A Concert on a School Night ?! — Part III

Continued from Part II…

Heavy drums and thickly accented lyrics christened my little ears. The song that I had listened to for months on end and quoted on Twitter and said around the house was strummed, hit, and sang by the four very creatures I adore more than pizza or chicken lo mein. That definitely added to the whole surreal-feel. I was also standing without the original people I came with, so the whole experience was all mine to savor- I could cry, scream, sing, and just stand there amazed when I wanted to. I didn’t have to get in pictures or hold phones, I could just enjoy the concert by myself.

About half-way through the concert, the three band mates (Ross, George, and Adam) headed offstage while Matty Healy took his microphone and sat down at the front of the thrust to sing a very personal and quite saddening song titled Me. Before he sang that, he told us “[paraphrased] You guys live in a time where you don’t live in the moment. You use your cellphones for everything. But PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN! I want to see your faces! I want you to see MY face! Pay attention now because this song’s about me and it’s called Me.” Then the mood changed. He grew serious and I grew sympathetic to his troubles. I don’t mean to sound cliche here but Me makes the listener feel very connected to Matty, especially because of the straightforward lyrics. The vocals sound drowsy and slowed and it all makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room while he’s singing in your ear. It was a very emotional section of the concert that I will always keep in a fire-safe box inside my heart.

To be continued in Part IV…

Photo by Audrey Trajano

Photo by Audrey Trajano

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A Concert on a School Night ?! — Part II

Continued from Part I…

Several minutes passed then BAM! Fog machines kicked into action, nearly suffocating me (but, it was all right, The 1975’s fog machines suffocating me to death would’ve made for an excellent story). Kanye West’s Black Skinhead was tearing up the speakers. It was virtually a night club filled with angst-y teens rebelling against their ma ‘n pa- who wear pastel cardigans and freshwater pearls- by being “dressed in black, head to toe…” (The 1975, Chocolate). Hey, I didn’t blame ’em- black goes with everything. Heck, even I was clad in all dark colors, my lips (thanks to my friend) were an abnormally dark, wine color, and I had decorated my wrists with every black bracelet I owned. When my mom saw me, she had nothing to say or show but a closed-mouth smile and terrified eyes. (Little did she know she had nothing to fear because by one o’clock AM I’d be back home, with make-up off and in my snowman PJs.)

Time check: about 10PM. The band’s iconic white-light rectangles that float in mid-air flickered to life. The smoke machines worked double-time. Strobe lights flashed, which made everything look like a stop-motion film. Then, one by one, the four lads from The 1975 casually walked onstage and kind of paced around in their respective areas. They didn’t even look real. The strobe lights and smoke masked them from clear sight and it was like watching holograms dance and jump around fifteen feet in front of me. It. Was. So. COOL. Needless to say, there was a lot of screaming from everyone, myself included. My tears (*sigh*) blurred the image of the smokey, flashing stage while the beginnings of their song The City roared to life.

Part III coming soon.

Photo By: Audrey Trajano

Photo By: Audrey Trajano

A Concert on a School Night ?! — Part I

[Disclaimer: This was one of THE best nights of my life (so far).]

Ever had an experience that, after it happened, didn’t feel like it actually happened? The big kids may call it a surreal experience. Maybe it was when you had your first kiss. Or maybe it was when you got the rare (but breathtaking) chance to meet your favorite celebrity. Whatever happened to you that didn’t feel real, hopefully you can relate to me here.

On a school night, a Wednesday to be exact, I found myself in the freezing cold city air on a side street of the Tower Theater. But, I had a reason to be in that specific location on that specific December night.

It was the night of The 1975 concert. No, not a ’70s cover band, but a kind of pop-punk band of 25-ish-year-old Brits with cool hair and ripped jeans.

My mom dropped me off at 4:45pm into a sea of soft-grunge, noses-pierced, jeans ripped- but most definitely bought that way, amazing people who were all there for the same reason I was: to jam out in a hot room on a school night to some funky music.

At around 7:10, the doors opened and we were on our way (“We” as in me and my four friends I went with). We ran- literally, ran- into the theater and hopped into the pit, which was already over a quarter of the way full with beautiful, edgy people. And we waited. Anxiously, of course.

The two opening acts were absolutely WOW. I didn’t expect such solid tunes to come out of a couple of small-town bands. (Young Rising Sons and Cruisr- definitely check out YRS if you want to be seduced by man buns, Colgate smiles, and rad music; and check out Cruisr if you want to feel like you’re flying in mid-air over California drinking cold lemon water. whilst listening to their music. Just give them a listen…Worth it.) I was so lost in the music, the lights, the heat, the people that I nearly forgot that were was, oh yeah, ONE. MORE ACT. The MAIN act. The 1975.

