[“Save Yourself” – Kaleo]
Last night, I lived the dream of every introvert. I had an entire row of seats to myself for the majority of a concert. Five whole seats, my bag and jacket had a seat. I had three more seats that were just… There, should I happen to need them. I didn’t have to get up every time someone had to pee. I could sit on the aisle and not awkwardly in the middle, rubbing elbows with strangers. I had a great view over the rail. Life was GOOD.
Sitting in the Tower Theater, waiting for Kaleo to come on stage, I wondered how much I was going to enjoy the concert since the “best available” tickets I had purchased apparently put me on the balcony. For those of you unfamiliar with the Tower Theater (as I largely was before last night, having only seen WWE there before—but that’s another story) the seating, or lack thereof, arrangement changes according to the need of the show. In this instance, the balcony featured seating, something I have never been a fan of at modern concerts (sitting, rather than standing and dancing, has always made me feel like a second-rate fan), and the floor section was standing room only. For some inexplicable reason, the standing room/floor access was more expensive. I guess having the potential to be sweat on by the performers is worth an extra $8 and wasn’t available when I purchased tickets. Whatevs, my butt was comfy (not that I am a seat convert, I am still all about the pit experience but you may as well accept and love the situation you find yourself in).
ANYWAY, I sat, doodling, nursing the hell outta my beer, and people watching in the hour before the start of the show—excited for the potential of new bands to fall in love with (thankfully, the opener didn’t disappoint – whaddup Wilder? You’re now definitely on my list) and I ruminated that the balcony is the perfect place to maintain my personal bubble of acceptable space between myself and other humans and enjoy the anonymity of the unlit space.
I think I love movie going and concerts so much because the space is entirely dark but for the secondary, flickering and fluctuating, light cast by the event happening in front of you. Yes, it’s wonderful to watch the show, but there is a second performance in that undulating darkness, another aspect to enjoy. That’s the expressions on the people around you, and the way they express their excitement, as they enjoy the scene being played out. For a brief period of time, we, the spectators, are all one in our collaborative joy and enthusiasm; all contributing to the same experience. That’s nothing short of incredible. Especially in an era where personal space is increasing in diameter and the willingness a person has to engage in-person is largely outweighed by the blue lit screens through which we can access the rest of the world.
Please Don’t Stop the Music
So, I love Kaleo and was overjoyed to hear that they would be performing in my lovely city… But the desire to attend this concert had some additional motives. I knew, given what Tuesday was, that I was going to be less than happy this week (for a justifiable reason, I believe). So I may have over scheduled myself to keep my mind off of all the emotional claptrap my life seems to be made of now-a-days. However, I didn’t take into account the emotional exhaustion this week would entail when making my plans, so attending this concert was something I had to push myself to do despite my excitement. Which brings me to my second point… I’ve been challenging myself to enjoy my own company.
Successfully having braved the anxiety and sad… There I sat, sipping my Magic Hat #9 (a personal favorite), in a row of seats—that were entirely, magically, all mine—realizing that I could really go to any concert and be entirely happy because of the appeal this anonymous experience offers. This discovery is particularly true when I am attending alone. Alone, I’m no one. Being no one, I am everyone. My being there contributes to the all-encompassing sound—even if it’s just the beat of my heart and the breath moving in and out of my lungs. I contribute to the color, warmth, hum, and vibe. In these fleeting moments, which I have come to chase, I become as close as I ever will to BEING the music. I become one with it. Swaying and moving in sync. I am the beat, I am the music. I can’t imagine anything else I would like to be more a part of at the moment.
Having felt so… Disconnected… From society lately—sadness putting me in a confusing and distancing fog—it was immeasurably cathartic to feel like a part of something while not having to put too much effort forth (for once).
That’s really all I am here to say… I felt a lighthearted anecdote would allay some of the dreary density of my last post. I engaged in something I feel passionate about and found a silver lining in my ethereal experience. I found hope and light to hold on to, even if just for a moment. This light has stayed with me, it’s helped keep me warm in the cold-shoulder chill and the scrappy orange glow has taken up arms against the dark, valiantly warding me against the terrible Blue Menace (now it’s time to even the score).
Photo: E. Campbell (2017)
Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA