I am rather ashamed to admit, that before last night, I had never been to a real gig. And at the ripe old age of twenty-five...this fact is pretty terrible.
Don't get me wrong; I went to Wembley Arena when I was twelve to watch Peter Andre dressed in some kind of armour singing 'Mysterious Girl'. Great. But not a 'gig'. I've been to Leeds festival and seen Muse playing the big stage. Amazing. But not a 'gig'. It's never been all up-close and personal - where you can feel the sweat of the lead singer as he crowd-surfs all over you, and live the moment when the man-to-the-left-of-you's beer is thrown all over your head.
Last night I faced blizzards and high winds (all right... snow and cold air) as I trekked to Brixton Academy. I'm still new to London, and discovering new and fabby places is high on my agenda.
With LJM, hat pulled right down and his scarf wrapped over his nose (who could blame me for initially thinking a thug had lovingly hugged me), I queued amongst the cool and the quirky before being ushered into the security routine: check bag, check alcohol, check chewing gum, check ticket - checked.
I had one of those gigantic plastic cups of beer - apparently only a pint, but feels like three - because I was still drinking from it after the support band had left the stage, the techies had adjusted the set and the band were into their third song...
But it was great.
I bobbed about behind the sound box, getting a clear view of the stage just behind two hooded lovers, who occasionally blocked my view as they lent in for a kiss. Being on the shorter side of average, I usually rely on my ears rather than my eyes in crowds, but we were in the standing area - on a huge slope - so you could see the band and all across the top of the audience.
LJM is the 'cool' one in our relationship when it comes to music; always discovering those bands which end up being huge. I hadn't really heard of The National, but after he bought their latest album, High Violet, I instantly clicked to their sound.
The band walked on stage amongst a beautiful yellow back-lighting which framed their black silhouettes like shiny halos. A little ball of excitement bubbled from the pit of my stomach.
You know that kind of music which resonates with your soul? Just like that - you get it? In my first ever 'gig' - I got it!
This incredible vibe filled the whole room - everyone became part of a moment - a room full of strangers all crammed in together had one thing in common and it felt buzzy to be a part of it.
When you stumble across outstanding creativity, whether in the form of music, art or writing (especially blogs!), it fills your spirit with enormous satisfaction and appreciation. When this happens, my energy feels like it might actually explode with happiness and I always look around to see if anyone noticed. It's like all the everyday things which we may forget about having seen, appear to us in black and white. And yet, this piece of creativity shines so brightly amongst them in many millions of colours - right in front of your eyes -dazzling your very being.