It's 5:30 pm on a clear summer day. I've just arrived in the parking lot of the BB&T; Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey. Disturbed, my favorite band, is set to go on at 7 pm. Hot dog and t-shirt vendors are posted up along the streets. Anxious crowds of teenagers to adults covered in tattoos and piercings are fast-walking, almost sprinting, to the entrance gates of the venue. The faint smell of marijuana lingers from a few blocks away. Loud chatter, cheers, and speaker systems from nearby vehicles deafen the air. My palms are sweating, blood is rushing to my head--I have to take a second to get myself in order. I check my pockets just to make sure I didn't forget my ticket at home. It's there ... thank god. I walk into the venue, eagerly show my ticket to general admission, collect my wristband, and enter the pit. Instantly, I'm embraced with people. People with interests, t-shirts, and overall excitement that mirror mine. I hear a few sound checks on the microphone, witness the gargantuan backdrop to the stage fall from the rafters, and hear the roaring noise originating from the amps. This is going to be a great night. I'm finally home again.
Music has gotten me through some of the hardest moments of my life, and there have been many. I consistently think about how to describe the effect that music has on my soul, and it's this: music is there for you in a distinct manner in which friends and family cannot be. Music fills a void that seems impossible to fill. Music has the ability to motivate, destroy, ignite nostalgia, force self-reflection--it serves any purpose out there. Lock yourself in a room full of music, and it will evoke just as many, if not more, emotions than having a conversation with your closest companions.
It's hard for me to admit that the popularity of my genre is long gone. The heyday for rock and roll was about thirty to forty years in the past. That's fine. In today's world, rap is undoubtedly the most influential style of music pertaining to the younger generations. That's fine. Older generations still gravitate towards classic rock, jazz, and blues. Whether you absolutely cannot stand certain genres or not, like I can't with country, modern rap, modern pop, EDM, etc., we're past the point of arguing which is "better". There is no "better" form of music than another. Why? Because music speaks to and relates to us in a multitude of ways. Much like colors, it's nearly impossible to describe.
That being said, let's never forget to acknowledge the impact that music has on our lives. Through my 21 years of living, I'm not sure if I could have survived without shutting my door, throwing in earbuds, and escaping from the world sometimes. I'm not sure if I would have been able to leave the comfort of my bed. I'm not sure if I would have been able to pass that test. I'm not sure if I would have been able to amass the motivation to get into the gym and grind. Let's also appreciate the fact that others enjoy music that you may not prefer, simply because they have the same feelings you do about it. Let's, for once and for all, extinguish tedious arguments about genres of music--and just enjoy it.
Take a lesson from Ferris Bueller--"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." So, stop, look around, and appreciate music while you still can.