There’s just something about seeing and hearing live music performed that connects you much deeper to the lyrics, the chords and the people behind it all. In my case, sometimes the emotional, spiritual experience launches me into an obsession with an artist or band that I wasn’t so familiar with before and sears an amazing memory into my life story.
It first happened when Shayna Zaid and The Catch performed ‘Big Apple Love‘ on Stubb’s inside stage, complete with the haunting violin accompaniment, during SXSW in 2010. It happened when I heard Grace Potter belting out ‘Apologies’ while wearing a gorgeous gold sequin minidress at ACL in 2011. It happened when I danced through Yeasayer’s entire set when they played at Stubb’s in 2012. Most recently, the band and experience found me unexpectedly, sweaty and a little heartbroken, at the Free Press Summer Festival (FPSF) a few weekends ago.
I didn’t go to FPSF for Passion Pit. While I occasionally hear their music on the radio and I gave their new album Gossamer a hear-through when it came out, the band’s impact didn’t strike until I was dancing along during their show. It ended up being my favorite act of the festival. I guess something about lead singer Michael Angelakos singing out a confessional “it’s not right, it’s not right” (‘It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy’) and then professing “I’ll be alright” (‘I’ll Be Alright’) was a little like music therapy. And in a Downtown Houston park with my body swaying, sweat trickling, hands raised and heart cracked more open that I really wanted, happiness found me through simple lyrics and notes strung together carefully by a band I wasn’t expecting to jump for that weekend. It reminded me that life is beautiful.
As for the rest of FPSF, HOLY CRAP HOUSTON IS HOT IN JUNE AND WHO CAME UP WITH THE BRIGHT IDEA FOR A FESTIVAL THEN? Past how hot and humid it was, especially with very crowded festival grounds, I was excited to see Of Monsters and Men (which I realized I don’t really know most of the lyrics to their songs and after looking them up later, they don’t make much sense), Calvin Harris (awesome!) The Postal Service, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (‘Same Love’ gave me chills). Fun experience overall!
What’s your most memorable live music moment/memory?