I was at a gig recently. Easily among the oldest people in a very small crowd. Less than 50 of us I’d estimate.
It didn’t matter that I wasn’t dressed like the emo kids who made up most of the audience. That I didn’t know the first two acts on the bill. I was there for the music. And so was everyone else.
A voice and a guitar and later a keyboard. Simple stuff. No lights and lasers or giant speaker stacks.
If you didn’t know the words, you caught the rhythm. If you didn’t sing along, you stood and smiled and clapped at the end.
For a couple of hours there was nowhere to be but the present. And the present was wrapped in a undiluted spirit of positivity.
Music can do that. Lighten your troubles. Focus in on the moment. Connect you to people you may not otherwise encounter.
When I was stirred from sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning to hear that people had been killed at a concert hall in Paris, I was pulled back to that gig, and all the other gigs I’ve ever been to.
And that’s why I’ve struggled to write a blog post this week. The stories I wanted to tell are framed by events in the wider world. Making my words and thoughts seem trite, insignificant.
But still I write. To try and make sense of how I feel and what I think in my own head. And to reach out for the things that connect us as human beings – like music.