If there is one thing the whole world can agree on, it's that we all share a love for music. Some of us live with our hearts beating to the rhythm of our favorite songs, others of us study it to create more, and others cling to lyrics for dear life. The world is bothering you? Put on your headphones and turn up the song that's just right for the moment.
For me, music has been a solace, a constant friend to share in my sorrows, my achievements, my determination, and my creativity. At the heart of this was my love for three bands that I discovered in middle school and freshman year: Panic! At The Disco, Skillet, and Fall Out Boy. Panic! was still together and producing music when I found them, their "Vices & Virtues" album my soundtrack for my highs, my creativity. Skillet sang out to my woes, the pain that would sometimes pierce my heart and paralyze me. Fall Out Boy accentuated the development of my persona, as I slowly began to discover myself with their songs playing in my ears. Fall Out Boy was on their hiatus my Freshman year, but when "Save Rock and Roll" came out, I knew I would see them in concert someday.
I can proudly say I have been able to see all three of these amazing bands in concert now.
I first saw Skillet the day after my junior prom, they were playing in Sioux City and I lived only an hour away. This wasn't something I was going to pass up. Skillet had serenaded my heart in the throes of depression, anger, angst (as we all had), and my anxiousness. Experiencing the music in person struck my heart so fully, when they explained how depression and suicide was the basis of "The Last Night" I froze, having just recovered myself the summer before that school year. My friend Annalise who was with me simply wrapped her arms around me and swayed me as I cried and sang my heart out. It was a moment when I realized the worst of it was over, the best times lay ahead of me. It also meant a reforging of a complete friendship, as a falling out had happened between Annalise and I the previous year when my mental health was fraying around the edges. Her reassurance and love in the song reminded me she would always be there for me.
Annalise had introduced me to Fall Out Boy, so when we discovered the release of "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up)" we obviously became very ecstatic. The album launched and along with it, the announcement of the tour with Paramore, another favorite of Annalise's and a band I enjoyed as well. So for her birthday, Annalise's parents bought us tickets to the concert in Chicago that fell on her birthday. This was the summer following junior year, only three measly months after I had seen Skillet. I sang myself raw, my heart beating to the bass and my soul resonating with the lyrics. I had gotten a heart full of their music, and resolved that was the only time I would see them in concert. I'm glad I was wrong, with the release of their second album since coming back from hiatus, they announced the "Wintour" tour with PVRIS, AWOLNATION, and of course, themselves. I was able to go see Fall Out Boy the second time just this March when they were in Des Moines. It was just as moving and heart wrenching as the first time.
Lastly, but not least, I was finally going to see Panic! At The Disco, the first band I discovered of the three by my close friend Lauren. We spent our summers fishing, catching turtles, and talking to Panic! playing in the background. It was our summer soundtrack, their music forging a friendship so strong that distance in the fall and spring with no contact could and would not break it. So when it was announced that Panic! would be on tour this summer, I immediately texted Lauren asking which one we were going to. We ended up taking a road trip all the way to Brandon, South Dakota to see the band that made me think of her every time their songs came on. Her boyfriend, Stephen said we should pay the extra for VIP, and we were glad we did. We were so close to the stage, while all the other general admission people were clumped together behind us. Each song Panic! played was a favorite, and I belted my heart out. When "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" was played, I turned and sang it to Lauren. I held her hand as much as possible, so glad to be there with her. Panic!'s newest albums had been my power albums, "Victorious" a homework song, "Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time" my morning pump up song. I overplayed and played the album again and again. But my go to song "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" was the greatest of the night and when I truly shattered my vocal chords. The heat exhaustion was so worth it.
After all these concerts (which really, aren't that many and I've been to more than I've listed), I still seek more. There is a heart warming thing to hear the songs you love and have related to for so long in person. It makes the soul feel full and complete in a way that nothing else can.