Fourteen years ago, one movie spoke to me on many levels.
I loved the fact that there was a character that felt what I felt, which was a pure love of music.
That movie was Almost Famous.
Most girls dream of being Penny Lane. Not that I blame them she and the band aids have what GATRS have which is passion, devotion, and a substantial love for bands. (She also had some of the best wardrobe and lines throughout the movie.
Like this gem, on the left side, that I take to heart.)
As great as Penny Lane is, I wanted to be William Miller.
Except, in my own right and in female version. I envied him. I, too, wanted to immerse myself in a bands world.
I was late in the game, I didn’t know a thing about concerts or live shows. I’ve been to a couple but not one from an artist I was dying to see.
Similar to William, I had a strict upbringing. My sisters and I were limited on what music we could listen to and in my teenage years asking to go to a concert was out of the question. It was all about work and hardly any play (although I have to be fair, I am thankful my parents passed down their strong work ethic). So other than what I saw in movies, I didn’t know what to expect but I knew all about dedication and love for certain bands/artists.
Years later, Almost Famous is still one of my favorite movies and now I’ve had my own experiences. They may not be exactly like William’s but they are my own and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
I’ve learned that the concert life is in fact a crazy, humbling, yet beautiful life that I didn’t choose because it chose me. The concert life chose me to make the trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana one year ago. Ever since then, my world was flipped upside down and I mean that in the most brilliant way.
I was never a spontaneous person, my friends can certainly attest to that. So what made me just pick up and drive five hours in a tropical storm? Arctic Monkeys.
I will be forever grateful for them, not only for their music but because I met some of the best people because of them. October 5th marked one year that I met Teri, Brandy, Mia, Alyssa, and Jessica… They have been some of the most amazing girls that I’ve had the luxury of knowing. We have been on many unbelievable adventures together and it’s all been for our intense love of the music and the thrill of a mind-blowing concert.
Music is not about utility. It can’t be simplified, it’s complex and even indescribable at times.
It just depends on who you ask and on the artist or song. (For instance, ask any one of us GATRS what our favorite song is by our favorite band… It’s guaranteed to lead into a long conversation and dissection of songs, discography, b-sides, demos, and whatever else. Would you really be prepared for such a thing?)
Music is a piece of iconography. Artists use it to express themselves and even those of us who are not musically talented use it when we are at a loss for words. So it should be understandable as to why GATRS do what we do.
Most people who know me in the ‘real’ world don’t understand my devotion or love for these artists or my traveling for concerts, others are puzzled by it even after I explain myself. They don’t understand what it means to be a fan of a band so much that it hurts because they’re so deep-rooted in your very core.
Then, there are the people who I have connected with because of certain artists. I’ve met many amazing people in concert queues and even on barricade… A concert setting is a familiar feeling, as much drama or insane weather conditions that lead up to it (I’ve been through it all; awful heat, a tropical storm, a tornado, non-stop down pour of rain, frigid/freezing temperatures) and in spite of all that, it’s home to me.
So to all the other GATRS of the world, I’d like to say that going to concerts all the time can be incredible. Being surrounded by amazing people with similar love and passion for an artists music is a beautiful thing and if you’re lucky you can get some great souvenirs like drumsticks, guitar picks, set lists, etc or you even get to meet an artist…
Sometimes you don’t get anything but don’t let that sour your experience! Artists don’t owe you a selfie, autograph, or whatever else.. They are there to put on an unbelievably kick ass show, everything else is just a stellar bonus.
Living this concert life shouldn’t be romanticized, I cannot stress that enough. It’s not glamorous in any way. It’s expensive especially if you travel to gigs as much as we do, it’s one of my favorite things but not everyone can because it’s exhausting and tiring most days you’re lucky to even take shower or sleep in a real bed (I’ve had to sleep in my car, airports, and planes before) when you’re ‘touring with’ your favorite artist(s). There’s an abundance of waiting, whether it’s in the queue (although that’s when you can get to know some really cool and interesting people) or after a gig in hope of meeting an artist. You also tend to live on gas station ‘food’ or lunchables but with everything that happens, I still love it.
So if you are not able to attend shows for whatever reason, don’t fret, I have been where you are. I absolutely feel your agony and your pain of longing to see your favorite artist(s). Whatever your reason may be for not being able to attend whether it’s money, parents, or means of transportation… Don’t worry about it, yes I know it’s tragic, knowing that your favorite artist(s) is in town or close by and you can’t go.. It’s heart wrenching, I know but your time will come. It may not happen when you want it but that’s the beauty of it, it’ll happen when you least expect it, making it that much more memorable and extraordinary!