I have a confession to make: I think I’m on the verge of becoming seriously addicted to concerts. It all started 3 months ago when I went to my first real rock concert. It was like that day a whole new universe opened up to me. It sucked me in and suddenly, music wasn’t just music anymore. It wasn’t just background noise. It turned into something more meaningful than I ever expected – a way to express myself, something that brought me closer to who I really am.
Understandably enough, I was looking for ways to relive that initial experience I’d had many, many more times which led to me becoming a frequent visitor of ticket sales websites – and a frequent buyer, too. Last week, it was time for the first of a row of concerts I bought tickets for – and as expected, it was amazing! The band we were about to see was Snow Patrol whose music I’ve been enjoying ever since “Chasing Cars” made its first appearance on Grey’s Anatomy in 2006. That song was a faithful companion when I was going through a phase of serious lovesickness. And it is also the first song I learned to play on the guitar (and the only one I can play properly to date, for that matter), so I was especially excited to hear it performed live.
When I arrived at the venue I was surprised to find a huge line of people waiting outside even though it was only about an hour until the show was scheduled to start. The friend I was going with was still fighting her way through Frankfurt’s evening rush hour. Having kept my body as hydrated as possible over the course of the day soon took its toll on me, so I decided to stop-and-go ahead. When I had finally made my way in, there was another huge line waiting at the cloakroom. And an even longer one at the ladies’ room. By the time I finally made it to the toilet, I wasn’t able to stand upright anymore from all the water that had accumulated in my bladder, but… ahhhhh… I had made it and didn’t have to attend the concert with wet pants. Lucky me!
When I was done, my friend had finally made her way in as well, so we went inside after a quick stop at the bar to get a nice, cold beer. It was only 30 minutes until the show was supposed to start when we first set foot into the hall. It was pretty tiny compared to the one I had been to before. This time we had standing tickets, so I quickly scanned the room for the best places to enjoy the show from. We first thought about just going to the back which promised a relaxing atmosphere while still being able to have full view of the stage. But that did seem a bit boring to me.
“Come on, let’s just see how far we can get to the front”, I said to my friend and dragged her along.
It was surprisingly easy. On the sides of the stage there were groups of people scattered here and there, some sitting on the floor, others standing around with a drink in hand. We made it to the second row on the far left of the stage from where we were sure not to miss any of the action.
“This is perfect!”, I said to my friend who didn’t seem quite convinced, but had no other choice but to give in unless she wanted to watch the show from a different spot all on her own.
When I had just finished my first beer, the support band appeared.
“Oh God, I hope they’re actually making music”, I said to my friend bitterly remembering the deafening noise mixed with occasional screams we had to listen to the last time.
But what came to my ears was a sweet melody carried by harmonically interacting instruments and a pleasant male voice.
“Wow, they are really good!”, I said to my friend after the initial surprise had faded. I started to tap my foot along with the beat, then swang my body and even danced a little which is usually a hard thing for me to do when I don’t know a song. So, well done, Ram’s Pocket Radio! I hope to see more of you in the future!
In order to shorten the wait for the main show, I got another beer. And then finally, Snow Patrol entered the stage. I have always been a great fan of Gary Lightbody’s voice and I have to say, to hear it live is even better than hearing it on the record. It hits right into my heart and it gave me goosebumps more than once that night. As I knew the majority of the lyrics, I started to sing and clap along from the moment the band had started the show. I was surprised to see that in my corner of the audience, I was pretty much the only one doing so. I glanced at my friend who was at least slightly moving to the sound of the music.
“Maybe they just need some time to warm up”, I thought to myself. It turned out that they didn’t.
When I started to clap my hands to “Take Back The City”, the mother and daughter in front of me were clinging to the barrier in front of them, not moving an inch.
When I was wildly waving at Gary who was approaching our side of the stage, they were still standing there like they were watching an animal in the zoo, solely following the show through the screens of their cameras.
And when I was jumping up and down to the chorus of “You’re All That I Have”, I didn’t care about annoying them or the people behind me who weren’t doing much either with my own little party anymore.
As soon as the band left the stage for the first time, the mother-daughter-couple left, so I was in first row for the encore. Now there was no stopping me anymore. I jumped. I woo-hoo-ed. I waved my arms in the air. I sang like there was no tomorrow. And then something amazing happened. The guitarist that had been playing in front of us all the time looked at me. And he burst into laughter. Just like that. I was confused. I turned to my friend to find her almost lying on the ground from laughing so hard.
“Did he just laugh because of me?”, I asked her.
“Yes”, she gasped, “He’s been looking over to you a couple of times before.”
“I thought so, too. But I wasn’t sure. He didn’t laugh AT me, did he?”
“No, no, I don’t think so. He probably just thought it was funny that you were having so much fun.”
And that’s what I kept on doing until the last sounds of “Just Say Yes” faded away. I had so much fun that night. And you know what, I wouldn’t have cared if Snow Patrol’s guitarist had actually laughed at me.
Please be sure to check out Snow Patrol’s amazing support band Ram’s Pocket Radio.
I purchased their EP Box after the show and also got a chance to briefly talk to them. They were really nice and I hope to see more of them in the future. Their bassist Shauna also has another project that’s worth checking out: Silhouette. I have to admit that I’m having a serious girl crush on her. Bass-playing and singing girls rule! 😉