Up until a few years ago I spent my life going to gigs, little gigs in tiny dark rock n roll clubs, stadium gigs, festivals. My late teens, all through my 20s and my early 30s. I had some gig buddies and we saw some of the best bands in the world, we were always getting on a train or going on a road trip for some band or another. I loved it, it was life to me, part of who I was and I was never going to stop, then over the last few years a mixture of things – saving for a wedding, trying for and then having a baby – life got in the way and before I knew it I hadn’t been to a gig for a couple of years, over that same couple of years I kinda lost confidence in who I was. For me, and every other music fan in the world I guess, there is no better feeling than letting go of all your worries, dancing around pressed against a bunch of sweaty strangers in a pit singing at the top of your voice to a band you love. Cheering, screaming, stamping your feet, looking up to the sky whilst your favourite band bangs out your favourite song at some stadium rock show or festival. That, to me, is freedom. But somehow I lost that freedom. Over those years that life changed for me, a couple of things happened, rising ticket prices for gigs and festivals made music less accessible for us, live music got targeted by terrorism, a threat that I found genuinely terrifying and I’m sad to say it did make me think twice about going to gigs, I’ve seen so many bands that I sort of felt there wasn’t that many left to see, I lost touch with new music and my husband and I started favouring foreign holidays to paying out for festivals, early morning starts and long days at work made us lose our motivation for popping to our local small venues for small gigs by bands we loved, and before I knew it I had totally lost my confidence in going to gigs, what if something happened? I was too tired, and I’d seen all the bands anyway.
The year we spent trying for a baby was a truly depressing year, family tragedy and work stress and not being able to conceive made me miserable, all I wanted was to be a mum and I didn’t really feel like going to see any bands anyway.
Weirdly, since having a baby 3 months ago I’ve been to two gigs, The Rolling Stones and Foo Fighters, I brought tickets to both gigs whilst pregnant, not really feeling that confident that I would actually want to go to the gigs, but fear of missing out made me spend the money anyway. There’s a strange thing about having a baby that makes you want to reconnect with who you are as a person, after 9 months of pregnancy and the shell shock of labour and suddenly having a tiny human to keep alive I was really glad to have tickets for those gigs, and although I felt nervous about leaving my little boy for an evening each time and spent the journey up to London for Foo Fighters feeling unbelievably anxious about Terrorism, car accidents, and all the other things I convinced myself could go wrong when we finally got to the gig (late) grabbed our overpriced drinks and ran up the steps into the stadium just as Dave Grohl played his first chord to Foos opening song (All my Life for those who are interested) I felt that old familiar wave of excitement wash over me, it was like waking up. I’d had next to no sleep, my son was safe at home with his dad and I was right where I needed to be, under a dusky sky singing along to my favourite band, surrounded by my friends, remembering who I was.
I had the best time, got home at 2am and was up with my two month old at 4am but it was ok because I was high on life and feeling like myself again, and I’m a better mum for it.
There is something that’s utterly magical about standing in a crowd, under the stars,singing along to the songs that made you who you are, with thousands of strangers.
It’s times like these you learn to live again…
Indeed it is Mr Ghrol. Thanks for reminding me.