This last summer, in the month of June, as I was sitting on my couch, I received a text from one of my best friends that made me immediately overjoyed. In this text, my friend told me that one of our favorites bands, Grouplove, was coming to Portland in October and asked if I wanted to go see them with her. I, of course, started jumping up and down screaming in excitement and then replied with a text saying, “YES, OF COURSE!”
Well, after several months of waiting in great anticipation, the month of October finally came and it was time to go to the concert. We had been getting more and more pumped all week, ready to go sing and dance our hearts out in the presence of some truly wonderful live music.
But, you know, it’s funny how much your attitude can change throughout a day. As the time of our departure for Portland was getting closer, I began to feel a little bit uneasy. It had been a long, difficult week, and I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I began to think of all the reasons going to a concert didn’t sound appealing right then and there, like the fact that it would be loud, and that it would be full of sweaty, aggressively enthused people. I thought I was going to ruin the whole night because of my mood, and I quickly began to panic, thinking of how I was going to spoil one of the potentially best musical experiences of my life and that it will have been a waste of money and time and energy.
After receiving a bit of moral support from a good friend who encouraged me that I would surely brighten up and enjoy my time as soon as I heard their music, I decided to just buck up and go to the concert with my full force of enthusiasm and fool myself into not being tired anymore (which of course included some caffeine).
And boy, am I glad that I did.
The second the music began playing, all my fears were immediately relieved. This was going to be one of the best nights of my life.
My friend and I danced our absolute hearts out. Beams of blue and purple light interrupted by small clouds of fog filled the stage. This was only further complimented by the lead singers’ green and pink heads of hair, which were currently flopping about in every direction as the band members danced all over. They played every single one of our favorite songs, and they performed it better than I ever could have imagined it.
And this, my friends, is the reason I think you should all attend a concert of one of your favorite artists — because regardless of what mood you’re in, you’re almost guaranteed to be transformed by the presence of wonderful music, as I was.
I was so worried that this concert, because the band was an indie artist, might draw a group of people who were far more dangerously enthused about the music than I was, and in far different ways than I was. What if the other people at the concert are weird? What if I get pushed around by the masses of said weird people? What if the band ends up not being that good in live performance? What if the ethos just feels wrong and gross?
In reality, these were all pretty valid concerns and questions to have. However, the way the night actually turned out is so far from these concerns that it now just seems silly to have worried the way I did.
The body-slamming, drug-filled environment I had feared it would be turned out to actually be an environment full of immense love and joy for music and for life. The people I had thought were going to be ‘weird’ turned out to actually be people who simply adored music enough to bring themselves to be in its presence. And the music? Oh, the music. The music which I had feared might not sound all that good in person turned out to be a force of beauty and talent that I felt down to my very core.
I got to learn more about the way people respond almost spiritually to being in the midst of live music. I got to learn from the band more about what it means to be an artist in this world with incredible talents to share with others, just by witnessing their greatness. I got to learn more about the quality of the human story and how many different forms it can take — even for the famous and seemingly perfect humans.
We were just a group of people who came together for one common reason of being together in the presence of one group’s artistic talent. Grouplove is just a band who wants to encourage people to love and trust one another and experience the joys of life.
Concerts are such a surreal, communal, human experience. To witness some of your favorite music being performed live is an intense privilege — a privilege you should very seriously consider blessing yourself with. Go see good live music, and allow it to change your life.