I recently had the rare opportunity of going to a concert where I was not entirely familiar with the band. I had heard of them in passing, but never listened to them as far as I was aware, although they’re probably on a list of mine somewhere amongst other bands that I need to listen to.
The band was brilliant, by the way. They played music that made me nostalgic without ever really hearing much of their work before and that I think, is a feat in and of itself.
But I have to admit I didn’t have my eyes on the stage as almost everyone else. I, instead, watched everyone else, who was watching the stage. Waves of people only outlines in doorways, their shadows stretching across the seats. A pause, two pauses, more people.
The strobe lights from the stage were really lighthouses, sweeping across a sea of faces and cheekbones and hairlines, guiding everyone home. I caught glimpses of a man dressed entirely in black, carrying glasses of water and cans of various liquids to the singers and guitarists and the drummers. A secret messenger, crouching to hide under the lights, who would later be able to attest to the fact that he delivered water for City & Colour and saw Dallas Green sweating from his facial hair downwards.
Everyone was transfixed in the most wonderful way, all reminiscing about their own lives, separately and together. An audience swimming in the raw acoustics, chords suspended by their own resonance, drifting upwards like helium balloons up to the ceiling. Masses of people surrounded by the one thing they’ve gathered for, waiting restlessly for their song to be played.
That song, the song that spoke to them, the song they can always listen to, the song they’ve associated with good days and bad days and Fridays and Mondays. I don’t have a song like that for City & Colour yet. Although I did like one of their love songs more than anything.
But that’s it, that’s all. I got to see a crowd of people being honest the other day. It was lovely.