The song remains the same

June 23, 2009 at 8:43 am | Posted in Life, Music | 1 Comment
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These have been gray days here in New England, a seemingly never-ending onslaught of rain, clouds, and temperate temperatures not entirely befitting the month of June.

It weakens the soul, it does.

I have chosen, amidst the bleakness, to focus on something I encountered a few weeks ago when I need encouragement. At the beginning of the month, I found myself, rather last minute, attending a Dave Matthews concert here in Hartford on a Friday night. It was rainy and muddy and crowded, brimming with an uneasy energy that you encounter at these outdoor shows that mark the beginning of the summer season.

And it was absolutely teeming with youth.Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King

The setlist began, old standards intertwined with songs from their latest CD, and I noticed something rather remarkable. While yes, the ants marched on as always and everybody sang along, these folks, these kids, were also singing along with all of the new songs.

Songs from the album that had come out three days ago.

My heart soared.

I remember these days. These days when a new album coming out was a big deal, an actual event in your life, and you and everyone you knew were consumed with getting it, playing it, and memorizing the lyrics to it. It played at the parties you went to, it rang out from small radios behind the counters of summer jobs, and the beat up cars of college compatriots blared it from their open windows as they drove by you on the street.

Before These Crowded StreetsI, obviously, not only recall these days, but do so with great fondness. For me, the album wasn’t about a Groogrux King but rather the precedence of Crowded Streets, but I suspect that the experience largely remains the same.

And this, for some reason, fills me with great happiness and hope. For in a time of unquestionable turmoil, crushing economic conditions, and immense uncertainty, young people are still memorizing the words of an album within three days of its release, if only to be able to stand in a field on a Friday night and sing it out loud with their friends.

It really does lift you up.

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1 Comment »

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  1. I miss going to concerts.

    I also miss being young.


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