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Teddy Geiger Impresses On, Off Stage

| Sunday, January 19, 2014

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“I’m just an ordinary man, just trying to do the best I can.”

The opening lyrics to Teddy Geiger’s song “Ordinary Man” on his newest album “The Last Fears” are very true. While his set list — which he seemed to make up on the spot because he forgot to bring it on stage with him — was comprised of his first album “Underage Thinking,” the crowd (which, according to my count, was five men in a sea of women) most enjoyed his newest songs from his 2013 album, especially “Shake it Off,” where the audience was able to provide the backup vocals.

In addition to switching between keyboard and guitar throughout the show, Geiger also captivated his audience with anecdotes he shared that explained the experiences behind his songs. For example, he started the show by saying his mother asked him if he remembered his Notre Dame sheets that had been on his boyhood bed.

While his performance was simple, it was his charm, wit and personal connectivity with the audience that provided a refreshing flair to the Legends’ stage.

Wearing his John Lennon-style glasses, he asked the audience to look up what the Brazilian washboard-type instruments were called because the scraping of those glasses against the microphone reminded him of a childhood instrument (it’s called a Güiro).

The real fun, for me, began after show with our meet-and greet. After he’d traded life stories with a friend of mine, I learned that he had not yet seen Notre Dame’s campus. I offered a tour, and while he seemed to hesitate (it was 18 degrees outside), he consented.

This newly acclimated LA resident was not a fan of the cold. However, with the help of  my coat and a hot chocolate he seemed more enthralled enough with the glitter falling from the sky than his lack of snow boots. Teddy was a good sport. He took a Touchdown Jesus picture, ran up the steps of the Dome (while we all stayed below as to ensure our graduation) and lit a candle at the Grotto.

As he first peered at the illuminating beauty of the Grotto, he continued to tell us that he has been trying to visit a shrine to Mary for years since he last went to one with his mother. He took pictures as to remember what he called the “beauty of it all.”

He later jumped into a conversation of complex theories of physics and relativity with my engineering friend. Being on tour and living a life “spending a lot of time with myself and Netflix,” as he described, must be rather tiring. Teddy’s interest in intellectual discussion spoke to his well roundedness.

While nonchalant, his music, lyrics or person are far from haphazardly put-together. His lyrics tell of his life and who he is, but if I had not had this wonderful late-night adventure around campus, I never would have been able to understand the deep respect he has for not only his music, but for his upbringing, his family, his faith, and the beauty he finds in all things.

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