"Classic Live" version of "Tonight (He's Got the Power)"March 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm
[Twitter shortcut for "Tonight": http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_13650501 .]
We used to do "Tonight" in the very early 80's and it was part of a breakthrough of sorts along with songs like "Searching" and "Roll the Rock Over". For a while, it was our opening song and the dancers had come up with a full-scale group dance for it. This version is pretty rough around the edges (e.g. Greg double-clutching at the beginning of the bridge!) but you can feel the energy and enthusiasm. The intro tells me this was when we first started doing the song. I remember going to a workshop on alcoholism when I was working at detox and I brought my guitar; I was playing this and "Do You Understand" for everybody there, and they loved it. They kept saying I ought to DO something with that; I guess we are now.
The structure of the song shows the effect of having gone to a Christian songwriter conference in Estes Park, Colorado. I really put some thought into the lyrical contrasts: sad - doing nothing; sad - doing too much; confrontation & personal contact; joyful recovery by ever so slightly altering a few words and from minor to major. I later went to another conference at Estes with Mike and put this song in to be evaluated. Their response was "Did you intend this to have a sexual connotation?". I was pretty shocked and offended: "Of course not!" It was mostly the use of the word "ecstasy", I guess. Looking back, I can see what they were saying, as thoroughly unintended as it was. I prefer to think of it all with the innocence and enthusiasm of a young band of friends.
Quite recently, we all got together for one of our monthly pot lucks at Tony's. I was intererrupted as I was leaving by a reporter who wanted to talk about our new album. When we did get there the band went in the old cellar to jam; let me tell the world Tony still has hot smoking chops on the drums! One of the first songs we played was "Tonight". Wow, that felt just fine. And then we took the band picture to give to the reporter. Quite a span there, "flowing from our past" right into the vibrant present. Whether we're too busy or feeling lonely, He STILL has the POWER to bring us together and bring us peace and joy on a night in February.
Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark Lajoie! for the band