Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sights & Sounds: Mumford & Sons @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheater, Bonner Springs, KS

I am not really that good at standard concert reviews:  just the facts of the who, what, when and how of the show, although there is a set list at the bottom of this post.  When it comes to music, especially live music, I like to use all the words, I like to be selfish and talk about myself, way, way before I remember that I am suppose to be talking about a concert.

I once had a friend who said that he was like a 12 sided die, there were just so many sides to him. At first, I had to think, are there really 12 sided dices? That seems that a tad excessive. But that statement does have a lot of sense and truth to it. We are complex little folk, us humans. Somewhere along the way of growing up we learned how to be appropriate in different situations, compartmenting our lives and personalities. We have our work selves, our social selves, our only with close friends and family selves. etc. Sometimes these 'selves' meet and mingle and overlap but sometimes never the two shall meet.  In some situations all this may be necessary. I don't think I could ever fit pie and punk rock in a discussion with my former boss, but other times worrying about social mores is just exhausting; as in trying to figure out what topics to talk about and which to avoid to make sure this or that group doesn't run you off with pitchforks  (tip: it's usually politics and/or books about vampires).

If all of us have many sides to our own set of dice in life, then undoubtedly one side of my die is known as, thanks to some cleverly labeling from friends, "Concert Katie." Now, I know that I talk about music on this blog, a lot. And even in real life, in casual situations I feel I talk about music a lot, but live music, not just talking about it, but experiencing it, is something else, that oddly only a handful of my in real life friends have experienced with me. It's not like I am a complete berserker at concerts, I am just insanely happy, like beaming from teeth to toes, like way above chocolate croissant, happy.  Why I haven't let more people see this obviously lovable side of me? I don't know.  Maybe I am a little insecure that they won't like the music, or that they will rain on my parade, or be bored, or alarmed about my accelerated rate of clapping, or (gasp!) maybe live music isn't their thing. Some people just don't like  going to concerts or this or that type of music. This reality hurts my brain.  I keep telling myself, well, I don't like eggs and I have friends who like eggs and we are still friends and it's OK. 

 Seeing and hearing and breathing in live music to me is like finding my way home.  I have written many times before that music is language, a deeper type of language. And for me, I feel, that well, it is my first language. All of us have a first language, something that we feel we communicate more freely and perfectly through, music or art or science or cooking or running or traveling, or whatever passion that just makes us feel more alive and true, the light to the darkness. And similar to any other language, some people or in some situations or places, that language just can't be understood. And sometimes when communication is lacking, it hurts and sometimes it is frustrating. No, no, you HAVE TO understand why this song is so good, or don't you feel that lyric way done in the marrow of the bones in your toes? No? Maybe if I play it for you a million more times, you will understand. I might as well be screaming in unknown language. 

And on the flip side, I know that there are plenty of other first languages that I have a hard time understanding and I must frustrate people to no end because of that too. But life is meant to be lived among other people and shared among people even with all of our own quirks and differences.  Believe me, I have tried to be a self imposed loner, hermit if you will, trying to find some higher meaning in solitude and you know what? It is no fun, it doesn't bring any happiness or strength or insight.  I don't mind going to concerts by myself, myself just so happens to be a perfectly wonderful concert buddy, but sharing a concert with someone else, discussing in gleeful tones and words, every single detail of the show on the drive home, years later telling stories about how the one time we saw that band, all of this sharing ties memories and depth to the music. 

So anyway, I guess I have gotten away from the title of this post, I warned you this was going to happen. So, how about that Mumford & Sons?  Last Friday night was the final night of their current tour, one last (and rescheduled) show before directing themselves back across the pond to familiar beds and showers and piles of laundry.  And for this concert I did somehow talk a friend into coming with me. And in true Concert Katie fashion I talked 900 words per minutes, declared "I'm just so excited" more than what was probably necessary, sang every single word to every single song. . .loudly, clapped and stomped and smiled a wildly toothy grin without a care in world, which is in contrast with my usual pretty reserved self who likes to keep all her teeth in her mouth. I was free to just be, well, free and I took every advantage of it.  We stood in a crowd of about a billion people (By my count, but I'm not that good at math) and when our fine Mumford friends  came on stage and played their poetic anthems, the whole crowd, every single soul under that night sky, instantly started to move and jump and in one huge beautiful accord sang out, joining our voices to the band and the all the notes and harmonies. Witnessing for the countless time in my life that music can move a whole mass of people, physically and on so many other levels. But also, because every coin has a flip side, during, Timshel, a very quiet song (and a John Steinbeck/East of Eden reference.), that whole mass of people stood still. No chatter, no crunching of trash under foot or yelling, just four guys singing, "You are not alone in this," and all of us believing those simple words.   For the night, all of us, found our home, found others who spoke and understood the language of music, our language, and we, all a billion of us, found each other. 
View from the cheap seats. Still worth it.

Mumford & Sons, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater, Bonner Springs, KS, September 20, 2013
Lover's Eyes
Little Lion Man
Below My Feet
White Blank Page
For Those Below
I Will Wait
Lover of the Light
Thistle & Weeds
Ghosts That We Knew
Roll Away Your Stone
Awake My Soul
Holland Road
Dust Bowl Dance
Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Winter Winds
The Cave

1 comment :

  1. Perfectly stated, as always! So glad you loved them (but really, how could you not?!)