Do you miss live music? Small, intimate gatherings at a local pub, watching a local artist perform? Nights at a theatre in the city, walking down the carpeted aisle to your cushioned seats near the front as you wait anxiously for a band to take the stage and transport you for an evening of fun? How about festivals, where the gates open and you rush to the field, press yourself up against the cold, metal rails. The adrenaline coursing through your veins, sweat pouring down the middle of your back while you throw yourself into the show with abandon?
Turns out, we’re not the only ones. Dave Grohl wrote a startlingly honest and open piece for The Atlantic that circulated yesterday. He wrote of the same thrills that we all hold dear, and admitted that yes – THEY SEE US. With any luck, they see us at our most free, joyous, abandoned, without an ounce of shy self-consciousness to be found. (I’ve had to work on that last one, particularly while in front row)
This isn’t a huge surprise, of course. I’ve been close enough to the front to know that of course they can see. Sometimes, they can see startlingly far into the crowd. Amanda and I experienced that for ourselves on more than one occasion, most recently in San Francisco when Duran Duran played at the Masonic. We were stuck way, way back in the standing room crowd, making lemonade out of lemons, doing our damndest to enjoy the last set we’d hear for a while even though we were smooshed behind one of the tallest men I’ve ever run into, and next to semi-drunk and sloppy dancers on either side. Out of nowhere, Simon caught sight of Amanda in the crowd and grinned a grin that lit up the room. Sure, anyone can say that and there’s question whether it was meant for them or not, I guess…but I saw it, and it was. The point is, as I think we’ve all noticed and experienced over the times, it isn’t only about the music. The energy in the room, the knowledge that the encounter between artists and fans is happening in person, in real time, and that give and take between band and audience explodes like nuclear fusion. Concerts are a moment in time, like lighting in a bottle.
The sense of “we’re in this together” is never more powerful than at a concert. When this is over, and yes – I have to keep reminding myself and believing the words – we will come together again, and that moment will be incredible. After all, we’ll be able to say we went through hell and back, and came out stronger than ever before. We can do this. We have to. It is what I think about every day as I write my blog, and it is what I dream about before falling into slumber each night.
I miss the live show. I wasn’t planning to go see Duran Duran in Vegas last weekend – truthfully, I couldn’t afford the tickets this time, and having had the luxury of seeing them a few times in the same venue, I felt like I could miss the weekend of festivities and be okay. I didn’t have much of a choice, so I just resigned myself and went on with life.
Funny how things work out. I’ll be buying the ticket next time, even if it means not being in the front. It isn’t just about where you sit or stand, the venue, or even the town. I think it is about communing with people who love the band as much as I do, coming together, celebrating life, love, and yes, music. I’ll be there.