Concert at Clark
The first real concert I attended was in Oklahoma. I was no older than ten, and I remember driving there from where we were staying in Texas, bouncing up and down with excitement the entire way because I was going to see Weird Al live. Since then, I have been to several musicals, school choir performances, and other small musical gatherings, but not another REAL concert.
Celine Dion came to South Africa while we were there, and the stadium was so close to our house that we had the…pleasure…of listening to her entire show while we ate dinner. In Senegal, I had the opportunity to go see Youssou Ndour, but for some reason his show got canceled, and I never went. Because I was never in Texas for more than a month or so at a time, I never really benefited from Austin’s status as one of the music capitals of the United States.
When I heard that Grouplove was coming to Clark as part of their Campus Consciousness tour, I had two thoughts: 1) who is Grouplove? and 2) should I go to their show? Initially, I decided not to bother because I didn’t know their music, it would be a crowded occasion, and the concert was on a Wednesday, which seemed strange to me. However, someone convinced me to go, and we bought tickets at the last minute—mine was 497 out of 500, I believe.
We ate dinner early and unnecessarily hovered outside Atwood for an hour to ensure that we could choose our seats. We went in aiming for the back so we could leave early if we had to, but we ended up in the very front row. It was only then—when I realized I was so close I would be able to see the teeth of the singers—that I started to feel some of that old Weird Al concert excitement creeping back.
I sat less than three feet away from the gargantuan speakers on the left side of the stage. I wondered if I would have any hearing left by the end of show just as the first band, Saints of Valory, started playing. My friend and I immediately moved further back. Despite this, I could feel my organs vibrating through their set, and that of the second band, The Knocks. I guess one could say that the music was moving in more than one sense.
I felt bad for Saints of Valory because we weren’t an especially good audience for them, at first anyway. Everyone remained seated until one brave individual in the front stood up and encouraged others to join him. Eventually, we were all standing, but solemnly. Slowly but surely, people started ‘feeling’ the music and really ‘getting into it,’ but it took some time. By the end of The Knocks’ set, the audience was charged and ready for Grouplove.
They came out and I ended up enjoying their music, but by the end of the show I was hot, sweaty, and my head was buzzing. According to my concert-connoisseur friend, these are all indicators that I had a good time. I could hear a shrill whining sound in my ears for at least a half hour as I prepared for bed, but when I woke up the following morning, it had disappeared.
I am happy that I ended up accepting the opportunity to go to another ‘real’ concert, and I hope that in the next four years, I will get to attend many more. Next time, I’ll bring some earplugs, just in case.