As a 30 something year old mom with a full-time job, I don’t go out much. Going out involves having to look presentable to the general public, and most days I’m just really not into that. Down time to me, is when I sit down on the couch, after the tiny human is in bed, and pretend I’m relaxing. I do however LOVE going to shows. I cash in all of my babysitting chips about once a month and go see amazing music. When she’s a little older she’ll be going too, she’s a hardcore Moon Taxi and moe. fan.
I was lucky enough to find a man who shares my love of music, he might even have me beat a little. On our date nights, you can find us shaking a tail feather under the stage lights. Finding someone to share your favorite experiences with is indescribably amazing. We have witnessed musical history together, like Ray LaMontagne playing his entire Ouroboros album with My Morning Jacket on his last tour. That’s something that will never be able to be witnessed again. And collaborations that won’t happen anywhere other than a festival, like Gov’t Mule with Ann Wilson or wait for it… Phil Lesh, David Shaw, and moe. together jamming to “Ophelia”. I believe one of my favorite memories though, was making our way to the stage front at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville just as it started to pour down rain at the Umphrey’s McGee show. They closed the show a few minutes later with Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain”.
We recently went to LOCK’N music festival in Arrington, Virginia and it was hands down, the most incredible musical experience I’ve had. The festival was extremely well-organized, planned out, and executed. The line-up was insane, and the weather was perfection. But the best part, was the people. Thousands of dirty hippies all in one spot spreading that peace and love. We met boatloads of people, and I don’t have a single bad thing to say about any of them. Everywhere we went we were greeted with a smile and introduction. It was like the South on steroids.
I didn’t put on make-up or wash my hair with more than dry shampoo for 4 days, but yet just about every time I walked around someone was commenting on how much they liked my braid or the other weird thing I did with my hair. That level of compliment when you assume you look like a disaster survivor, can really boost some self-esteem.
I also have a slight obsession with Shakedown Street. Most of your bigger festivals and weekend shows will have a vendor section lovingly referred to as Shakedown Street. My favorite vendor is Culture Cross. They sell geode and gemstone jewelry. A large portion of their proceeds goes towards rebuilding a music and art school in Cambodia. If you see me wearing a necklace, this is where it came from.
This is probably why I love going to shows so much, it’s not just about the music, it’s the whole experience, the atmosphere, the vibe. Some of the venues we’ve been to have been just as beautiful as the music. We recently saw a Gov’t Mule show in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Red Butte Amphitheater, if you weren’t looking at the stage you could just stare at the Wasatch Mountains. Some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen have been at outdoor shows.
Find someone who sings the song your soul loves, and then dance to it with them. I’ll be experiencing my first show at the Ryman in Nashville in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I can only hope that music never stops.