The True Concert Experience (Confessions of a Middle-Age Mom – Chapter 14)

I will admit that during the first song of the One Direction concert, I was thinking that I could get the same enjoyment from watching a One Direction presentation on my TV, in the comfort of my air-conditioned home.  Yes, that is a sign that I truly am middle-aged.  HOWEVER, that thought changed later into the concert.

I was not like some of the adult women that were sitting in the stands, waiting for the concert to get over so they could go home.  I was on my feet, singing and dance like I just didn’t care.  As I have mentioned before, I am not a thin woman.  I was making my sleeveless shirt blossom more than it probably ever wanted to.  But I didn’t care.  Because in my mind, I looked like all the other woman and girls in the crowd.  I was beautiful the way I was, because the songs that One Direction were singing to me told me so.

I was also singing and screaming at the top of my voice and I didn’t care if anyone liked it or not.  It was mid-way into the concert that I figured out what was so magically about going to a concert.  It’s not the fact that you can see your favorite band in person, because although our seats were good, you couldn’t see them up close and personal.  Although my sister and Marie are pretty sure that Harry and Niall both looked right at them some time during the concert.  Heck, maybe they did.

Thankfully, with modern-day technology, you could see the band members clearly on the big screens they had on the stage.  So in a sense, it was like going to see them at a movie theater, because you spent the most part watching the big screen instead of following the moving bodies on the stage.  However, there is something special about attending a concert that you can’t get from the comfort of your own house.

You get to hear them talk to the fans and make little impromptu jokes that may or may not change at every concert.  You get to hear them tell you that this group of fans is the loudest group they have preformed for yet.  Even though that may or may not be true, they make you feel special for that short time you are spending with them.

But the real mystery behind the concert experience is giving back to the band.  No, I’m not talking about physically throwing a bra or something onto the stage.  (I am happy to inform that no one from our party lost any clothing during the concert.  Heck, we were so sweaty that our clothes were stuck to our bodies.)  I’m talking about showing the band how much they are appreciated through a number of vocal ways.

Yes, the first form of appreciation is the screaming.  It’s the first and most common thing you think to do when you are in a venue that big.  You want your voice to be heard above the rest.  But as the concert heats up and you get most of your screaming out, you start to sing.  You sing with the band, like you are part of the band.

It’s like the sign that Marie was holding up during the whole concert, you start to feel like you need to sing with them so they won’t leave.  You don’t just sing with words, you sing with feelings.  One song might not be as well-known or as well liked as some, but you sing it because it’s part of who One Direction is.  Then that special song comes on that you have waited for and you sing, at the top of your lungs, like you are alone in your car.  You do it as a way to give back to the guys that have given you so much joy.

You sing with all your heart, as if the band members of One Direction were your Music Teacher and you were trying to get an A on a music test.  You take the memories, the emotions, the experiences that the song gives you and you bundle it up and give it back to the band through a song.  Your voice may not be as great as them, but you sing it with all the emotions that run through you, all the emotions you need to let go of.  You give back to the band the one thing they have already given to you…memories.

By singing with all your heart and soul, you show the group that they have made a difference in your life.  That you have connected with them on a level they never knew existed.  It was so awesome when this revelation hit me.  When I realized why we needed to travel so many miles and stand in a hot arena to see our favorite band.  It was so we can give back to them the same joy they have given us.

Yes, I’m sure that One Direction would probably not be willing to go perform a concert like they did Tuesday night for free.  I know that the fact that we purchased concert tickets is why they had agreed to perform.  I know that they are hoping through their performance that they will be able to sell more merchandise.  But I know that no amount of money could make those guys get up there and perform the way they did.  I truly believe they do it, for the most part, for their fans.  To show their fans their appreciation for helping them get to where they are now.  To feel like their music made a difference to someone’s life.  To be appreciated for the musical gift that God gave them.

From what I witnessed Tuesday night, I believe that One Direction felt the love that their fans showed them at the concert.  I believe they (or I hope they) could see how many people found joy in the music they created and that they felt as loved as they made all their fans feel that night.  So you see, going to the concert isn’t about seeing your favorite group sing their songs flawlessly and expect to see them as clearly as you do on a TV.  The true concert experience is giving back to the group the same love and joy that they have given you.  It’s a way for fans to say, ‘Thank you!”, “Well Done!” or “Your music matters to us.”  It’s an experience that I am glad I got to witness with my four kids, my older sister and my niece.  I was ‘Dancing All Night To the Best Song Ever’ and I was happy and smiling and ALIVE!

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