Towards the end of 2010 I was immensely fortunate to see no less than four of my all time favourite bands in concert. All small gigs. All intimate. All utterly incredible. These types of events mean so much to me and could only ever be properly shared with friends who mean equally as much. I went to see The Script and Lifehouse with my dear friend (and ex-bride) Kate, whose wedding I shot two years ago. For Daughtry and Train I was joined by my amazing best friend and fellow photographer Nicky.
So, the reason for this post is share something with you that I witnessed at the Lifehouse concert. It’s kind of linked to something else which I will post soon to voice my opinion on a trend that i am continuing to observe at music gigs and weddings and which I feel is fast becoming the ruin of some peoples’ abilities to simply enjoy themselves. More on that soon.
Music moves me. Deeply. And occasionally to tears. Live music multiplies that effect as I feel myself connecting in ways that I simply cannot explain. Music is so powerful and has this insane ability to awaken the deepest and most intimate of memories, occasionally catching you off guard and rocking your seemingly stable foundations without warning.
At the Lifehouse concert, in early October, Kate and I were not mad enough to have queued for the 24 hours necessary to afford us a front-of-stage vantage point, and so we made do with being almost at the back of the stalls. My usual problem immediately presented itself – I’m just too short to see over all those heads!! It doesn’t matter where I stand, the big guy will invariably work his way to the spot right in front of me! On this occasion, however, we were lucky enough to have positioned ourselves right behind a group of girls who were actually shorter than me. Result. For the majority of the concert, they were pretty good in keeping to themselves and not jostling me around too much – unlike the guy behind me, however. Something you have to accept and get used to at small gigs like this. I had already had my little moment, about half way through the concert, as the haunting melodies of “Broken” rocketed me back two years, to one of the most challenging and lowest times in my life, I unashamedly allowed a few tears to fall. It was dark, afterall, and nobody would notice. I brought myself back to the present, shook off the memories and rejoined normality.
During the final tearjerking song, “Everything”, the girl farthest away from me in the group launched herself across her friends and planted herself firmly right in front of me, displacing me from my hard fought viewpoint with a most ungraceful shove. I huffed and puffed for a short while whilst I tried to figure out why she had moved with such urgency, and then it hit me. The girl who had been in front of me was in her own world of grief, in tears to such an extent that her shoulders were heaving with the effort. The power of music had struck again … and as the friends plied her with tissues galore and comforted her with hugs, without even knowing who she was, I felt such sadness. Sadness that she may well have visited somewhere neighbouring my own little hurtville, and I empathised deeply with her. I wanted to give her a big hug, but realised that I’d probably have been maced by her rather protective hens, so had to make do with willing her some happiness and strength with the power of thought control alone.
As the concert finished and we all returned to who we are, I allowed myself to ponder again the strength of the emotions that can be evoked by music, and, similarly, the complimentary strength that good friends provide when needed.
Love music. Love your friends.