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Concerts Are Fading Again: What Now?

We seemed to be in the home stretch of returning to some sort of normalcy in this pandemic or at least we were beginning to find our footing in a world where we must learn to live with this virus. However, things are starting to change and I can feel the devastation. Although concerts aren’t the first priority on the list of things we must worry about as the omicron virus ravages the world but the effects of losing something we just got back is dispiriting.

The first concert I had gone to in over a year was an outdoor house show. I had a strange sense of nervousness despite these events being where I felt most at home once upon a time. After seeing friends I hadn’t seen since the last house show, it almost didn’t feel real as we were unsure if we should hug or not (despite being vaccinated). Everything felt perfect yet slightly off the entire time. It was a groove that took a moment to get back into but once I did, everything seemed to be falling back into place. Soon after, more shows began to line up and I remembered what it felt like to once again connect with artists I adored. I saw one of my favorite bands, Wolf Alice, and even traveled to see Harry Styles in a different few cities. It all felt right again. But things have changed now and the uncertainty is haunting.

With this new variant taking over our communities all over the globe, tough decisions are needing to be made about large gatherings, especially those in the name of music. Half of the events I have tickets for are canceled and the other half I probably won’t go to because it feels unsafe. But this variant may never subside and what does this mean for music lovers? Will we ever find our way back to the sweaty crowds and drunken dancing? None of us know the answer but I am still managing to hold out hope. Despite the sadness that accompanies getting a little taste of live music and the human connection that is entangled with it, it was refreshing to have it back, even for a moment. You can either look at it in terms of getting a fleeting glimpse of it only to have it taken away or instead, being reenergized by the short period where we felt semi-normal again. These are two perspectives that interchange in my mind every day.

The vibrations of your feet, the bass in your chest, the ringing of your ears, and a sore throat from screaming the words. These are things we are starting to miss and we don’t know when they will return as they fade from us in front of our very eyes. As I anxiously await their return, I look back on the moments where the bright lights and the loud sounds came back to us after a deafening period of nothing.

As someone whose been going to shows since the age of 14, I will say that by the beginning of the pandemic, I felt a little jaded when it came to the concerts I was going to. I wasn’t the same girl that slept on sidewalks overnight for barricade or who got bruised ribs and black eyes in the pit, all while loving every second of it. But once it was all taken away, I missed it with every fiber of my being. I relaxed I had taken it for granted. Going back to concerts and experiencing them again after so long, I felt renewed and more grateful than I have ever been. I hope that when we return again, whenever that is, we will feel that same way once more, perhaps even stronger.


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