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© Alessandro Pone/Demotix/Corbis
“Even though I love the song, it was the first one that I wanted to drop. It would come up in the setlist, and I’d go, ‘Really?’ It just never felt like there was a right moment to play it. But I’d be out on the street, and fans would come up and say things like, ‘When you played that song, it really made my night.’ So I’d think, ‘Wow, that’s really weird,’ because I was having the total opposite experience with it.
“I talked it over with the other guys, and I found that my experience of playing a song kind of by myself while they’re playing big things – I’m doing these skinny little melody lines, and somebody like Mike Keneally is doing huge chords, and Marco is pounding out these massive rhythms – it makes me feel somewhat alone and unable to engage with the audience. But the guys in the band don’t feel that way; to them, the song is big, and it works on every level for them.
“It’s important that everybody in the band feels good with every song they’re playing live. So, finally, I said, ‘I love this song when I hear it on the record, and it’s great when I’m humming it to myself, but playing it live is messing with my mind.’ [Laughs] I said, ‘Let’s just try not doing it and see what happens.’ It was a bit of a selfish move, but you know, we have other songs that share that tempo. Taking it out removed that weird little mental thing in the set for me.
“It could return when we go back out – you never know. When we get back together, if one of the guys says, ‘Hey, why don’t we put A Celebration back in the show?’ we just might do it.”