Thursday, October 18, 2012

"The Concert Goer Dilemma" or "the moment I realize I'm not 18 anymore"

I LOVE MUSIC! Okay, okay, I know there are you cynical people out there that are like, "well, duh, who DOESN'T love music". But there is something deep within me that really connects everything in my entire life to music. I compose, I musical direct and vocal coach, I play instruments and sing, I can connect any time in my life or any event with a song. Music evokes emotions that I feel I can't express. It's almost like I feel like someone gets me through a least it is a cheap form of therapy. There might be a reason I can rock the Melancholy Tunes category on SongPop.

I started going to concerts in all types of venues when I was about 16. Big or small, I always wanted to be front and center - right in the smack dab middle of the action. One of the first I remember was a ska festival in SLC at a club. I was 17 and really not opposed to the sweaty, smelly people all around me. I felt a connection with all of the concert goers. The experience and music went hand in hand. I got to see Smashing Pumpkins around that same time. The big screen behind them looked like one of those screensavers that has random shapes changing like a kaleidoscope (I'm no dummy) and even though the whole place was smoky and I was sure I was getting second-hand high, I really just wanted to stay to see if they played my favorite song.

 I think I was 20 and pregnant at a Green Day concert when it started. Billy Joe was squirting only heaven knows what from a super soaker at people in the audience, my prego super sniffer was overloading from sweat, gas, and various other smells emitting from the people around me, and I just started walking. I didn't stop until I was in the very back. The cool air hit my body and I felt like I could breathe. The music wasn't so dang loud, either. I actually really enjoyed myself. Huh.

The last 10+ years have been full of my going back and forth between the need to feel the bass bursting from my chest and having a comfy seat with earplugs so I could actually hear what the singer is singing about. I went to a music festival at Thanksgiving point with a friend when I was 28 and we were sure to get a good spot up front. It was a chill group of musicians with the exception of one group that certain fans were there to see. I was getting smashed...and it smelled like teenage boy/canine gas passing.......and I almost blacked out. I went a few feet to the front of the stage which had a gate around it so people couldn't get right up against it. I signaled to the bodyguard and he lifted me over and I could breathe again. I rode out the remaining songs from that band in the back buying stuff from vendors and made my way to the front again for the main event, but after that concert, I chose a side. I chose the old people side. Or at least, I thought I did.

Have you seen the really old people at concerts who don't know they are old and they are up front and dancing like they don't have a care in the world and it looks really awkward and you can't help but laugh but at the same time you envy them? I'm pretty sure I'm going to be one of them someday. I'm almost there. I look at all the youngin's totally enjoying themselves and not minding that they are being smashed into a stage and I feel like I've lost touch with who I really am. I want to do that, I feel the need to jump up and down in synchronization with the crowd, pumping fists and whatnot, but the smells, the sweaty people all up in my space, the LOUD.

I just went to a concert a week ago in support of my rocker bassist friend (who did rock, I might add) and these are the facts: 
  • We got there early enough to be just 3 people away from the stage.
(this picture was taken by the bassist from the side of the stage)
  • It was sort of noisy with all the commotion and then the first band started to play and I thought my eardrums ruptured (I immediately headed to the bar to purchase earplugs).
  • It was held at a bar/venue in a seedy part of town and I felt wary (new for me).
  • I danced and pumped my fists.
  • My back hurt about 2 hours in.
  • My friend had a wireless whammy bar ring and it blew my mind. At first, I thought it was just his unique way of feeling the notes play out until I noticed the blue light on his hand. That was cool.
  • I found myself just standing and taking it all in, more than connecting with the crowd.
  • I loved the feeling of the bass bursting in my chest.
  • When our friend's band ended and people started to smash up to the front to see the headlining band, I convinced everyone to head to the back where we wouldn't be sweated upon and smashed against.
  • We left early, before the band even played their most famous song, to get pie at Village Inn. 
Is there a middle ground between the young, fresh, eager concert goer and the old, awkward concert goer? If so, that is where I am. I am seasoned. I know what I like, I spend my time doing what I want and don't want to deal with anything else.  I've been around the block, one might say, as far as concert going is concerned. I've seen my fair share of bands and I enjoyed every experience but in different ways. The same friend that I went to the all day music festival at T-Point with was there with her new husband, enjoying it in their cute, youthful ways and I felt out of touch...but I also felt like I knew who I was and I accepted it with pleasure as I breathed the cooler air in the back of the room and savored that pumpkin pie.


Gilbert Family said...

It may have been your frumpy old friend that was draggin you down :) I LOVE going to concerts but I've always been the dud in the crowd who doesn't dance and just enjoys the music. I hope my "lack of spunk" doesn't wear off on you...YIKES! I'd give anything to be fun and crazy at concerts but I just can't do it...DANG!! Plus, that crazy boob lady just ruined my love for being up close to the stage! I did love hanging with you guys, listening to some awesome music and laughing at the drunk eyed couple gettin' down!

Natalie said...

Love it...I like to sit back and enjoy the music. No dancing around. I'm so boring. But I enjoy watching others dancing and having fun as if no one is watching. :)

Andrea said...

I don't remember any frumpy friends at the concert....hmmmm. I just didn't care to be smashed and smelly by the time I left the other night. And...I love pie. :)

goddessdivine said...

I still kinda rock out. I let loose with Poison and Def Leppard this summer. I go crazy at Depeche Mode concerts because they're my favorite band. But if I don't know a band or their music as well, then I'm kinda chill.

I am becoming the old fart in the sense that I complain about the smell of pot, cigs, and alcohol. In fact I pretty much swore off the heavy rock concerts after Def Leppard because the weed was making me sick. And then I become Dana Carvey's Church Lady by judging all the slutty ho's and their skimpy outfits....and shake my head that this world is literally going to pot (ha! no pun intended) because morality and modesty are totally down the tubes.

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