Since 2015, I have attended at least 10 live music shows a year. February of 2018 I had five concerts planned with two the final week. I may have only ended up going to three of them but that is besides the point. At the beginning of 2020, I was feeling that this year might be a repeat of 2018. I was obviously very wrong. Live music has been a part of my life since before I was born. My parents were so immersed in the scene that my mother went to a Black Sabbath concert while she was pregnant with me. So when I say before I was born, I mean it literally. After my first concert in 2013, I knew live music would be my home and I would never let it go. I never expected that I would have to go an entire year without it.
I started this year with Set It Off and the Motionless In White and Beartooth co-headline tour, I was set to follow that up with Bad Omens and Thousand Below in early March, which we all know is when everything came to a halt. I was shocked and incredibly saddened by the news that I wouldn’t be seeing Thousand Below again this year. That soon became that I wouldn’t be seeing any artist again this year. So I started some side projects to try to keep my mind off the issue. Yet, I was always thinking about how terrible I felt not being able to go to a concert. However, I have been racking my brain to find something positive to take from this year, find something that we could use to grow from. After a lot of considering, I think I have found it.
Live music is not only a place for us, but a place for the artists, crew, and venue staff. We love concerts and we love the environment it allows us to be a part of. I think a lot of us failed to realize that we wouldn’t have our home without the crew and staff involved. When their lives and careers were ripped out from under them, we had to step up too. We’ve probably bought more merch than we ever have before, we’ve tuned into live stream shows and twitch streams, we’ve purchased music after years of focusing on streaming, we have even made donations to venue funds to keep places afloat. This year has made me and hopefully some others understand what it really means when we hear “music is a give and take”. As fans, it was often overlooked that we were meant to give too. We would go to shows and buy merchandise before but it was something we also got enjoyment out of. This year we had to step up and help the artists and crew that help us so much during normal times.
So, my hopes for live music in 2021? Well, I hope we can get back to seeing live music. I also hope that we tip a little bit more at merch, we don’t complain too much about some technical difficulties, we always show up early for the opener, we make friends with everyone around us (even if they may be tossing us around the pit later), and we never again take this experience for granted. Live music truly is a give and take, this year has taught us that. I hope that after we get back to some sense of normal, we are giving more than we have been before and doing it because we realize we need to.
I miss live music more than anything in the entire world, I know we all do. So when we get back to jamming together in a crowded and dark venue I am sure we will all be screaming a little louder and buying a little more merch. Until then, we’ll keep making amazing friends on twitter who all want the same thing, keep buying merch and livestream tickets, and keep holding on for the day we get together again.