Summer has officially started, but it’s not just the beaches and pools that become the daily haunts for people of all ages. Outdoor amphitheaters, fairgrounds and stadiums reopen for hot summer nights filled with music, dancing and socializing in celebration of the long awaited advent of summer break. Although concerts have always been treasured by society as staple summertime traditions, I have always believed that concerts have more of an impactful significance than most people realize.
- Dancing and reveling in complete euphoria, I succumbed to the infectious liveliness of a rock concert: multi-colored confetti fluttered through the air, bright strobe lights illuminated the darkest of corners, and the thrum of bodies swayed to the rhythm of the music. The beats of the drums, the resonance of the guitars and the crooning of the lead singer assailed my ears; however, there was one sound that was by far the sweetest. Echoing off the walls of the venue, the cacophony of fans sang in perfect unison. Sopranos, altos, bases and off-key singers alike blended their disparate singing ability levels together into one perfect, in-tune melody that rivaled that of the lead singer. This sound was more than just an auditory representation of unrestrained excitement--it was the sound of camaraderie and friendship. The final chord of the last set was drowned by deafening cheers, screams, and applause. On the way out of the venue, I exchanged glances with several other fans. Our knowing smiles indicated a mutual respect for one another as members of the fanbase community. Later in the night, still experiencing a high from the concert, I fell asleep to the echoes of passionate voices singing in harmony.
It’s undeniable that we live in a world full of violence, prejudice, sexism, racism, religious intolerance--the list goes on and on. Nowadays, it seems like more divides us than unites us. However, the first concert that I attended when I was thirteen years old, opened my eyes to the power that music had to unite millions of people from different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds into one close-knit community. A menagerie of music aficionados, we set aside our differences to celebrate a band that has brought us joy. Singing as loud as my vocal cords would allow, I forged an unspoken bond with every single one the fans in that venue. In a conversation of melodies, we expressed our unconditional acceptance for each other. Our unified singing established a safe haven free of preconceived judgements. Surrounded by people who openly expressed their love for the band through impassioned singing, I was enveloped in a sense of camaraderie, a sense that it was us against the rest of the world.
Such an unforgettable experience has inevitably sparked my endless love for concerts. In pursuit of the same addictive and heartwarming sensation I first had the privilege to experience of all those years ago, I have gone from one venue after another--outdoor amphitheaters, theatres, nightclubs and sports arenas, you name it. Each time I take my seat in a stadium or find the perfect place to stand in GA, complete strangers turn into family, judgemental thoughts turn into compassionate sentiments, insults turn into beloved song lyrics and reality turns into a distant nightmare. As I am writing this, I am currently still feeling the euphoric effects of a recent Panic! At The Disco and Weezer concert.
Yes, shows can be absolute madhouses with mosh pits, deafening sound systems and hoards upon hoards of people, but at their essence, they can teach us a lot about the capacity and potential of the human race to show compassion and respect for others.
If only the world could be suspended in one perpetual concert, then maybe, just maybe, we could all learn to dance to the same melody.
Lead Image: Anthony Delanoix via Unsplash