Most concerts allow punters to have experiences close to heavenly. This piece explores some of the power and magic possible at a gig.
The song started with a swelling of strings and percussion. I closed my eyes and let the music consume me. It’s not like I could see anything anyway. The crowd was dense and the lights were spectacularly bright. The drums came to life with a roar. The base drum started a rhythm that matched the beating of a great heart. Boom, boom, boom.
A voice deep and low called out from the blinding light. The words stretched to create a soothing melody of their own. The guitars came to life and the room shook with their wakening. Above the din, the voice grew louder and more powerful. I listened to the words, internalising every syllable. I crafted the lyrics into a story of my own making.
The crowd sang along with every verse, swelling and swaying with each note. As the crowd shifted, I caught a glimpse of the vocalist. His long hair, scruffy beard, and easy movements radiated confidence and feeling. The song amplified and I raised my arm to the sky.
It was in that moment that I felt it, the atmosphere rising higher and higher as the music grew to its climax. I emerged from the crowed as if from an ocean. My field of view opened and I could see the stage in all its glory. None of that mattered, I only focused on the silhouette of the vocalist. His arm rose and his finger pointed directly at me.
I moved for it. Time slowed as I willed my body forward. I stretched my torso to its limits, contorting my arm further and further.
The vocalist, to my surprise, did the same. He leapt onto the barricade and reached for me. Like a vision out of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, our fingers grew close. With one last effort of will, I reached for him. Time halted as our fingertips brushed each other, achieving what Michelangelo’s Adam never could.
Reality snapped back into focus and time resumed its forward march. The crowd that had lifted me slowly, now lowered me back to the ground. The wheels of my chair hit the floor with finality. The song ended, and the crowd chanted and cheered. I waited for the crowd to trickle out before reluctantly leaving the theatre. That night, forever a bright star in my mind. Alone in my darkest moments, it reminds me that I can bear the unbearable, the terrible triteness of my being.
Words by Mark Vawser.
Image by Jordan Maywald.