To some, music is merely sound.
But to others, it's our everything. It's the oxygen we breathe and the thing that propels us forward each and every day. It's our motivation, the lifter of our spirits, our rock, our shoulders to cry on. It's our consolation with every bad day, and the accompaniment to our every celebration. It's our escape from reality. It's our validation that we are not alone in this world, and that our struggles are also felt by others. It's our relief from the silence that threatens to encapsulate us.
I mean it when I say that it is our everything.
Music is there when no one else is, and it always has the reassurances we crave. And if you're as lucky as I am, you will find someone to share this passion with-- someone to sit outside in the cold with waiting for the show to start, someone to hold onto when the mashing begins, and someone to warn you of oncoming crowd surfers so you're not kicked in the head. As with everything, music is best shared with others. It's a love that only grows with company.
Through my love affair with music, I have learned quite a lot about myself, and about the people who share this love of mine.
If music is also your everything, or maybe you aren't sure, here's 15 signs you're probably a band junkie:
1. In the modern day of Spotify, iTunes, and illegal downloads, you still buy albums.
If you really like a band, you want to support them in every way you can. Besides, there's just something so satisfying about opening your glovebox and looking at all your favorite albums.
2. 99 percent of the t-shirts you own are band t's.
What band should I rep today?
3. And you get personally offended when some hipster wannabe sports a band you know they've never once listened to.
I see you like Nirvana. Name one song other than Smells Like Teen Spirit. Also, what was the lead singer's zodiac sign??
4. You would rather eat shards of glass than leave the house without headphones.
(No seriously, you would).
Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Cellphone? Check. Headphones? Check check check.
5. You wouldn't hesitate to spend spend $200 on concert tickets.
Because being just inches away from your favorite band will always trump paying bills.
6. Long drives are a chance to practice your killer air-guitar skills.
(Passenger requirements: must be prepared for background vocals, equipped with a full choreographed dance routine. Air-drumming encouraged, but optional).
Roll down the windows, turn up the radio, and go crazy. But not too crazy. Driver safety is still important. (But so is showing your friend you know every word to "Car Radio.")
7. You're willing to camp outside venues for hours just to get close to the stage.
Rain, snow, or low temps won't deter you from bundling up and sitting in front of a building for eight hours, because you know it will be all worth it. You just hope you don't develop hypothermia in the meantime.
8. Even though you're squished between two sweaty guys and you're fairly certain you're seconds away from passing out, general admission shows will always be better.
There is nothing more exhilarating than passing around crowd surfers, shoving your way to the front, and feeling the floor quiver and shake beneath your feet with every jump of the crowd. And sure, there may be moments when you can literally feel the life oozing out of you, but that's the fun of it, isn't it?
9. Concert hangovers are a thing and you know all about them.
The sore neck and back, the aching legs and feet, the unexplainable bruises, the loss of your voice, the temporary deafness...all symptoms of a good time. You will wear your battle wounds with pride. You may complain a little though, but that's to be expected.
10. Turning 21 means graduating from sharpie'd X's on hands to the highly coveted wristband.
(It also means trying to juggle plastic cups of beer in the midst of dancing crowds).
Scrubbing X's off my hands the next day is definitely something I will not miss, nor will I miss being interrogated by everyone I encounter who notices my hands. No, Mr. Franklin, I was not out clubbing but thanks for noticing. Any more questions?
11. A small part of you dies when you hear your favorite band on the radio.
This is my band. How dare you like them too! You're not too crazy about sharing your sacred bond with the band with millions of other people.
12. But an even bigger part of you is happy for them because now the whole world knows just how freaking awesome they are.
You believed in them when they were playing in tiny bars, and here they are, making their dreams come true.
13. You're more excited for upcoming shows than you are about birthday's and holidays.
Your countdown app is loaded with show dates but you couldn't say how many days there are until your birthday. #Priorities.
14. You won't be content with life until you've met all the members of your favorite band.
Sorry Mr. Grim Reaper, I can't die yet, I still haven't met Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. Can I get a raincheck?
15. You're well acquainted with post-concert depression, but miraculously you survived it long enough to read this article.
Once you've been been eye-to-eye with your favorite band, nothing will ever be the same again. You'll go to sleep every night, conjuring up the image of their eyes on you (even though, you know they weren't actually looking at you. But you like to pretend as if they were serenading you. I get it).