“A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It’s a theatrical event.” – Freddie Mercury
Wednesday, June 18th
I committed to volunteering for two concerts this summer in exchange for a free ticket to see the show. I completely forgot to write it on my calendar so was surprised to see a confirmation that both concerts were within days of one another in my daughter’s last week of school before summer break.
I had volunteered at this concert series before so I knew the drill. Sign in. Set up. Check in with the other volunteers. It was one of those nights though. A magical night of sunshine and soft breezes. Bumping into friends and making new ones. I am always struck by how vital the audience is to an event itself. The artist holds the space, but the audience chooses whether to elevate the mood.
For me, it always comes down to whether I am able to step outside of myself and go on the sonic journey with others. Protest music. Spirituals. Sacred chants. Live breakbeats. The one drop. All of it is an invitation to remember who we are to one another and to ourselves. The people watching was epic, and I default to milking that for its full entertainment value. My fellow volunteer reminded me that sometimes the best thing is to jump in and participate with that person rather than make someone an object of laughter or mockery. She approached a man I’d pointed out as being colorful, and asked to have her photo taken with him. It takes gumption to be unique and he owned it, and had all the better time for it. That energy is what heals this judgmental self-interested world. Then I was approached by someone who had very limited boundaries and it was interesting to see what a complete drain he was, dominating the conversation and bringing everything back around to him so he could share his strong opinions. It takes all types in this world, and boy howdy, do music shows ever bring them all out!
What are your favorite parts of a musical event?