Am I the only one…? On Concert-going and Music

Am I the only one who, although loves concerts and attending my favorite musicians’ and bands’ shows, may feel a bit sad at the same time going to these shows and concerts?

At 14 and at the brink of my eighth-grade graduation, I find myself in the middle of the Shoreline Amphitheater in 2007, surrounded by booze and naked bodies. I had begged my mom to allow me to tag-along with my older brother to go to Warped Tour that year and, for a few months prior, I had been dying to see Meg & Dia live at their shows in my area. But, as a clueless little middle-schooler, I’m sure my mom was freaked at the idea of letting me go to a concert filled with boozy nights and drunk men.

My first concert ever being the Vans Warped Tour was an interesting thing. I was that shy little awkward girl latching onto my brother, not wanting to get lost and hoping I didn’t lose him in the midst of free Trojan condoms being handed out and shirtless men dancing with booze in hand with girls in bikini tops. Looking at my quiet Catholic school upbringing, it could have had bad written all over it. (Of course I am generalizing and there aren’t always these types of people there.) But, even though the scene may have been out of my comfort zone, I had genuine intentions. I wasn’t there for Vans Warped Tour–I was only there to see and support the ones who made me want to pursue music in the first place; who made me realize my own loves and passions and help me come to understand myself as a person, and individual, and embrace that.

Going to concerts, for me, has always been something personal and somewhat sacrilegious–kind of like a “journey of inspiration” for me. I go to support and see the ones I look up to, as seeing them up on stage and personally meeting them inspired me to get out there and get up on a stage and play music as well. I attended and saw only specific people who meant something to me. Because they were living representations of the lives I had dreamed about.

Now, the reason this all makes me kind of sad is because it can, oftentimes, remind me of that first initial dream I had of being up there and performing (dancing isn’t the same as playing music, I’d say). And then it would remind me that I’m not doing that in my own personal life, as I find myself sitting there, watching, listening and grooving to the amazing music I hear, being inspired by what great musicians are up there, but not living that life I so envisioned.

Music means a lot to me. And who knows where I’ll find myself with it in the coming years. Maybe my entire “vision” could have completely changed or not have been what I had expected, but I would completely be happy with it.

It just makes me sad when I find people enjoy something just for the scene of it. It’s something about a lack of genuineness, in that their interest lacks sincerity. Kind of like “bandwagoning–” and for a freaking person obsessed with music and good music, for that matter, it’d annoy the heck out of me!

I’m not ashamed of my weird and quirky music tastes, or even at the fact that I’d enjoy listening to country music moreso than hip-hop, or Fleetwood Mac than any other band today (Mandy Moore would out-beat them too). Music and the musicians who have made impressions on me are important to me. I’m picky with my tastes or who can move me, but that’s only because I know what I like and can connect to. So, please enjoy music for music’s genuine sake. Reputation makes money, but please pay respect to an artist’s soul.

These artists play their music in hopes of being heard. Let them be heard. But remember to also let yourself be heard, as well–in whatever way feels most right to you. Whether it be writing or following those “rock star” dreams, life is all about living out your gifts.

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