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Why I Will Continue Going to Concerts — Even Though I Am Afraid

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Manchester. Paris. Las Vegas.

I have woken up to these tragic headlines, and I always feel the same thing. I feel the taste in my mouth go sour. I feel my chest sink into my stomach and my lungs tighten. Music has always been the one thing in my life that keeps me going. It has been there when others have failed to be, and it has helped me find words I was unable to find myself.

So, when I hear about these tragedies in places such as Manchester, Paris and Las Vegas, I feel immediately distraught. I see nothing but the terror that people must have felt, and the instant shift from joy to horror in their hearts. I think about what I could have done if I were there, and I know that it most likely would have been nothing, but I can’t help but think, “What if?”

These tragic attacks on innocent people trying to find an escape from reality are unfathomable to me. I sit and as I write these words I am overwhelmed with sorrow and grief for the families of those affected and the victims. I feel my depression and my anxiety start to seep in.

I have been to many concerts, and in the last few years, I’ve been to nearly 20. I go to forget about my worries in a room full of people all singing along. I hear the harmonious pitches of each individual form into one beautiful chorus. I feel the vibrations of people dancing and the bass pumping through the speakers. I feel content and at home. Music is my home.

I travel to the United States for almost every concert I attend, and I will tell you that it upsets me to no end when I must worry about the safety of my girlfriend, or the people around me, because these things happen.

I have more concerts coming up before the year is up, and I am more terrified than ever. However, that will not stop me. It will not prevent me from attending and joining in the most beautiful experience I have ever been able to feel. The terror wreaked in Manchester, Paris and Las Vegas leave me anxious that a show I will be at is next, but that cannot prevent me from living.

I woke up this morning to a handful of people informing me of what happened, and I decided to speak on it. I know people have come to me for reassurance, and I hope to provide it with these next few words.

Do not let the acts of few detract from your experience with many.

Do not allow the hatred to counteract the love in those rooms whether it be Madison Square Garden or the tiny venue down the road.

Now, more than ever, we need to sing, dance and love. Now, more than ever, we need to find joy in our oneness. We need to find joy in our solidarity, backed by a chorus of passion.

People need other people, and concerts allow access to that. Continue singing, dancing, loving and being.

You are not alone.

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Unspash photo via Abigail Lynn

Originally published: October 2, 2017
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