Why I cry at concerts…yeah, I’m THAT person

Music saved my life. On more than one occasion. I know how ridiculous that may sound to some people, but it’s true. I’ll be dedicating a different blog post to how one band/musician especially saved my life. This blog is about concerts and why I have cried at some, and once, almost peed my pants a little. (TMI?? Sorry)

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I don’t like music or musicians because they’re on the top 20 list and everyone else likes them. In fact, most (not all) of the musicians I love are bands that haven’t been heard of by the local radio stations (and most of my friends), some are bands that scare my mom (sorry mom) and some are bands that are no longer together but their music lives on. So what makes me a fan of these bands?

bif naked
Bif Naked Photo: Joy Zylstra

It’s because of who they are. What they’ve been through. What their songs mean to them, and how I interpret them. How their songs make me feel. I don’t listen to music just for the beat or because it’s a good song. I listen to music because of what it brings up inside me. Sometimes, these songs bring back memories and feelings (both sad and happy) from my past.

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The musicians that I love the most, are people who have suffered. Survived. Been hurt. They sing about this pain that they felt or still feel, and I relate instantly. My childhood was stolen from me when I lit the lighter that caused the explosion when I was nine years old. I have little to no memory of my life before my accident. After my accident, my life was far from normal and even further from easy or happy. I was a very angry teenager. I felt judged, like a freak, a loner, and so alone.

Music was my escape. Escape from life. Escape from pain. Escape from feeling alone. What I found in music, I was unable to find anywhere else. The lyrics spoke to me. The agony in the musicians voice as he/she sang their songs touched my heart and soul. I felt like these musicians understood me. Knew what I was feeling. Understood the feeling of being alone, scared and hurting. They understood the feeling of being judged and an outcast. They understood me, when I felt like no one else did.

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These musicians become more than a part of my CD collection (yes, I still buy CD’s and I always will). They become part of my heart. They give me the escape I need in life, still today. They get me, even though we’ve never met. I feel like I owe these musicians so much – I have so much gratitude in my heart for these musicians who have written songs that have saved my life. Because of the songs they write, because of the experiences they have gone through, or simply because they understand what life is like as an outcast – I no longer feel like I can’t get through life. There was a time when I was a teenager that I felt life was too hard. I tried to end my life three times. But then, I turned to my music. My bands.  They got me. They understood me. They saved me. I haven’t thought about suicide or anything even close to that in over 15 years. Thanks to music.

music saved my life

Because of how much music affects me so deeply in my life, getting the opportunity to see these bands live in concert is a feeling that I don’t know how to fully describe. I’m not obsessed with these bands. I don’t have their posters all over my room (although I did when I was teen). I don’t stalk them (although I’m certain I was a groupie in a past life). But I am a fan through and through. I just feel like I owe them so much. As mentioned, I am forever grateful for them giving me an escape and saving me. So when I see these musicians in person, my emotions, all my emotions, come rushing forward in the form of tears. The pain I’ve felt, the feeling of not being alone anymore, the understanding I feel from their music, the love I feel for these musicians and from these musicians. It all comes rushing up and I can’t help it. I cry. Tears of gratitude and happiness. Concerts are my happy place – and when I can see one of my favorite bands in concert, I am on cloud nine. I can’t control my emotions. It’s also not just the band that gives me such a high and wonderful feeling at concerts. It’s the other fans. Being in a room full of people who love the same band as I do, possibly for different reasons as well as the same reasons, is such a beautiful and incredible experience. We look out for each other, we share emotions with each other; for those couple hours we become family. We carry each other. Literally and figuratively.

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Photo: Joy Zylstra

 

Now, I’ve been to a ton of concerts (I’ve lost count) and I haven’t cried at all of them. There’s just a handful of bands that have brought that emotion to me in the moment. There was one concert where I was so grateful towards the band that when they came out on stage, I not only cried in excitement and gratitude, but I also almost peed my pants – I know. TMI. Sorry. But it’s true. I was so excited to see them. I’m sure you’ve been so excited and happy about something that you’ve had to cross your legs too to avoid an embarrassing situation (come on – admit it…don’t leave me hanging alone here). This band reciprocated the appreciation – during the two hour concert, they thanked their fans and showed so much love towards us, more than a dozen times. It was very clear that we, the fans, mean as much to them as they mean to us. The band? Five Finger Death Punch.

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I’ve never made a sign for a concert. Until I was seeing Five Finger Death Punch for the second time. Their music has impacted me so much, I needed them to know. The lead singer, Ivan Moody, signed the sign for me to show his appreciation.
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Five Finger Death Punch Photo: Joy Zylstra

When a band has earned me as a fan, I’m a fan for life. Their music will always mean more to me than they can ever possibly know.

I’ve included links to two songs from two of my favorite bands that mean so much to me, so maybe you’ll be able to understand a bit more of why I cry at concerts. They get me. It almost feels like these songs were written specifically for me, even though I know that’s not true. But it brings so many feelings inside my heart that these bands have earned my love and respect. Always. Because I owe them my life.

Five Finger Death Punch – Lift Me Up

In This Moment – The Fighter

Do you have a band or musician that makes you cry? What is your escape from the hard things life throws at you?

music makes me

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5 Replies to “Why I cry at concerts…yeah, I’m THAT person”

  1. I loved this post for a variety of reasons:
    1) Music is such a beautiful thing that can help anyone escape from a situation, and that’s what makes Music so powerful, and your personal story is such an example of that.
    2) For me, I think of the band Set It Off, now they don’t make me cry, but anytime I listen to them or see them live I can help but be happy, and I forget about all the sadness and the hurt. (I have cried at my fair share of concerts, don’t get me wrong)
    3) I too still buy CDs, and I take pride in my killer collection as well!

    Like

  2. (I’m pretty sure I already commented on this, but it disappeared so I am trying again)
    I love this post for a variety of reasons:
    1) Music is a feeling at its core, and it is so beautiful to witness what music can do for people. Music, similar to books, has the ability to take anyone away, mentally, from the situation they don’t want to focus on: even if its only for a second. It’s just so amazing.
    2) Though I have cried at my fair share of concerts, when I think of “my” band for this I think of Set It Off. Although I’ve never cried at one of their shows, every time I listen or see Set It Off live joy takes over, which is super magical.
    3) I too collect CDs still, and I take pride in my collection though most think its pointless.
    Thanks for sharing your personal take on this, its really cool to hear how others feel about music.

    Like

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