You know that rush you feel when you’re at a gig, you get the butterflies in your tummy, your head spins and you can’t help but smile. That’s the best feeling isn’t it? The adrenaline is pumping throughout your body, your spine tingles and your body is overcome with emotion. It’s better than alcohol. (Although alcohol does help, doesn’t it? It enhances the buzz…).
I love going to see live music, it’s one of my favourite hobbies. Since I was about 15 when I first saw Green Day, I’ve been hooked. Smaller gigs at local venues filled every weekend when I was 18, I have the best memories of those days – carefree dancing and cheeky drinks in the loos. Losing my jewellery in the mosh pit, and adding more mud to my Converse. It’s character building, being in the middle of the pit and just doing a bit of a freestyle before getting pushed around and punched in the face. I loved those bruises, symbols of the amazing nights I’d had and little reminders of live music.
When I listen to the music of bands I’ve seen live I can’t help but smile, I’m taken back on a trip down memory lane and the feeling of being there, in the moment rushes back over my body, I’m back there standing in the front of the stage trying not to fall over and being mesmerised by staring at some of my favourite artists. It’s truly amazing. I love listening to bands I’ve seen live for this reason.
In July 2013 I saw my favourite band Anti-Flag perform in Camden, on Independence Day actually. It was honestly the best gig I’ve ever been to. The venue was small enough to be intimate but not too small that I felt claustrophobic, it was very busy though – Anti-Flag don’t play in the UK much so it was a treat for everyone that was there. I’d spent weeks preparing for this gig, going through and listening to CDs I hadn’t played for years, as well as playing my favourites over and over. I was so excited I could hardly control myself, I was with my boyfriend and we may have had a few shots whilst we were listening to the support acts and checking out the huge array of cool band tees on display by the fellow gig goers.
I always wonder whether it’s passé to wear the t-shirt of the band you are seeing to the gig? What do you think? I like to go with a complimentary band usually. I have a love of band tees and have a little collection from some of the gigs I’ve been to recently. I could never afford any from those first gigs I went to, all my money went on my ticket and travel.
Once Anti-Flag came on stage I knew it was going to be an amazing show, we fought our way to the front near the barriers and prepared for battle. Sustaining a good position at a punk gig is somewhat of a challenge, a challenge I adore – I love to be involved in the mosh pit. Pretty much the only time I’m ever violent really. Anything goes. The adrenaline rushing through my veins and the alcohol making me want to dance and punch and sing and kiss my boyfriend. The rush is amazing. They played all of my favourite songs and more, I even added a new song to my favourites as it was amazing when played live. The band created a wonderful atmosphere pulling everyone together and uniting us all in the magic of the show. There were a few people there that were clearly there to cause trouble but they were soon sorted out with an elbow to the arm.
I would do anything to be back in that room, covered in other people’s sweat, boiling hot and singing my heart out. One of the best experiences of my life. We even got to meet the lead singer after the show a couple of times for some photos, photos in which I’m a sweaty mess but my face has this grin that only ever appears when I’ve been to a gig.
Are you a frequent gig attendee or do you prefer to listen to music in the comfort of your own home?