I probably don’t need to tell you that music is important to me. And live music, well, there just aren’t many things better than live music. When I was younger, I saw a lot of concerts. When my parents would mention someone they wanted to see and then say something like, “But they’ll be here on a Tuesday and parking will be bad and we have to work the next day,” I did not understand. I would see David Gray one night in Seattle and then drive the nearly three hours to Portland the next day after finishing a final, so that I could see him again, and then drive back that night and work the next morning.
But then I moved to California, leaving my concert buddy behind, and I was busy and stressed with grad school and LA traffic is terrible, and then I was always working at least two jobs but sometimes three, and then I was in debt, and then I was getting out of debt. I stopped going to concerts. I mean, except for a select few. But, once–ONCE–I even skipped David Gray. I know. Terrible mistake. Another time, I decided at the last minute not to see Travis, because I was defending my MA thesis the next day. Big regret. I would have passed anyway.
So I hadn’t been to a single concert this year, but I saw that Peter Gabriel was coming to town, and I had to go. I bought my ticket months ago. Then the day I was flying back from Germany, I saw that Mumford and Sons would be here in November, and I had to go. Then I saw that Florence and the Machine would be here too. Also, Bob Dylan and Frightened Rabbit and PATTI SMITH! Right, so it seems that I’m making up for the last six years in only a few months.
The Peter Gabriel concert was a week ago, and it was amazing. John Cusack came on stage with a boom box. Like, is there anything better in the world? Not only do I adore Peter Gabriel, but Say Anything is one of my favorite movies. And as for why I adore Peter Gabriel, his music helped me through a time a couple years ago that wasn’t easy for me. When I said a few months ago that Peter Gabriel knows feelings, a few people were like, “really?” Yes. Listen again!
I hesitated only for a second before deciding to see Patti Smith. The thing is that she wrote my favorite book, Just Kids, but I haven’t listened much to her music. I quickly decided that I could not pass up even the opportunity to be in the same room as her. So, I went and it was amazing and Johnny Depp came on stage to play guitar on the last few songs. (Awesome surprises like this and John Cusack are a perk of being in LA.) Patti has already inspired me so much through her writing, but seeing her on stage seemed to change things again. The last thing she said, as she was breaking all of the strings on her guitar, was “Work hard. Don’t be afraid. And have fun!”
I will see Bob Dylan at the end of the month. I first started listening to him in my senior year of college. Most of us Lit majors had second majors as well (mine was Religion, of course), so we had to take our Capstone course in the first semester, which meant that we had no choice but to take a class on the literature of the 60s. None of us went into it with excitement, but we all came out of it fascinated by the 60s. “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was on the mix I listened to on the drive to California when I moved here after college. I have recently taken a renewed interest in Bob Dylan, and I read his book when I was in Germany. He is famously not that great in concert anymore, but after consulting with twitter, I realized that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see him.
So I say, go see your Peter Gabriels and your Patti Smiths and your Bob Dylans–not because they might not be back, but because they’re here now. And when I say your, I don’t mean go see Patti Smith necessarily, but whoever Patti Smith is in your life. The person whose art helped you through a difficult time or inspired you to change or just made you grin like a fool. If no one understands, then go by yourself. You won’t regret it.
If there was any confusion after my last post, I have no intention of giving up blogging. I couldn’t if I tried. As I’ve always said, I’m going down with this ship. Also, I know my blog looks wonky for some people, but it doesn’t for me and I don’t know what the problem is. I’ll try to get it fixed!