My husband and I went to a concert last night. It was one that he’d been looking forward to for a while, an artist he’s long followed but never seen in person. I, on the other hand, had heard a couple of his songs a couple of times and had no idea what to expect.
As we walked into the concert and I saw the gathering crowd, my husband offered me this in preparation:
Things hubby said about this concert b4 it started: there’s gonna be a lot of beard here. And: it’s like hipster worship. #datenight
— Lisa Bartelt (@lmbartelt) May 9, 2014
I rarely go into new situations unprepared. This night was an exception. And proof that I’m older on the inside than my age would suggest.
Here are my confessions from the concert.
My hand stamp was supposed to be music notes, but it slipped when the girl pressed it into my skin. The rest of the night I was thinking about a certain Doctor. That’s normal, right?
We don’t get out much. So when a complete stranger, a college student, even, turns to us from the row in front of where we’re sitting, points at my husband and says, “Quick question, where do you work?” I’m a little freaked out. For the record, yes, my husband is the bow-tie guy from Chick-fil-a.
I had no idea what the artist looked like. I couldn’t have picked him out of a crowd. So when six dudes took the stage after the opening act, he literally could have been any one of them. And because I had no idea what to expect from this experience, I feel a little like the apostle John writing the book of Revelation, trying to describe something unfamiliar in familiar terms. So, if you’ve never heard of John Mark McMillan and don’t know what to think about his music or the concert, just remember this equation:
Duck Dynasty (beards) + Mumford and Sons (banjos, lots of guitars) + bass + louder = concert.
As soon as it started, everyone stood up. I audibly groaned at the prospect of standing for an entire concert, proving that I am, indeed, an 86-year-old trapped in a 36-year-old body. Certain concerts should have an over-30 section, toward the back where the precious little hearing we have left can be preserved and we can sit and enjoy the music and not feel pressured to stand and sway and jump. I felt slightly less out of place than a nun at a Katy Perry concert, and I now have an idea what chaperoning a high school dance might feel like.
My aunt Dina would have loved this!
So, why would an introvert pay to spend an evening in a tent full of people with loud music and expressive acts of worship?
One word: love.
I love my husband, and I would spend a date night with him watching WWE wrestling if it got me out of the house and away from the kids for a night.
And actually, I was moved at the end of the concert when the artist played the one song everyone–even me!–knows. Because musician artists have something that writer artists will never have: the joy of seeing people enjoy and connect with your work. He wrote a song that people sing in churches and last night, a tent full of people was singing along. As a writer, I’m a bit jealous. I write words and people read them but I don’t see them engaging with it. I don’t see how it affects them. And the few times other people have read my words out loud in front of others I’ve quickly left the room out of sheer embarrassment.
So, I understand a bit of the artist’s heart.
And one last confession: I composed most of this blog post in my head during the concert. I am a writer through-and-through. So, if you ever see me staring off into space or with a blank look on my face, it’s possible I’m writing. And that makes every part of life fair game.