Earlier in the semester I attended a concert at Moravian College to see the guitarist Tommy Emmanuel play. Overall I found the entire experience very rewarding, and it definitely peaked my interest in some lesser-known musical acts. I play guitar myself so I’m always looking for new artists to follow, and with Tommy Emmanuel I hit a gold mine. I actually first discovered Mr. Emmanuel on YouTube in a video where he played an acoustic cover of the Beatles’ “Daytripper” and “Lady Madonna”. From that point on, I was hooked and proceeded to watch as many of his videos as I could find. As a birthday present, my parents saw that he was playing a concert at Moravian College, and since it was right down the road we decided to go.
My parents drove out before the concert and took to dinner at Apollo Grill, which is one of my favorite restaurants on the North Side. The concert hall at Moravian was only a block or two away from Apollo Grill, so getting to the event was very easy. When we got there I noticed all sorts of Tommy Emmanuel merchandise including CDs, t-shirts, and even a signed guitar that he was auctioning off. I didn’t end up purchasing anything, but I thought it was pretty neat that he had all these fans who wanted to buy his stuff when I hadn’t even heard of the guy until a few months earlier. As the concert started I immediately found myself lost in the music, and I couldn’t take my eyes off his fingers flying up and down the neck of the guitar. His playing was incredible, and it was an honor just to watch him perform. Something I found interesting was that after the concert, the Moravian Music Department bestowed an honorary doctorate degree on Mr. Emmanuel.
I’d say my knowledge of Tommy Emmanuel’s songs was fairly good before I went to the concert, but it was fun to hear him play some songs I recognized as well as some songs that were new to me. It was inspiring to watch Mr. Emmanuel have such a good time performing, and his enthusiasm was easily picked up on by the crowd. After doing more research on him, I found that he’s played with the likes of Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, and many more guitar greats around the world. I definitely hope to one day be able to please others by doing something that I love, and I know anyone who sees Tommy Emmanuel play will be moved to feel the same.