There is something magical about music. For me, it’s engrained in my memories as far back as I can remember. I guess in different ways, we all have a soundtrack though.
My earliest memory (I may have mentioned this one already in an earlier post), was when I was around three years old, sitting on the floor perfectly between the two tall, floor speakers of my parents’ stereo. I don’t remember what songs were playing, but I remember the feeling. I do, however, recall years later that I enjoyed the song, “Rockin’ Robin.” It wasn’t Gospel, so my mom made me get rid of the cassette. I have no idea where it even came from, but I didn’t get to enjoy it for very long.
On that same note, I remember having a tiny Walk-Man radio that I listened to when I was in second or third grade. I had to kind of sneak around to listen to it, but I also remember hearing New Kids on the Block from our neighbors when they’d wash their car. Growing up, I was frustrated that I couldn’t listen to different types of music, but looking back, it’s kind of funny because I may be the only female my age who can say she didn’t own anything New Kids on the Block. Maybe that’s where I learned the lesson that I can in fact live without having/doing what everyone has/does? If so, I’ll take that blessing.
My parents both loved music and if they weren’t listening to it, then my mom was playing her keyboard and they were sometimes both singing Gospel songs. They sang at church together, and I had my singing debut at our tiny, country church as well.
Obviously, my mom’s favorite kind of music was Gospel, but my dad liked Gospel and Country. Remember those CD clubs? He had a membership so I got to hear all the current artists. I can’t tell you how many times I sang Reba songs. My dad was always so proud and would say he was going to be my manager someday. He’d let me belt out “Fancy” in the back seat of the car every other weekend. I didn’t know it then, but how beautiful to just let a kid run with something that makes them happy.
Scattered throughout my childhood, no matter which town, or what house I was living in at the time, music was always a constant. It was my constant connection to the outside world I couldn’t touch. It was a constant reminder that nothing was wrong with me. No matter what I was going through or how I was feeling, there was always a song floating around from someone who had experienced the same thing or felt the same way.
As humans, we need connection.
Because I grew up simultaneously in different towns/houses, friends were always temporary. Everything in my life has always felt just that: temporary. But I could go listen to “Rockin’ Robin” right now, and be transported back to those tall speakers on the floor.
Music is a magical time machine.
I was one of the fortunate ones who realized that very early on in life. Because of that, I fought my way to a lot of live shows. I knew if there was magic coming through my headphones, there had to be something really amazing to witnessing it in person.
The downside was that not many people shared my passion, so those were adventures I took alone mostly. That’s ok, but I do look back through all the photos sometimes and wish I had someone I could call up and say, “Do you remember that time…?” Thankfully, there are a few, but the majority are just memories for me to keep, I guess. Kind of like when the sky is so pretty, but you can’t seem to photograph it like your eyes see it. That view was just for you…
This brings me to sharing that on concert day, I can’t eat very much. I always have butterflies and am just too excited to eat. It should be annoying, but at this point, I’m just thankful there is still something in this world that can make me that happy.
Well, I have a new friend I met a couple of years ago through the studio who loves music as much as I do. This just brings a whole other level of joy to the mix. She got us tickets to see Noah Kahan this past weekend, and I still haven’t fully recovered from how perfect that evening was.
It was so funny because I was telling her about not being able to eat on concert days and she finally put it into words. She said that it’s like when you just met someone and you’re getting ready to go on a date. You’re too nervous/excited. That is so accurate.
I discovered Noah’s music via Dermot Kennedy awhile back, but for some reason, I didn’t really dive in right away. Then, not too long ago, I guess I heard it again and really listened to the lyrics. The more I listened, the more I became a fan. Timing is everything with most things in life, and music is no different. I really found it when I needed it.
His lyrics are saying what so many of us are feeling–without holding anything back. Listening to it is what threw me back into my writing. It somehow helped me find my writing voice again.
To be able to go see him at Chastain Park, with someone who is equally excited, was amazing! That venue is the most perfect thing ever! But my biggest surprise was the crowd! It had to be a sold out show. There were people as far as you could see and it was almost strange how kind everyone was. It was such an eclectic mix of people, yet everyone was kind. You could feel such a great energy, and everyone sang so loudly. There wasn’t a single drunken rude person anywhere near me. It was glorious! Also, if you’ve ever been to a concert, then you know what a pain it is to fight the traffic when leaving. Not this show. Everyone was almost doing teamwork to let each other out of that parking lot.
So, whether you like his music or not, he miraculously just brought together the kind people I’ve been searching for every time I go out in public. It was incredibly refreshing and restored my faith in humanity. He’s a young guy, so the majority of the crowd was younger girls. Social media paints a certain picture of their generation, but I must say, if that’s what we have coming up now, I think we’ll all be in good hands after all. Perhaps I needed to witness them just as much as getting to see the show.
I fully expected to cry when he sang, “Maine,” but “No Complaints” caught me off guard so it won out. What a beautiful song that describes my life in this moment. There was just something about those lyrics, outside under the stars…
Again, I only had my phone, so the photos just are what they are, but it’s ok.
When someone is put into the spotlight, they have an influence, whether they want to or not. It was nice to see Noah using his time to encourage people to sit with themselves and try to heal from the things life throws at us all. Seeing that sea of green over everyone’s cell phone light as he sang “Carlo’s Song” was such a beautiful moment. It was very apparent that it meant a lot to him to see that during his largest crowd he’d played to in Atlanta so far.
So, just as music is a time machine and can take us back to those memories that we never could quite capture with a camera, it also brings us together and connects us in a way that I hope I never outgrow.