We’ve made it through another week, and hopefully, we find ourselves one week closer to the end of this bloody pandemic.
This past week, I’ve found myself missing live music far more than I have done throughout the entire pandemic.
I suspect the main reason for feeling like this is down to being in a better headspace in some ways. Over the last few years, I’ve experienced so much stress in my day job, that my brain couldn’t even cope with listening to music in the background, let alone anything else.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve felt music creeping back into my life.
Music has always been an integral part of my life.
I grew up surrounded by music. We had music on much more than we did the tv. We grew up listening to artists such as the Bee Gee’s, Neil Diamond, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, and Eddy Grant to name a few.
In my early teens I went to my first concert at Earls Court in London, where I went to see the British pop band, Take That. From then on, Birthdays and Christmas presents often ended up being tickets to a pop concert of some sort.
In September 1993 my mum went to see Bon Jovi in concert with my Auntie and my cousin at Milton Keynes Bowl. They were supported on tour by Billy Idol, the Manic Street Preachers and the Little Angels. From that moment, Bon Jovi’s Keep The Faith album was on repeat in our house, interspersed with the Manic Street Preachers and the psychedelic sounds of Billy Idol.
After the release of Bon Jovi’s 7th album, Crush, in 2000, I found myself heading off to Wembley Stadium with my mum, to experience my first outdoor rock concert for myself. Not only would it be the first of several trips I’d eventually make to see Bon Jovi perform live, but Bon Jovi’s Crush tour was also to be the last ever concert to be played at the old Wembley Stadium before the twin towers would be demolished.
Bon Jovi’s Crush tour was my first experience of a live rock concert, and I was hooked. Not only did that tour intensify my love for Bon Jovi, but it also got me hooked on rock music, and before long, I found myself going to rock gig after rock gig.
I still had a love for different types of music of course. One of the things I’ve always prided myself on is being able to appreciate different genres of music, especially when it came to live music.
My love for rock, and later on for metal, introduced me to a fantastic music scene. Most weekends, you could find me in either The King Billy or the Racehorse in Northampton where local rock and metal bands would often play. Occasionally bigger, more well-known bands would head to town and would perform at either The Roadmender or The Soundhaus.
Some of my most treasured memories were in those buildings, sadly, many of which are no longer standing.
Over the years, I swapped concerts for festivals. New memories were made, and new bands were discovered.
My music taste has changed a lot over the years, but I still hold a special place for rock music in my heart.
I worry about the effects of the pandemic on the music industry. I do not doubt that the industry will bounce back, but will concerts and festivals ever be the same as they once were? Will masks be an essential part of our lives from now on, muffling the sound of us all singing along to our favourite tracks? Will social distancing measures become part of the ‘new normal’ preventing us from hugging the people next to us as our favourite bands perform our favourite songs?
I hope not.
I can’t bear the thought of going to a concert and not getting in a hot, sweaty mess from the packed crowd, with beer being thrown across the audience, and sweat and long hair flying around everywhere.
As with so many other things right now, only time will tell what will become of our beloved music industry, but for now, I leave you with some old memories of concerts and festivals from years gone by.
Are you missing live music? Who would you most like to see when concerts and festivals are permitted to happen again?