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  • Robert Campanaro

On a Concert



Wading through heaps of jumping, aching bodies can certainly feel like cutting through perennial long grass on a safari, yet the rewards differ slightly. On one hand, spending days exploring and witnessing Earth’s natural marvels would be a prize within itself. However, as gorgeous as the world’s nonfiction may be, nothing can compare to a live performance of human-made poetry and then locking eyes with God as they parade their brilliance about a stage to an ethereal, swaying lawn of bodies. 


Entering a stadium, especially as I’m one of the first, grounds one harshly within their significance. I was a lone warrior– clad with armor bearing the symbols of my lord, dripping with anticipation, and swirling around an empty scene, taking in a ground not yet upturned by the crowds. Then, a few moments later, I was filled with a fierce, burning sense of camaraderie as the cavalry packed in. An influx of fellows who, as well as me, came bearing the colors of our lord and searching for mischief. Everyone was just as staunch, if not more than me. Just as feverish, if not more than me. Just as crazed, and probably more than me. The feeling was a mixture of pure terror from anxiety, and crazy, rushing, uplifting adrenaline.

           

And all of that was before the music even started. The thing about my current position was that I wasn't in the nosebleeds, or in the seats, or even up and hanging over a railing, reaching as far towards my idol as possible. I was in the pit. There, you’re not watching the show as a mere spectator: you’re a part of it. If I were to sit in the seating section, I’m sure I could stand and cheer, but that’s about as far as I would or even could go, with consideration given to the people and ushers surrounding me. I vastly prefer the impartial yet untamed wilderness of the pit, an empty space now brimming with a united collective of souls. The anticipation and eerie silence preceding a performance is nauseating to the point of fear, anxious to the point of light-headedness. However, all of that fog dissipates with the advent of stadium-grade lighting and the impish bellowing of a simple, short phrase: “BROOOKLYYYYN!!!”


As divine as I may find one of my favorite artists, regardless of how full I feel of grace and how far I seem above the clouds, there is absolutely nothing holy about what is about to commence. There are demons inside all of us here. They were born at that first riff, that one initial tune that planted a wild, thrashing hellspawn in all of us, having been nurtured by a continuous and feverish obsession. Now, that demon is fully grown, wearing our skin, speaking with our mouths and seeing with our eyes live for perhaps the very first time, their creator, inventor, progenitor. Now they’re home, and they’re ready to dance and flail about in celebration of their dreams eclipsing reality.


“Hell…”


I feel the flames hit my face as they reach the ceiling.


“HELL…”


It’s as beautiful as they said it would be.


“HEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!”


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Art by Emma Vall

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