Music Is My Religion. - Jimi Hendrix

Music Is My Religion. - Jimi Hendrix

What's Yours?

I think that Jimi said it best. Music is a spiritual experience.

No, music will never replace God, nor will I ever believe that it is more important - but I think that some of the most important lessons to be learned come from the cacophony of a hyped up crowd on a Saturday night.

Looking around, there are dozens or even thousands of people. Every single person has a different story and reason to sing the words so boldly. The fact that the same 50 - 100 combinations of twenty-six letters can bring tears in the eyes of some and laughter in the hearts of others is astounding to me.

I read a story the other day on Tumblr about a boy who wanted to go to a Taylor Swift concert but has severe anxiety. Against the gut feeling, he bought a ticket. His monologue was spent thanking Taylor for allowing all of that to be taken away, at least for one night.

In that building, you are safe. You will not be judged. And if you are? You're already winning because you're having more fun.

Yes, that's the stage Ed Sheeran stood on.

It doesn't matter how many likes you get on your Instagram of the concert or how close your seat is to the stage.

When you take the time to look around, you notice that you are the only person who is.

We wonder why the world stops turning the second someone like John Lennon is murdered or when Kurt Cobain commits suicide. It shouldn't be much of a surprise; music brings us together, and so will the loss of it.

At a concert, I know I'm not alone. It's the perfect place to make friends; you're literally in an arena for a few hours with a bunch of people who paid to see this show too.

Here's our new friend Maya we met at 5SOS in Tinley Park.

Most of the time, if you didn't look at what we wore or how we styled our hair, we all look the same. And coincidentally enough we all look like we're at church, singing at the top of our lungs and hands in the air.

Don't make fun of anyone's music -- you don't know what saved him or her. Reading a story about a person who didn't commit suicide, or even just found happiness, when they found this artist's or genre's music shouldn't be about whether it was Green Day or One Direction or Sesame Street; it should be about one more life we are blessed with, and one more person's happiness, because of a song. Isn't that enough?

We all find God or whatever higher presence you believe exists in different places - mine happens to lurk around the corner and mingle within the crowds at a concert on a Saturday night to help me see him most.

I've heard the quote "real bands save fans, real fans save bands." Everyone in that building has been saved in one-way or another. For me, the best moment of a concert is when the audience is singing and the artists are just standing there. It sounds a bit backwards but the look on their faces, a look of awe, makes everything worthwhile for me. I (in addition to everyone else in the room) have made their dreams come true, while they have helped me accomplish the same.

Music is my religion; what's yours?

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Remember To Be Kind To Theme Park Cast Members This Holiday Season

They make the magic for you.

For those of you who have traveled to a theme park during the holidays, you know what you are in for.

The weeks right before and after Christmas are some of the busiest times of the year to visit, making the parks extremely crowded and wait times higher than usual. Yet, this time is so popular since it is fun to experience the magic of the season with your family during the special Christmastime celebrations at the parks that bring something extra to your holidays.

One of the most important things to remember during this time of year is to be nice to the cast members!

Families that come to the parks during this time have so much to remember and so much to do; unfortunately, something that is often forgotten during a vacation is to be thankful for those who have to work during this time of year.

The cast members and team members who work during the holidays are doing so at the expense of spending time with their own families. They are sacrificing their Christmas celebrations at home to be at work making your vacation magical.

Some of these workers are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their families and may not have seen them for weeks or even months. Yet, they are here in Orlando working in a job that they are passionate about because they love making happiness for their guests

Making magic and spreading happiness is something that is important to us and why we love what we do. However, it is still really hard to be away from our families at Christmas.

Think it is hard to be a guest when the parks are crowded?

It's even more difficult for the cast members who are working as hard as they can, for 8-15 hour shifts, when things happen that are out of our control. We too dislike long waits, telling your child that he is too short to ride or the fact that a ride is temporarily closed. These things make our jobs difficult too, just as they may be a huge setback in your vacation plans.

So focus on the positive things and appreciate the time you can spend with your families and friends rather than dwelling on the things that may be small setbacks during an overall wonderful holiday vacation. Please be patient this holiday season. Give the cast members a smile and a pleasant "thank you" or "Merry Christmas". We are here for you and we want you to have a wonderful vacation, but it still makes an incredible difference to know that our work is appreciated.

At this time of year, it is important to spread Christmas cheer and we are excited to celebrate with you and your families!

Cover Image Credit: Park Troopers

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7 Reasons 'Starset' Deserves To Get Big

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do.


Starset consists of four members, Dustin Bates, Ron DeChant, Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert. The band was formed in Columbus, Ohio in 2013. Their music has influenced my and several others lives.

Here are a few reasons why they deserve to go down as one of the biggest bands in history.

1. They're the most original band I've heard in awhile.

Starset's content is unlike any other band I've heard or seen before. They classify themselves as "space rock", creating a type of music that many have never heard of before. They use your regular guitar, bass, and drums, but they also incorporate the use of violins, cellos, and synthesizers to create the unique, one of a kind sound. The lead singer, Dustin Bates, even created his own microphone that distorts his voice to use in live shows, so that you feel as though he's speaking to you through a radio in a space station.

2. They're all a bunch of nerds/dorks.

Starset is the kind of band that you'd love to be friends with. Not only are they wicked smart, they also have an amazing sense of humor. They incorporate their knowledge into the songs that they write, leaving you wanting to learn more about what it is they write in their songs.

3. Their songs are lyrically and melodically beautiful.

Ricochet is one of their most impactful and meaningful songs. When you first listen to it you can hear the emotion in Dustin's voice, but as you take a minute to listen to the lyrics, you realize it has so much more meaning than what you assumed. It represents the struggle of a relationship gone sour, the internal struggles within yourself, and the effect it has on both people in the relationship. It's a song that a lot of people can relate to, and I find that amazing.

4. They interact with and care about their fans.

Nyah Kite

Before their shows, they do eat and greets where they hang out with their fans, eat pizza, perform some acoustic songs, and take pictures with them. They have genuine conversations with them, asking us our names, what we like to do, and just keep up small talk. My brother, pictured here, had a conversation with Ron, the bassist, before the show started and they got along phenomenally. I don't know many bands who take that much time to get to know their fans and they even interact with them on Twitter.

5. Have comics with Marvel.

The Prox Transmissions - Marvel Comics

Not only does Starset create music, they also have their own comics with Marvel. The comics are based on an alternate world they created through their music. Each album has a story, but now it's come to life through their comic, The Pros Transmissions. How dope is that?

6. Created their own society to inform the world of various things.

The Starset Society is a mission, created by Starset, to inform others of the up-coming technological advances happening in the world today. The main goal of this society is to make sure we're well aware of the things happening in the world, and it's not just aimed for the fans of Starset. It's influenced by the idea of Thomas Jefferson that says the first step toward a guided future is an informed public.

7. They love what they do.

Nyah Kite

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do. They put so much work into making their shows interactive and enjoyable, and they spend years working on albums so that they and their fans are pleased with the final product. Knowing that they put so much passion and effort into their work makes it obvious that they deserve to be one of the biggest bands in history.

After learning more about this amazing, influential band, aren't you intrigued to hear more of their music? To learn more about their society and their comics? They're great people with a great purpose driving them to continue creating some of the most unique, epic rock sounds in history. Check out Starset. You won't regret it.

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