Lately, I have been back listening to Astronaut after several years. When I listen to songs like “Want You More” or even “Finest Hour” or maybe even “Astronaut” itself, I tend to think back on how much my thoughts on this band have changed since the release of the album.
Back in 2004 when Astronaut was released, I had only seen the band live a few times. I had never sat anywhere near the front before. I really didn’t know a lot of people in the community at all. Everything – all of the experiences of traveling or seeing the band live, still felt shiny and new to me. I can remember when Astronaut came out and I would rush to see any teensy bit of an interview. I wanted every single last performance to be recorded on DVD. I was jealous over every single show that was announced that I couldn’t attend. (and back then, I thought I was lucky if I saw one show a tour!) People who did more than that were a mystery to me. I couldn’t fathom being able to travel, certainly not anywhere far, for shows.
More than just that – I really didn’t know the band. I mean, I still don’t – not personally, but I mean, I didn’t know them. The public persona(s) I saw when they were interviewed, or when they were on TV, seemed so much larger than life. I was thoroughly convinced of my own perceptions of who they were. For me, they were always the biggest band in the world. It didn’t seem possible to me that they could be any different offstage. Yet now when I see them live, or even out somewhere, I almost can’t remember who they were back when they were enigmas to me. They are real people now, where as before they were posters on my wall, I guess? Then I’ll watch a video like “Sunrise”, or even “Is There Something I Should Know”, and I’m almost surprised. For the briefest of moments I’ll remember what it was like to scream like a schoolgirl any time one of their videos would be on TV, or how I’d feel like a bottle of champagne was inside me whenever I’d be at a concert waiting for them to come on stage. Are they still celebrities to me? Absolutely, but maybe their pedestals are just a little lower to the ground now. Not quite so inaccessible, but…also still out of reach.
I’m curious about you, dear reader. Do you see the band any differently now than ten, fifteen or even twenty years ago? What has changed? Share your thoughts in the comments, I’m really curious about what you think!