I've been to A LOT of rock concerts.
At the age of 42 those shows have become fewer and further between. You know the classic scenario: no time, not in the budget, I don't want to drive that far or camp out for tickets anymore. Oh, and don't forget about getting more psychologically distant from the new artist scene. What crap these kids listen to nowadays! (Feel that 'old fogeyism'?)
It seems in these latter years one good concert a year is about average. Two on a good year. There just isn't any interest - or enough interest - to put in the effort to make some of the "give or take it" shows.
That's a problem.
I love music. I love discovering it. I love listening to it. I love recommending it. I love the process of writing, recording and publishing it. Hearing a finished song - knowing it was painstakingly crafted and recorded and then reworked and masterfully played live is just amazing to me. And I love to make it.
Sometimes it's not so obvious when life takes you by the little toe and drags you through the mud, or whipped cream or a dark tunnel. It's easy to be oblivious to the fact you've given up on the little things that make you happy and make you who you are. Kids and wives and families are a full time job and more, sure, but are you the same person now as when she picked you? Of course not! But is it for the good or bad? Which parts of you have you subconsciously chosen to give up on? Which loves do you choose to display on your ever slouching shoulders till the day you die?
Sometimes there's a reminder. The line at the gate leads to the slow march around to your seat. The gradual fill up and buzz of the amphitheater while there's daylight left. That first big, chest ratting, bass punch delivered by the more often than not average but sometimes great opening act. The occasional whiffs of evidence someone near you is partaking in a time tested ritual of chemical brain alteration. They will have a GREAT time, but may not remember it. Then the real show. If done well you never have time to sit back down or run to the bathroom. Sometimes you go to a show and it just completely kicks your ass. "Oh yeah... THIS is how it's done. THIS is why I love music. THIS is still ME!" You leave exhausted and don't mind the ringing in your ears is going to last a few days.
I'm sure there have been scientific studies on brain patterns and chemical/hormonal releases during events like this. Lots of biological explanations. Lots of joy. We all have our own triggers and reactions to events like this. Concerts, catching a touchdown, a hole-in-one, watching your baby kid smile or walk or read or ride a bike for the first time. Writing a story. Making something and having it work. Teaching someone something and having it stick.
Whatever it may be, sometimes you just need a reminder of how you came to be the person you are today. Sometimes you just need a kick in the ass.
Royal Blood and the Foos are VERY good at that.