I was one in a crowd of about 10,000 and we chose to buy general admission tickets on the floor instead of reserved seats further away. The great thing about general admission is that you can decide your location. The bad thing is that you have to get there early and stand for a few hours before the band plays. Also, as the floor fills up, you have to deal with all the people who start to infringe on the space you thought you had claimed for yourself. I am also not one of the tall people, so standing, general admission gigs are not ideal for me.
I positioned myself as best I could with Dean right behind me, but at the last minute a tall guy and his girlfriend parked themselves right in front of me. Despite their promise that they were just passing through on their way to a friend somewhere else in the crowd, they never moved from the spot. As things got more crowded, I had to deal with frizzy hair in my face, garbage on the floor, loud yelling on the left, more tall people squishing in on the right, a few unstable people falling/leaning over, and the smell of things being smoked. Sigh. It is all part of the concert experience.
But an interesting thing happened when the band finally took the stage. None of these minor irritations seemed to matter. I completely forgot about my tired feet. I have no idea what became of the frizzy hair that had disturbed my calm earlier. People leaned into me, shouted close to my ears, and raised their hands in my face, but none of it really registered. These things were all subsumed in the greater experience of enjoying the band as they lived in their music and invited us to live there for a few hours as well. Words wafted from the singer over us all and landed on my heart. I closed my eyes and listened to the call for hope coming from the sound system. For a short period of time last night, I was one with everyone in the room. I jumped and felt them jump with me. I applauded loudly at the end of each song. I joined in the singing when a familiar song was played. All eyes were not on each other nor our irritating situations - they were on the light, the movement, the passions, and the joy in front of us.
Let the minor irritations of my life always be subsumed into the greater song of life and beauty, truth and hope, love as it was meant to be.
The photo: Mumford & Sons playing in Montreal last night. Taken by thrusting my hand as high as it could go.
Here is one of the songs they played last night: Awake My Soul. Filmed in Reading, 2010.