Edit Desk: Long live live music


What is it about concerts? 

Sweaty bodies pushed up against one another, fighting to inch further toward the stage. LED and strobe lights illuminating crowded rooms, so bright they could give you a headache. Bass sounds pulsing through the amps, blasting loud enough to shake your eardrums. 

And don’t even get me started on the expense of general admission standing room only, plus the overpriced extra ticketing fees coming from resellers and third-party ticketing sites. 

I know many people in my life who would rather save that money for something else and turn to YouTube or TikTok to see a part of the performance online. I also know people who would rather protect their ears. Not me, though. 

While you can listen to any song or music video online, there is nothing like feeling the vibrations coming from the amps and watching the lights shining down into the crowd. There is nothing like being in the presence of a lead singer’s impromptu conversation with the crowd or singing loud enough to cover for them if they forget the lyrics.

Music has always been a part of my life. At home in Connecticut, my family has a designated room just off the living room inundated with any and all musical instruments. 

There’s an electric keyboard, acoustic guitars hung on the wall and various shakers, harmonicas and bells that my brother and I would use when we were younger to pretend we were performing in front of 10,000 screaming fans. 

My dad, who played in bands all his life, still writes his own music to this day. He always tries to get me to dust off the alto saxophone that I played for 10 years and jam out with him. 

I attended my first real concert in 2010 because I don’t necessarily count the ones in my living room. I saw Kicking Daisies, a band that was hailed as Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing” at the time (anyone remember them?) 

To this day, I remember that experience like it was yesterday. I have a framed photo of me with the lead guitar player and a tee shirt from the band’s merchandise in my bedroom at home, although it’s now many sizes too small. 

From this first experience where I would go to see shows with my family to now traveling to see them with friends, some of my best memories have been in these concert venues. 

Concerts are the one place where I feel most alive. For me, they are an atmosphere where nothing else matters and all outside noise is drowned out. People’s differences don’t seem to matter when they get together, and concert venues are a staple of and give life to many cities. 

Whether I was seeing small up-and-coming artist Bryce Vine as an opening act one year or a headliner of his own tour the next, I’d like to think that as an avid concert goer, I’ve witnessed people’s big breaks and dreams coming true. 

Or even when I saw already big names like Lorde or Halsey at the Governors Ball Music Festival, being a part of someone’s “I made it” moment is an indescribable experience. 

I live for getting home at 2 a.m. from a show to put on my headphones, relisten to all the songs and scroll through the videos I took that I still look back on years later. I’m discreet with the use of my phone — being in the moment is what counts.

Not only are concerts a communal experience between the listener and the performer, but they have also strengthened my own personal relationships. 

This summer, I went with my 17-year-old brother to Madison Square Garden to see Avril Lavigne and Machine Gun Kelly. My brother and I have lost touch a bit during my college years, and this served as one of the first times in years where we were able to spend time with one another for more than a few hours. 

Even 300 feet away from the stage, singing and dancing along with my brother right beside me is an experience and a feeling that I know I will remember forever. 

I think I’ve sometimes taken for granted this experience, but as the live music industry and concert venues were some of the hardest hit during the pandemic, my love for music has only continued to grow. 

Concerts are ancient, tribal and above all a distinct part of the human experience. I plan on keeping it a part of my experience for a long time to come.

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