We used to have a saying at work back in the day “you can sense the personality of the business instantly, by opening the door and walking across the threshold.” When there is a positive air blowing, it resonates throughout. A person can actually feel it. Conversely, it is pretty obvious when there is little to no energy in a place. But when prevalent, look out because it is powerful. I was reminded of this two evenings ago, completely when it was least expected.
I stood behind my seat watching the people file up the stairs, not hurrying, but certainly pleased to be inside. The facial expressions of folks as they came to the top step and walked in told stories of relief, decompression, and a renewed spirit growing within. One which had been void for quite some time. It has been a long while since so many contented faces were actually in the same place, at the same time. Covid wiped those expressions away a year ago. This summer, it does not carry the same influence. On this night, there was a vibe.
Much to my surprise, the guy pouring my beer mentioned the venue had been sold-out for the show. I would never have guessed it in advance; the musical group was popular but quite old. As the steady stream of ticket holders kept on walking up the steps on in, it didn’t take long to realize how full the place had become all around me. I was in the middle of a huge room of strangers, yet I knew everyone. The couple sitting next to me did too. It was like joining a bunch of old friends for a special night in the town. After being cooped up for so long, the crowd all had the same idea; let’s get out again and celebrate.
I should have known it was going to be like this when I walked up… I could tell. This was going to be a uniquely special Thursday. Guests were laughing, socializing, dancing, flirting, and anticipating. They seemed to have already gotten their money’s worth. The band hadn’t even come on, and in some ways, it didn’t matter. It was almost as if the performance was the encore to the evening. The real show had already been taking place all around us. The concert-goers were courteous and respectful. They were dancing at random, posing for pictures, sending over drinks, and generally respecting the moments for what they were.
When they did finally take the stage, the energy in the room was palpable. The notes were crisp, the songs were familiar, and the memories became slightly more poignant. We all had the same epiphany at the same time. I’ve never had this happen to me before and probably never will again.
The event tended to underscore just how far from center-grounding we all had drifted throughout the last year and a half. Our lives have not had the proper balance needed to remain positively whole. We clearly had become a society in pain. And when live music has been paused indefinitely, it loses a visceral healing power to uplift us—yet another casualty of the pandemic. Together, we’ve clearly missed the flow of musical scales, note density, performance, and lyrical pacification. Something special happened on this enchanted Thursday evening in July; it all returned. Did it ever. And I’m convinced now, the winds of experiential opportunities are blowing freely again.
Unfortunately, it took something as horrific as a global pandemic to remind us of the things we should be doing every day, namely celebrating our time here on this earth regardless. But I guess we all need gentle nudges now and then too.
As a society, we are ready to move forward fully. Ready to kick open the door blocking the threshold to new memories. You only need to purchase a concert ticket, close two eyes and allow your ears to think, and for the rich sound of chord progression to breathe new life into your soul. As soon as that first musical hint envelopes, absorbing into your skin, your heart will dance like it hasn’t in quite some time.
And then smile, just because. I promise the folks sitting to your right and your left will be doing the same thing too.
And as the song on the radio once sang back in the day, “ it looks like we made it.”
For those about to rock,