Addicted to live music

Hi! My name is Matt Stevens and I am addicted to live music.

Granted, not just any music. Primarily hard rock and heavy metal. I would say that as much as I enjoy going to concerts there are definitely shows that I wouldn’t go see, even if you paid me. Country, pop, and “adult contemporary”. More than anything what draws me to live shows is the energy exchange between the band on stage and the fans.

Since high school I have seen more bands than I can count in a live venue. Dozens of those were not headlining, but part of a larger festival. Amongst the long list of bands I have seen, there are limited number that I include on a mental short list of those that are worth seeing again. This past weekend I was able to see two of those together.

Disturbed headlined the fifth version of their Music as a Weapon tour. This year they included my all time favorite band as part of the bill, Sevendust. Both of these bands are on that mental short list. The way that the feed off of the energy from the crowd and reciprocate that back to the audience has always amazed me. I have been lucky enough to have seen Disturbed perform live close to a dozen times and Sevendust half a dozen. These are both bands that aside from their ability to perform their songs nearly impeccably live, obviously they enjoy doing their job, performing for their fans.

I’ve gone through times in my life, since beginning of concert-going where, when money was tight, I was unable to indulge in my addiction. Luckily, as of lately, I have been able to binge. It’s been pretty close to one show a month for the last four or five months. During the times when I can’t afford concerts, or there aren’t any good shows to be seen, there is almost a feeling of withdrawal. I want to feel the bass pounding in my chest, the music driving my head to move.

I am always looking out for good shows to see and for bands that I have listened to for months or years that I feel would give a good performance and make good on the energy exchange that drives me to go to shows and also to go back and see bands perform again.

I don’t enjoy everything about concerts. The bad B.O. of people that seem unable to shower, the inability of some people to handle their alcohol and stumble around bumping into people, the people (okay, 99% of the time females) that feel that at a heavy metal/hard rock show you should jiggle around like Lady Gaga is on stage, and the people that wear suits, dresses, or polo shirts with popped collars to the same shows.

Combating those negatives is also the camaraderie that is shared by attendees in the enjoyment of the music being blasted through the speakers, the joy of being able to see a performance by a group you enjoy, and in some cases, the ability to say, “I’ve seen so-and-so live”.

The feeding of my addiction will continue as I have one concert I’m going to see with my wife in March, and likely another show in April. I would also like to mention a thank you to my wife, my brother-in-law, and my uncle, along with others that I’ve been able to share the live music concert experience. Being able to share the experience comes in a very close second on the list of reasons that make me addicted.

If you, for any reason, haven’t been to a concert to see one of your favorite groups perform live, it is absolutely something you need to do at some point in your life. Hopefully then, you will understand what drives me to spend time and money on what some people may think is a waste.

*No comments please on how much you like, dislike, or what you think about my choice of music. That isn’t really the point of this post.


Welcome to The Edge

In my quest to make myself a better stronger writer I’ve decided to take up a new enterprise that I will likely have very little time for, a blog.  Why blog?  I can’t say that I have a good answer for that question.  In the newest edition of Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market is a section about getting your name out there and creating an image or a persona.  I guess that this will be my attempt at doing such.

I will say right away that I hope to use this space for many reasons, but very likely, it will not simply be an extension of the “what am I doing today” vibe that has taken over so much of the social space on the internet.  There will be no talking to my blog as if it is a person that can respond, there will be minimal social updates about what I’m doing or not doing…even as I write that…it is essentially what I’m trying to avoid doing.

I do hope to use this space to reflect on events in the world, in sports, literature, music, technology (including  video games), movies, etc.  If you take the time to read and comment on my posts, thank you.  If you don’t, thank you.  I’m not in this for personal gratification of how many followers/readers I have.  I’m in this, most importantly, for personal growth.

I will attempt to update on a weekly basis to start.  I can’t promise this is going to happen, but that’s the idea.  I guess if this blog does anything for you, it would be to make you think more carefully about, well, everything.