunder.
They weren’t upset that they weren’t playing a bigger venue or that it was super-hot or that they weren’t on the cover of Rolling Stone. They just did what they did because that’s what they do.
Show Up Ready to Rock
Our daily lives might not be as glamorous (or as sweaty) as a ska show where everyone’s dancing around. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show up for the people you serve.
It’s a decision that we make every day and every moment.
And it might not have a payoff in that exact moment, but if you keep at it, you’ll build a reputation and a legacy.
Not as a rockstar.
But as someone who showed up and did what they did on a consistent basis. Someone who could be counted on.
And maybe that is what a RockStar really is.