In the past ten years, I have gotten to see some absolutely incredible concerts and the music brings out all kinds of different emotions; it can make the world right or it can just make it go away for a while.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers made my skin tingle and soul scream in Dortmund, Germany, for what I consider my first major bigtime concert (Sorry Bryan Adams...first ever concert, sophomore year of college just doesn't cut it). To this day, I consider it to be my all-time favorite megashow.
Pearl Jam rocked out in Paris on the first weekend my brother came to visit me in Germany. This one came in a so-close second to the Chili Peppers show that sometimes when I think back on it, it could have been a better show. Maybe.
Oasis played a simple show that proves it's all about the way the music makes your insides relax and how it can put the world back in its place. Noel and Liam write lyrics to make you cry and I consider their show my favorite small venue show of all time.
Linkin Park was a shrieking bong of endorphins in Zurich right before we moved back to the States. An incredible show that yanks all the anger to the forefront of your mind and then out of your system for two solid hours.
Three Doors Down and Tool in Wichita, Switchfoot in Atlanta, Puddle of Mudd in Baumholder. All great shows.
But there is absolutely nothing like packing a small venue with friends that span 15 years to see a band you know personally. When you know their friends, their wives and their history.
Robbing Reality made 2 albums of original music, played all the Southern and Nashville venues; got their contract and played their last gig 6 years ago. But for one night and for a great cause, they played a reunion concert this past weekend and it has hands down beaten out every other concert I've ever been to.
The bass player was the coolest guy I ever dated. He could write lyrics in such beautiful detail the US poet laureate would be jealous. And I remember when he could barely play a G chord. He taught me how to play the only Clapton song I can still eke out on the guitar.
My sister and I spent a Spring Break in Colorado with the lead guitar player, his girlfriend and her sister playing cards, skiing and hanging out in a cabin with no television or phone. This guy can play any song, at any time, anywhere and was once dubbed the best player of the classics ever. We played guitars and sang for a week straight. He ended up marrying that girl and they now have 2 kids.
Angie, my college roommate, dated the drummer, who taught himself to play by watching MTV during high school. I'll never forget the night we were riding our bikes back to the apartment when she fell off right in front of his house. It was my fault since I let the tree branch smack her in the face. But he took care of her bike while I took her to the ER to have her two front teeth put back together.
The lead singer has a voice that when paired with an acoustic guitar can melt hearts. It's intense, sweet, scratchy and determined all at once. And the last member of the band plays drums, guitar, tamborines and I'd swear I've seen him with a harmonica a time or two. His big ole smile lights up any room. When all five of them are on the stage playing "Fifth of Revelation," it's like reading an open book of all our lives. We know that they're ready to burn through hours of rock and will push us supersonic just to welcome us to wherever we are.
Bands always create a connection with their music. Connection to reality, to hope, to fairy tales. The music floods your mind with roller coasters of feeling. When you ride the roller coaster, your head spins in a million different directions. And when it's being driven by someone you know, that connection brings a sense that all is right with the world, even as your jumping up and down, rocking out, sweating and screaming... the sheer volume of racket makes you want to jump through your skin.
All is right with the world. If only a couple of hours. So just keep listening.
Amazing show and what a great cause!
(Robbing Reality albums can be bought on Amazon)