solidarity in sounds
Your first concert is important. Life altering. Historical.
Which is why it makes me sad I can't remember my first concert. I have no idea who I went to see. I do, however, know it was likely a contemporary christian band. Someone like Point of Grace or PlusOne, because that's the world I grew up in. Even when I was young and listening to music that I didn't know I wouldn't care about when I got older, it mattered to me more than anything else. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so my parents and my siblings and I would volunteer to work at the arena handing out brochures or whatever they wanted us to do so we could catch the main act for free.
I've always used music to express the inexpressible. I have this very vivid memory - I was maybe ten, my best friend had moved a few hours away from me and I was devastated. And then I discovered this song. I don't remember the song, but it was too emotional for my friend to listen to and just emotional enough for me. I sat and listened to that song on repeat because it matched my heartache.
When I got a little older I moved on to hardcore emo music. I cut my bangs asymmetrical so I couldn’t see out of my left eye, and started wearing band shirts and studded belts. I went to so many concerts with my friends and ended up in the mosh pits a few too many times. But I loved it. God, I loved the solidarity I felt in those mosh pits. Like we all knew we were outcasts but, without a doubt, we were exactly where we belonged. I didn't care how far we had to drive to see a band, I was willing to do it. I would sit in the car for upwards of 5 hours and then wait in line for another 5. I reveled in the anticipation of that opening song.
And now here we are, technically an adult but still that kid reveling in the anticipation. Music is still the thing I use to express the inexpressible. The only thing I care about most days is having the right music in my headphones. I go to as many shows as possible, though it's gotten more difficult.
I'm always chasing that one moment, and so far I've only ever been able to find it at concerts. The moment when everything falls away. I am not me, I'm not with the people I'm with, the pressures aren't weighing me down. It's just me and the sounds, and I am finally free. I dance, or cry. Or more often I do both.
I wish I could remember my first concert. I wish I could remember the first time I felt that feeling. Did I know what was happening to me? Did I understand then that I would spend the rest of my life chasing that feeling?
I wish I could remember.