I love to celebrate life. And one of my (many) favorite ways to do so is to plant myself among thousands of others at a concert. Inside the arena, we’re all there for a common purpose: To revel in music that fills our souls, touches our hearts, and connects us with something deeper inside each of us.
When I go to a concert, of course it’s about the music and the artist. But also right up there at the top is sharing the life-affirming experience with an enthusiastic crowd. Bill and I love to travel to see our favorite musicians and we have a blast chatting up the locals and meeting fans in various cities…getting each other all riled up for the great show about to start.
Some goosebump moments of joy during shows the last few years that stand out for me are:
–A Vietnam Veteran next to me who sobbed during Neil Diamond’s “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”; we hugged after the show.
–A 14 year-old boy next to me at The Who concert who amazingly knew all the words to every song and high-fived me after each one; he was in all his glory!
–A couple next to me who traveled all the way from Peru to see Neil Diamond; they both cried during the song “America,” and the man shouted to me through his tears: “Don’t let no one tell you any differently – America is the best!”
–A woman next to me at the Eric Clapton concert; she shared all her wild tales from Woodstock and the Monterey Pop Festival – what a piece of history she was!
–A grandmother and granddaughter team next to me who traveled hundreds of miles to see Barry Manilow (okay, the secret is out – yes, I saw him, too) and they fell in love with him all over again.
–A group of men in their 60’s behind me at the Paul McCartney concert, every single one of them in tears as they relived memories from their youth.
–And just last week with the guy next to me at the Dukes of September (Donald Fagen/Michael McDonald/Boz Scaggs) concert which was outdoors where we were continuously pelted by wind and rain. We finally gave in, got up out of our seats, ditched the rain ponchos, and danced up a storm – allowing ourselves to fully enjoy the moment and get completely soaked!
During a concert, for those two hours, we’re all the same. All one. We all transcend labels, judgments, and (our own) perceived limitations. We’re all there simply to have a good time and to celebrate life. Kinda cool that I had all those powerful ‘moments’ with people I didn’t know and probably won’t ever see again. We wove in and out of each others’ lives as our paths crossed because of the random (or not so random!) seat numbers assigned to us.
When Neil Diamond sings “Sweet Caroline” and the arena lights go up and all 18,000 fans chime in and sing along…I always pause. I pause to look up at the people in the seats way up high. I look all around me at the people waving their arms in unison, shouting out the lyrics, and most importantly – smiling from ear to ear. And I breathe it all in and revel in the notion that all these people came together that night under one roof to celebrate life and to feel good. What an honor to be a part of it all.
Those types of experiences and moments fuel me. They literally give me goosebumps. To celebrate life on that level is purely a spiritual experience for me.
So, how ‘bout you? What does it for you?
What’s your favorite way to celebrate life?