Todd Dammit Kerns (of Slash/Myles Kennedy), Treadmill Test & Chemistry
I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Todd Dammit Kerns in concert recently with his band Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. I pre-ordered their new album 4 and put it to the "Joanna.Live Treadmill Test" (JLTT) as soon as it dropped. The album passed with flying colors!
WTF is the JLTT, you ask? Well, it's when I fire up a new album, step on the treadmill, and run sprints. If the album passes the JLTT then this means that I did not feel the need to fast-forward through, or skip, any songs. There was no skipping when experiencing 4...every song is hot. And I mean HOT! I listened to the album a few times right after receiving it because I wanted to be familiar with the songs before going to the show the following evening. I am happy to report that I was the only person in my little area of the venue who seemed to know the words to the new songs.
Yeah, I'm a little competitive. And compulsive.
Anyhoo, at one point during the show, Todd Kerns introduced Slash by saying, "And here's the reason why everyone came here tonight"...and then pointed his bass guitar at Slash. Interestingly enough, when I heard that introduction the first thought that popped into my head was, "No, it's not. I mean I admire the F out of Slash like a lot of music fans, but I actually came here to see, and hear, the chemistry among Todd, Myles, AND Slash." And there was more chemistry than a periodic table that night.
As I watched the fellas do their thing, I thought about chemistry (the emotional connection, not Bunsen burners) between people and why it's important. Chemistry can be explained as a set of behaviors owned and expressed by one person that deeply resonates with another person. I read an interesting article about chemistry that explained the occurrence as "a kind of closed karmic loop" in which each party has a deep dopamine response to the other. In other words, chemistry occurs when you and another get each other and experience an emotional intensity towards one another.
But as we know, chemistry is only part of the equation for any successful partnership. The other important factor is compatibility. And anyone who has been a music fan as long as I have understands that not all bands have both chemistry and compatibility. In fact, I was crushed when, as a young adult, I started to learn that not all band members travel together to gigs, or get their families together on Sundays to cookout, or even exchange birthday greetings. Bummer.
It is not every day that we come by individuals with whom we share both chemistry and compatibility. In fact, finding that balance is pretty rare...like spotting leprechauns at the company picnic. If you have people in your life that tick both of those boxes then cherish them. Tell them what they mean to you, and how much you value them and your connection.
So, do Slash, Todd, Myles, and The Conspirators share compatibility? I don't have any idea, but I hope for their sake that they do. But I do know that their chemistry on stage is off the charts, and certainly worth experiencing in person.