Say you’ve been listening to a band for a long time- say, since you were a teenager. We’re talking a span of 20 years or so. The music was great then, and perhaps the band/musician’s new stuff speaks to you now, as well. Some of those bands, you got to see as a teen. Some you didn’t get to see live until 20 years later. How do you compare the experiences you had at the shows?
I was asked recently at a party what my two favorite concerts have been. In spite of the fact that two nights prior, I had experienced a fantastic Annie Lennox show, I unflinchingly brought up the Police and U2 shows I went to, when I was 15 and 18, respectively. I had worshipped Stewart C. and the boys for years, and was so enthralled at the prospect of seeing them live that I actually liked the fact that our seats were up behind the stage. As in, we were facing their backs for the whole show (but I was that much closer to Stewart). The U2 show was a true religious experience for me. The sound was amazing, the lyrics were very meaningful, and the energy of the crowd was hypnotizing.
At the Annie show, as with a Cheap Trick show I went to a few years ago, I found myself welling up with tears during at least one song. And said songs really weren’t sad songs at all. The music simply managed to unleash really strong feelings in me. I believe they were feelings of happiness. Listening to the recorded songs, and/or watching the videos for them, had always been transcendant for me. They’d always made me dance, or want to dance. For many years. Getting the opportunity to finally hear them played live was downright overwhelming.
In my past several years of yoga and of getting good massages, I’ve been told that some physical actions can release pent-up emotions, but I’ve never found myself crying in the middle of doing bow pose or getting my shoulder knots worked on. But there are some songs that just turn me into a puddle. This behavior didn’t really start for me until the first time I had to pause for/sing a national anthem, after the 9/11 tragedy. It seems trite, expecially when as a kid, I was quite the crybaby, but that’s when it started. I get some solace from the fact that Battle Hymn of the Republic has always made me shake a little.