Have you even been in a place where you could literally feel your heartbeat surrounding you? Have you ever been in a situation where your body becomes one with the people around you? It’s one of the most intense experiences you could ever have. One that will stick in your memory for years to come. One that will probably change your life forever.
On one of the greatest days of my life in 2012, I got a Facebook message from a friend saying the band that I've loved for six years was coming to Syracuse, New York — at a venue a mere 15 minutes from my house. I will admit, I cried when I got the news. The sun shown brighter, the grass was greener and my entire world was turned upside down. There was a chance that I'd be able to see those four guys I'd loved for so many years. It was the chance of the lifetime, and I wasn’t going to give that up.
The only thing that was in my way was my mom and dad. Since the concert was on a school night in the middle of Syracuse, which isn’t the best place to be, I was not too positive they'd let me go. However, after a full night of begging and playing the songs for them so they'd recognize the fact that I've been a fan for so long, they said yes. I was pretty sure that I had died and gone to heaven.
Finally, the day had arrived. On March 1, 2012, my best friend Claire and I got into my dad’s car, shaking with excitement, ready for our first real concert. This first concert was completely foreign from what we were used to.
Just from standing in the cold waiting to enter the open-floor venue, I was hooked. There were people casually chatting and waiting for the concert to begin, the stage was so close to us, the huge speakers were emerging from the walls and the ceiling, the smell of stale beer surrounded us — it was all absolutely perfect. It was something that I never wanted to stop experiencing.
The floor started getting a little more crowded once it got time for the opening performers to come on stage. People starting to pack into the much too small space to attempt to get closer to the bands. The first band came out, and the whole room erupted into noise. There was screaming and singing from both the crowd and the band, the speakers were blaring and it felt like there was noise surrounding us. It was a type of loud that you could feel. You could feel the beat with your body; you could feel it coursing through your soul.
That band played for about an hour, and then there was a small break as the sets were changing. People started to dissipate, which allowed room for air to get in. It’s hard to notice the lack of breathing room during the moment, but the second there was a hole in the crowd, Claire and I were able to breathe in fresh air and get ourselves prepared for the next band coming on soon.
The second band came on with very little time to react to what was about to happen. Apparently, a lot more people were excited about this band than the first one because immediately as they started playing, Claire and I were shoved closer to the stage as the entire crowd pushed forward. As we were trying to wrap our heads around what was happening, we heard the band yell the infamous phrase, “Open it up!” That phrase brought very different emotions among the crowd.
I’m not sure Claire and I were prepared for the circle that was about to open in the middle of the floor, but what we did know is that we didn't want to be a part of it. We saw an opening before the mosh pit really got going, and we pushed through and got right to the front of the floor. We were about four rows of people away from the stage, and it was amazing.
The second band finished playing, and the circle closed up. Claire and I started to get more excited about the fact that we would be seeing our favorite band members after years of listening to their music and preparing for this moment. We anxiously looked around us. People were starting to get louder, the music playing while the stage was being turned over started to get quieter, and suddenly the lights went out.
The introduction to the song “Time-Bomb” erupted, and people from all over the floor started to lose it. Alex and Jack jumped out onto the stage, and the crowd around us exploded into screams and shouting. Rian and Zack come out after to take their places. The venue became one of the coolest atmospheres I’ve ever been in.
For nearly two hours, I was able to see my favorite band perform my favorite songs live. I was able to be amongst hundreds of other fans that were just as passionate about this band as I was. I was flooded with emotion because this concert, this moment in my life, changed how I would view music forever.
After two encores and an announcement that this concert was the longest one they have ever performed, they left the stage. The crowd started to thin out as people were laughing and talking at a slightly louder register as their ears were ringing from the bass. Claire and I looked at each other, ecstatic. This day was one of the greatest days in our lives, and we would be able to talk about it for years to come.
When I finally got home, I laid in my bed, waiting for sleep to come over me as I was still reeling about what had just transpired. Smiling, I rolled over and drifted into sleep knowing that this day, seeing All Time Low, was one that I would want to repeat over and over again.