Its taken me two months to recount my latest adventure. the experiences are no less grand or significant as any of my other flights of fancy but unlike before, i returned to my new life after this last minute whirlwind trip. since my last post, i have since received my masters and started my dream job. so much of what i had sought to accomplish and things i hadn't even known i wanted before have come to me. i am thoroughly grateful and helplessly trying to fit into this new life for which i so fiercely fought.
part of what i find interesting in these foreign environments and situations is that i feel the same. yes, i can acknowledge how i have grown and changed. but it is an odd feeling to surface after the crashing of a decade in the making wave of life changing events to find yourself not too dissimilar. i think in our heads we imagine ourselves becoming new beings as we travel through the challenges and triumphs of life. that somehow you will be a new species of you, detached from your past. but its always there. all those various versions of yourself still breathe within you. its just up to you how you interact with them. do you suppress the self-destruct? taunt the depressive with isolation? ignore or distract them? do you empathize and smile at former adolescent antics or shake your head in shame while vehemently seeking what you have deemed a superior path?
a strong connection to all these former selves is the music that was carrying me at the time. its time travelling. i can hear what connected me then as well i as what i connect with now,if there is anything.
it was clear that there were still connective tissue for these bands because when the honda civic tour was announced, i cried. genuine tears.
incubus has stayed with me throughout but linkin park ended for me with meteora so i was not as excited about them but the teenager in me brought forth such strong feelings. like she had been waiting. patiently beneath the surface for her moment...for the music that spoke so deeply to her to be brought back.
excitedly, i began the process to get ready by listening to what i had missed. i prep for a concert like im an athlete. like i will be performing myself. i refuse to not be in the know. so i had to get caught up with linkin park and what i found were two really beautiful albums that spoke directly to me. what connected when i was an angry teen wasn't a fluke. i identified with them deeper than i could've known at the time but the music was waiting for me when i needed it.
as for incubus. i wouldn't have gotten through my adolescence without it and they've always been there. brandon's words inspire as much as they mirror my own thoughts and rhythms. their fearlessness and ingenuity with music and art fuel me. and their timing is always impeccable. they returned with if not now, when? exactly when i needed them and along side 30 seconds to mars got me through my hardest and final year of college life. the chance to see them both live was a chance to close a circle of music for my former and current selves. to have them collide as i relived and lived in tandem through song.
my sister and i sat to side of the stage instead of being in the pit, because after my mars experience i wasn't sure if she could handle it. but now she is determined to get in on it for the next show we see together. it was interesting for me to see it from outside of it since i had been in a crowd like that before. its so beautiful, it didn't matter to me where i was, as long as i was there, but the view was nice. regardless of those around us, we sang and danced through the whole show.
incubus was beyond words. considering that brandon was without voice just days before, he rang clear through the open stadium with the los angeles sun setting above us. so many little moments like: feeling a california breeze while singing wish you were here, or ben kenny dancing and playing the holy hell out of the bass, or kilmore's dreads flying about, or my sister saying "they are aging so well, they are just so cute!" or mikey and brandon sharing some wine and lighting a candelabra before promises, promises, or brandon saying how seeing us all made him feel better. but the tug on my heart was never stronger than during if not now, when? tears came to my eyes as brandon voice rose above us and jose's kick kept us grounded. it was church. i stood there spellbound listening and mouthing the lyrics that so succinctly described my life of the past year and what lay ahead of me. stand up and face the bright lights...don't hide your eyes, its time...
the set ended with a blistering version of sick sad little world, which i know for fact was my sister's first time hearing it. after the breakdown toward the end, she just looked at me and said, "DAMN!" we kept saying how amazing it was that they sounded so good. not a huge production but a full demonstration of the amazing musicians that have sat atop my favorite list for half my life. i was not disappointed and cannot wait to see what they do next, so i can be there in the pit, ready to return all that i owe them with my voice, sweat, and energy. they've earned it.
linkin park came on full blast with fire and smoke and enough energy to have us all buzzing. its like those levi commercials that make you want to go discover a new country and claim it. i remembered all the raps and lyrics like it was a decade earlier and felt such awe at the energy coming from those around us. chester's voice embodied all the rage and frustration as well as the caress and tenderness that we all feel. mike's harmonies and rapping were just as fluid as they worked us like a well trained two-headed beast. the moment of ascension came for me with waiting for the end...there is something about that song that hit me so hard when i first heard it just weeks before the show. and there is such power and redemption in seeing a crowd full of people pump their fists in the air.
there were literal explosive moments with fireworks and mikey coming to play a solo on bleed it out. it was so good and so much of what i needed. mars300 was so long ago that i had missed what that felt like. the release of singing and dancing and sweating out whatever may ail you in a congregation of like minded music worshippers. i zone out, i loose myself...i make new memories alongside the older ones...some sadder ones fade or the tears become joyful with the realization of overcoming that sadder darker space. this show closed a door for me in some ways. i felt like i had earned the right to sing those songs with them because i had lived up to this silent promise. one that was made vocal and ever apparent at mars300 but has always been there. since i first started to build this image in my mind of who i wanted to be. fueled by this music since i was a teen, i knew who i wanted to be. and i got to share this experience with them now that i have finally become her in many ways.
but the beauty of it is that with these new memories, i have renewed that promise. by singing songs that once played alongside my darker days, i have ever committed myself to the light. i can acknowledge my former selves without being doomed to return. their music has grown and changed with me over the years in a similar way and that is why they still speak to me. forever moving onward.
thank you gentleman for then and now...until we meet again.