Music has a way of bringing people together. Whether catchy, relatable or unlike anything we’ve ever heard, any artist, band or song can attract listeners from different walks of life. Instrumentals give us a desired feeling and lyrics are better at telling the stories we want or need to listen to. Concerts are proof that many different people can come together to form a unique community where they can listen to music they all genuinely enjoy.
My parents never gave much thought to my love of singing along to rock songs on the radio in my childhood, but my desire to go to concerts was a different story. I faced several rejections throughout the years from my parents, but once I landed my first job, I was free to buy my own tickets. During the first half of my junior year, a senior in my choir class named Randall invited me to see the band he fronted, The Brightest Star, at a venue called The Korova. Without a doubt, that experience became a pivotal moment of my adolescent life.
I told my parents that I was just going to catch a late movie with some friends. I boarded a bus and sat by myself with the cash I had withdrawn – just enough to get into the bar and take the bus home – lining my pocket. I spent the ride hoping my story wouldn’t fall apart. I approached the venue during soundcheck and could hear the beat of drums. After purchasing my ticket and flashing my driver’s permit, I tried to act natural as the bouncer placed a paper band on my wrist. Eventually I spotted a few kids from my choir class and decided to hang out with them until we were separated by the growing crowd.
The large crowd of drinking strangers surrounding me made me want to walk out and leave – then the crowd began to cheer. The awkward silence and hostility before the show vanished. I recognized Randall as he ran on stage and grabbed his guitar. He started strumming the strings a few times while his bandmates gathered on stage. As the music started, the attitude of the crowd completely changed. People were smiling at each other, nodding their heads and recording without a care in the world. I stood there with my mouth hanging open, trying to take it all in . A young lady noticed me standing by myself, grabbed my hand and spun me around.
From this point on I only remember having a good time. There was no reason to be afraid or be intimidated by anymore. I fit right in. Everyone was dancing, singing, laughing, and no one ever showed any hostility toward one another. I couldn’t tell who know each other and who were strangers because everyone was included. Even to this day, I cannot think of another time life seemed perfectly flawless. During the band’s entire set I didn’t once think about any current troubles or worries. I only cared about having a good time with a crowd who came together to experience a live show.
Back home, I laid in bed replaying the evening in my head. I didn’t have extra money for merch, but Randall gave me a sticker of his band’s logo the next time he saw me in class.
Music is a universal language. It will never stop bringing people together during the best and worst of times. It’s comforting to know there are others who feel the same way, and I look forward to grabbing their hand and spinning them at the next show.