While the performers perform, I can relax as an audience does. An audience of one. But when the crescendo builds and the end of the song is so apparent as to be visible, a deep throbbing pressure builds within my chest, a fear that my in-between song performance might not be as good as their song performance. The trumpet soars, dominating the bands entire sound, drowning out any extraneous oscillations, and then it breaks to silence, the silence of a stunned audience.
My ears ring but I stand and clap, genuinely impressed and even moved by the music, and the musicians smile, perhaps with pity at my movements, so amateurish, unpractised. Undecided on which clapping method to use, I stick to the basic position, one hand into the other at pelvis level but I quickly change to an over hand clap and immediately regret my decision. The band members flick glances to each other, the drummer drops his gaze entirely, my clap frequency falters and drops with my confidence and I stumble where I stand, only to right myself and sit quickly. They begin another tune as I wipe the sweat from my brow.