Why We Scream.

Imagine one of your all-time favorite musical artists. Do it, go on. Alright, got the image in your head? Good. Now, imagine yourself on Christmas morning or the first night of Hanukkah or any other holiday you celebrate. There’s one small gift left under the tree/menorah…You slide your hand under and snatch it up. Hm. It’s quite light. Maybe a pair of earrings or a necklace. You carefully open it (you’re a stickler for saving wrapping paper), and in your quavering hands lie a pair of tickets to see Your All-Time Favorite Musical Artist in concert. WHAT. NO WAY. WHAT. Tears. Immediately. Your vision is blurred and you don’t know who to hug. Your mom, your dad, your dog, your Christmas tree. You finally wipe away the tears and somehow stammer out a thank-you to whoever bought you the golden tickets. For the rest of the day you clutch your beautiful pieces of paper in your hands. When your aunt asks you what your favorite gift wa-“THE CONCERT TICKETS.” You get my point.

Months go by and the day of the concert arrives. It’s a warm summer day in August, let’s say. You almost forget that the big show is tonight. Except, we all know you would never let that slip your mind- you’ve had your concert outfit laid out since December. It’s five minutes until you have to leave with your concert-buddy for the show. You pull up Twitter and all you can type is “WOW TEH CONCERTT IS TONITE WHAT THTE JEVCK I LEVAE IN LIKE FIVE MINUTES WHAT IS LFIE. AFHUWEFBBVE”. Now with that out of the way, you can get on with the journey to the stadium. You and your friend blast the artist’s music all the way to the location, of course. Wow, you are PUMPED for the night to begin.

You find overpriced parking and look over at your excited friend and whisper the word: “Ready??” Of course you are. You jump out of the car, slam the door shut, and exclaim, “WOOOOOOO!!! LET’S GOOOOO!!” You grab your friend’s arm and start power walking towards the stadium. It gets closer and closer, but also bigger and bigger whilst your eyes grow wider and wider with anticipation.

You pull out your ticket and proudly show it to the beyond-over-it ticket-checker lady and, once again, yelp with excitement and skip inside, she’s sighs and says, “NEEEXT”. At this point you say to your friend, “I can’t do this. Literally I wanna go home, I can’t do this.” She pushes you (hard) and says, “Shut up, we’re here. Get yourself together.” You snap back to reality and speed on. You find your seats. Wow. The stage is HUMONGOUS. Like, GINORMOUS. I mean, WOW. There’s a catwalk and EVERYTHING. You’re maybe almost a little too excited about the size of the stage. It’s just the stage…Right?

It’s still light outside so you know there’s still a good bit of time before the opening act begins. The two giant screens sitting on the sides of the stage play various music videos and ads for both the opening and main acts. The anticipation is literally (figuratively) killing you.

Finally, the opening act appears onstage and absolutely smashes it. Just as you had expected. Amazing. This only makes you more psyched for the main act. Oh, but what is this?? A stadium employee giving people with shabby seats (aka you and your friend) upgraded tickets? For free?? She gets to you and your friend and simply hands you the tickets. Your friend says, “We’ll go check it out and see if they’re any better than up here.” You totally agree and off you go.

You get to the threshold of your new section and you’re on the same level as the stage. The tears stream down your face….Again. You claw at your friend’s arm and ask her about ten times if this is real life, then find your delegated seats and sit in your own pool of tears. You’re now about sixty feet away from the stage. You’re definitely staying down here.

The daylight disappears and the lights in the stadium finally go out, leaving the lights around the stage to illuminate the night. The opening video plays. You’re shaking. You’re looking around at other people. What do you do with yourself?! It’s the end of the video…And on the two big screens you see the front of the stage cast onto them….The middle screen in center stage slowly lifts and there stand your idols. The people whose music you’ve listened to since you were, like, twelve years old. Whose videos you’ve watched again and again. Whose Instagrams and Twitters you follow. The people who have become simply figures on a pedestal that you’ll never meet, never touch, never see. The people who are far too busy to notice your incessant tweets dedicated to them. The people who the only way you’ve ever been able to interact with is by double-tapping their pictures and favoriting their every last tweet. But now you’re here. And they’re here. Within less than sixty feet of you. You finally realize that yes, they breathe and move and have blood flowing through their veins. They make facial expressions and play with their (gorgeous) hair. And sing. And dance. And they’re doing it, live, in front of you. So you scream. And loudly. Oh, yeah, then you cry as well. Loudly. You simply cannot resist it. The people who’ve been blocked off from you by a computer screen are here, sweating and running around, right before your very teary eyes.

And that is why we scream.

Our upgraded seats (For the first night we attended).

Our upgraded seats (For the first night we attended).

Original seats on the second night.

Original seats on the second night.