My hesitation to enjoy live music again

Kerri Shea, Advertising Manager

As someone who used to attend concerts weekly, I’d say I’m pretty excited for live music to be making a comeback. After all that has occurred in the past year, we must ask, is it too soon? With the trauma that we have endured through the journey of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to find a sense of normalcy in activities that we used to enjoy. Concerts to me have always been a place where I am able to be unapologetic and feel connected with the people around me through the music that we have gathered to hear. The sense of pure joy that I felt being in the crowd and screaming the lyrics that have played through my headphones for years is something that no material item could make up for.  

When COVID-19 became a real concern to us, obviously my first thought was school and family, not how I would attend live shows. Though, when the thought finally struck me, it felt like it would be forever until I’m able to reach that feeling again. Still, today, I did not expect it to be so soon. The state of the virus is still so uncertain, which makes it difficult to entirely enjoy a show. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve already been to two shows in the last few months, and it was a great experience to be back at a show for the first time in over a year. Knowing that the people around you feel the same is actually pretty sentimental, but there was also an overwhelming sense of fear in the crowd. 

Concerts are often something that people look forward to for months or even over a year, and they make memories that last for a lifetime. Have you ever played an old song and your parents reminisced on that one time they saw that artist live when they were young? Live music is an experience that can’t be put into words for the majority of the people who experience it. When you’re in a crowd hearing your favorite artist, it feels like nothing can touch you as you experience a prominent moment in your life. Yet, recently, especially with the re-opening of music festivals, people are getting severely sick while being in large crowds, often unmasked. 

This makes me wonder, should society have waited to reopen such grand gatherings until the rapidly spreading virus, now with multiple variants, was just a bit more under control? Hear me out, I don’t want to be locked down anymore. I don’t know how many hours I can play The Sims 4 in my room without it getting boring, but it is hard to be comfortable with the situation at hand. Sure, the vaccine has brought down cases significantly and provides a way for people to feel more secure in going about their daily lives, but for some, it is not enough to reenter our old ‘normal’ just yet. We may never see our old normal ever again. Masks at a concert may be the new standard. 

Obviously, the overexaggerated feelings of being at a concert sound silly to many people, and normally that would make me spiral and feel crazy for enjoying something, but concerts were always untouchable to me. I simply don’t care what people perceive of me in this essence, as I know it makes me the happiest I could be. But is that pure joy still there now as I have to fear for my own safety and the people around me throughout the show?