Francesca Lee Remembers Her Favorite Live Music Experience: A Bread & Roses Show
Bread & Roses shows are some of the most important I’ve ever performed as a musician. The appreciation, love and joy that I have received from the audiences we serve never fail to confirm just how powerful music is. I’ve witnessed the energy of a room completely shift after a Bread & Roses performance and it is truly magical. On a personal level, the shows that I have performed for Bread & Roses have taught me how to truly connect with my audience and it has helped me to grow so much more as performer and musician.
One of my fondest lasting memories is from my performance at HealthRight 360 Walden House Hayes, an alcohol and drug recovery program for men in San Francisco.
In this particular building they have a beautiful chapel upstairs that the men use for their daily gatherings which was the perfect room for our Bread & Roses concert. No room is too big or small for a Bread & Roses show, if there is a little space for us and an audience, we make it happen, rain or shine.
When I first arrived, the chapel room was empty but within minutes before my performance there were about 60 men waiting eagerly for the show to start.
I remember starting my first song with complete silence throughout the performance. Previously in my music career, I had been used to performing in noisy clubs like most traditional live music venues. Experiencing an audience completely present with my music felt amazing. When I ended my first song, I was immersed in a wave of applause echoing throughout the chapel. The men were clearly enjoying the music and it reminded me of why I decided to pursue music in the first place, to touch people with my music and bring a little more happiness to the world.
When I was done with the show I’ll never forget what one of the men said to me. He said, “I haven’t been to a concert for years but tonight you brought me that beautiful feeling when I used to go to music festivals back in the 90s. During your performance you made me laugh, you made me cry, and you have the voice and songs of a true artist, I can’t thank you enough.”
My experience is not unique. Many Bread & Roses performers on a daily basis experience the same feelings as much as the audiences do and this proves just how special the organization is. The SF Bay Area has benefited for years from the service that Bread & Roses has provided and I truly believe we make an impact more then we will ever know.
I feel so blessed to have the ability to offer the gift of music to our audiences and I never take that for granted. Thank you Bread & Roses for giving me the opportunity to share my music in a bigger way.
In light of the revised guidelines for live musical performances, we invite you to share your story of your favorite live music experience on social media with the hashtag #livemusicmemory (and tag us too!)
By Francesca Lee, Producer
Photo courtesy of Napa City Nights.