The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Trends change, but live music is good for soul

I’ve always been a concert junkie. My obsession started at 7 years old when I insisted that the only thing my heart desired for my birthday was to see Ricky Martin live. So my single mother with the little time she had and the even smaller supply of cash, took me to see my first concert. From that point on I’ve been living la vida loca.

My next live music experience occurred at the mature age of 11. My mom gave me the OK to tag along with some family friends to see my idol, Hilary Duff. I, along with the newly licensed car full of 16-year-olds, headed to the Bryce Jordan Center. I wore my pleated skirt and platform sneakers and sported their black jeans and neon pink shirts. I was going for the Lizzie McGuire look. They chose the eating disorder phase of Hilary Duff.

Each experience, no matter what the circumstances, continues to be a fond memory for me. Hearing live music is like getting to have a personal experience with the artist in a crowd of thousands of people.

Once I was licensed to drive and found amigos of my own that had the same affinity for concerts as me, the concert-going opportunities exploded. Mr. Smalls, Stage AE, The Grog Shop, House of Blues, Lifestyles Pavillon and First Niagara Pavilion are my concert stomping grounds.

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In fact, I can navigate through Columbus, Cleveland and Pittsburgh better in the dark than during the day, because when I drive in to see a concert that starts at 8 p.m. that’s what I see — the welcoming neon signs among a dark mystery of buildings in the city.

Over time my taste in music has improved. I graduated from the pop princes and princesses of the ‘90s to get my higher education in classic rock. I knew my stepdad was for keeps when he took me to see Rush and I sat mere rows away from my main man Neil Pert, the best drummer in the Milky Way.

Though I could never quench my thirst to see Queen live because, well, Freddie Mercury is dead, I did find some replacements to feed my musical appetite. I’ve now seen Rush three times in concert. The only other band I’ve seen that many times is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and I consider that a holiday tradition. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was one of my favorites merely for the fact that I sat on the lawn next to a woman the age of my grandma, who had clearly had a very good time in the ‘60s, and wasn’t ready to leave..

My musical interests have always been eclectic. As a sax player, I got into the musical stylings of legends such as John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. My interest in Jazz slowly transformed into the new-age trend that was ska music. I started listening to Streetlight Manifesto, then The Fratellis and The Arctic Monkeys for the use of classical instruments in popular form.

Now I find myself a lover of alternative rock, perhaps the most broad and ambiguous genre of all music. It’s led me to see Young The Giant, City in Colour, Dawse, Mumford and Sons, Fitz and the Tantrums, Minus the Bear, Walk the Moon, Tokyo Police Club, Gaelic Storm, Jack Johnson, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Kenny Chesney, Matt and Kim, the comic Bo Burnham and the great Dave Matthews Band.

Live music is an art form like no other. Listening to a scratched CD in your car is one thing, but to feel the bass pumping through your heart at 115 decibels is a feeling like no other. It’s like a musical detox where you forget everything about your life that is bringing you down and get to spend three hours celebrating the phenomenon of sound.



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