Bittersweet endings

Photo by John Dukes

Story by Dylan Pitman

Shutup and Listen!

Select the above link to check out a song from Day In Day Out.

I remember the first practice. I was a quiet, awkward 15-year-old in this room full of loud, joke-cracking 16-years-olds who seemed to know everything. Three years later, I look back with a different mindset. I’ve grown up so much since I joined the band Day In Day Out. Now that it’s over, I’m left with one question: What the heck am I going to do now?

I remember the last practice. We had all grown up since then. We gained members, but we lost some as well. Looking back at this scene, I see something different from the six boys I saw in the beginning. We were six men. We’d grown so much since our first meeting. We seemed tired of our songs, not so quick with telling jokes but just as hungry. We just sat there and ran through our set list. It was different from when we first began, when practice was a treat, not an obligation.

I was given an opportunity through Day In Day Out when I was a freshman. All I ever wanted to do was play in a band, and this was my shot. We started off as a five piece: Dylan Carlton on vocals, Eric Sonson on guitar, Austin Bush on drums, Jonathan Revels on guitar, and myself slapping da bass, mon. It was a match made in musical heaven. Five guys who all shared a love for playing music and spreading the name of Jesus Christ. It was perfect.

I remember the day of the first show. I was so nervous that I couldn’t stop shaking. Austin counted off for us to start, and it began. Of course, I looked like an idiot who didn’t know what I was doing, but my spirits were so high. I was playing a real show, and it was amazing. “This is definitely the start of something special,” I thought.

We played show after show and could do no wrong. After two recordings and the addition of a new member to play the synthesizer named Colby Feemster, we were unstoppable. This is where our bad attitudes and immaturity started to take over, though. In June of 2009, Jonathan left the band because he didn’t like how the sound was one night (Of course we played without him. The show MUST go on.). It just went to show how selfishness and pride can take something good and turn it around.

It continued to go downhill from there. Playing with just one guitar player got to me, and for some reason, I left, only to return a few months later. Nothing could keep me away from what I loved to do. It started going great for awhile, playing shows at I Love Evelyn frequently. Jonathan had even rejoined, after a change of heart. It got to the point where we were getting offers from people who promote bigger bands, asking to represent us. But problems with money and egos didn’t help our chance to make it out of this town. It got to the point where we didn’t care about the band anymore. I remember Eric saying “This band won’t last it after the summer’s over.” He couldn’t have been more right.

That was it. The band was destined to be over before it could ever get bigger. What a shame. Our purpose and representation of Christ’s love wasn’t present anymore. It wasn’t about God anymore; it was about making money and making it big. We weren’t acting like good disciples of Christ off-stage at all. We were hypocrites, plain and simple.  Plus, Austin and Dylan were college-bound, so there was nothing we could do anymore. All we could do was play one more show to put it to rest.

I remember booking that show. I felt more like I was the manager of the band toward the end. I worked my butt off to put one last show together, and here it was. Oct. 16, 2010. I remember what was going through my head as we prepared the stage for our performance. Where did all these people come from? Is this really the end? Can I make it through this without tears? With everything in place and our intro playing the first notes rang through the speakers of our amps. I looked at my brothers, and the show began.

It was the greatest night of my life. We gave it our all and had the crowd in full excitement up to the last minute. During the last song, the tears began to flow. This was the last show. This was the end of my high school life. Despite all of our problems, I loved each and every person on the stage. Those guys were my brothers. This was all that I’d known for the last four years. Now it’s gone.

In the end, I couldn’t have asked for a better band. Playing music that we loved as the brothers we truly were (and still are) fueled the greatest years of my life. I’m always going to have those memories and the feeling before and after every show. We made a difference in each other’s lives and killed many bears in the process. We made it out the best way we could.

Being in this band taught me a couple lessons about music and life in general: Stay true to your beliefs, and don’t be lazy because then you won’t work toward your dreams. Just be yourself, and play music that you love. When you stand for something, really stand for it; don’t just say you do. I made the mistake of not practicing what I preached in Day In Day Out. Although I messed up in the end, I had the time of my life. And God has bigger plans for all six of us. We’re all going in different directions, but I know that there’s something for each of us out there. I’m going to miss the band like crazy, but I’ve got better opportunities ahead of me. I’m not that 15-year-old awkward boy anymore, but an 18-year-old man who is ready to show the world the power of God, day in and day out. Always.