So I went to see Twenty One Pilots with my girls.
As in my daughters, Kiley and Laurel. They’re 19 and (almost) 17.
We bought these tickets 8 months ago, paid entirely too much money for them, but it was so worth it. When we were feeling rough, or down, one of us would remember that we had a concert to go to in March. Back in October that felt so far away – last Wednesday I realized we were there, that it was time.
My most favorite part of the whole thing was watching my daughters. Observing them getting ready, putting on their make-up, giggling and taking pictures of each other. I was even drawn into that world for a little bit. I put on eyeliner, which is a big deal for me. I will divulge the I had picked out a new flannel shirt so that I would look cool at the concert. Unfortunately it didn’t fit. I think I accidentally bought it in the juniors section. (Insert sad face)
I put in contacts and a applied a second layer of deodorant, and stuffed the essentials into my pockets: earplugs and extra poise pantyliners.
I bought earplugs for all three of us, though I was the only sensible one in the group. I went to a Garth Brooks concert almost 20 years ago and did significant damage to my hearing, as in I have tinnitus now. These earplugs, called Hearos, were a life saver for me at the concert. Because I’m familiar with Twenty One Pilots songs, and may have done an embarrassing amount of watching concert footage I knew that jumping was going to be part of the evening’s events. Thus, the extra Poise pantyliners.
Sadly, this post is not an advertisement for earplugs or pantyliners. I just want you to be in the know.
We found our seats, which took some doing, and then the girls wanted to wander around and spend some hard earned money on over-priced stuff. I sat in my seat people watching, eavesdropping on conversations around me, and smiling. That’s my new thing; smiling. I try and keep a smile on my face when I’m just sitting around. Laurel says I look creepy when I do that, Kiley says it’s nice. At any rate, I was just people watching and it was fun.
Whenever I’m in a crowd I’m reminded of the first time that I went to a concert. I was between 4 and 5 I think. It was a Kenny Rogers concert. I remember sitting in my seat and listening to the crowd and feeling like I needed to join in, so I muttered nonsense over and over, mimicking the sounds I was hearing. I also had my dad’s nylon coat over my head because my parents were worried about me inhaling the thick pot smoke around us. But I’m sure those two things weren’t connected.
At the Twenty One Pilots concert I did not feel the need to mumble non-words.
I reminisced about my first concerts as a teenager. George Michael’s Faith tour was my first. I was kind of embarrassed to tell people I had gone to it the next day, but my friends and I had so much fun. The next concert I went to was R.E.M. and it was amazing.
Seeing a band you love in concert, in person, makes them seem more real. The band you love becoming more real makes their awesomeness seem like something that maybe you, a fellow real person, can achieve. Their art pushes you to dream, or at least that’s what it did for me, not just as a kid, but this time around, too.
My age didn’t matter at the concert. The lights were down, we were all listening to a beloved band sing beloved songs. We danced and sang lyrics together, bouncing our arms and clapping when instructed. It was more fun than I’ve had in a really long time.
It can be easy to believe that the world is a bad, scary place. It certainly can be. Looking around that giant arena, filled with people singing together, I couldn’t help but feel things aren’t so bad.
Go listen to some Twenty One Pilots, dance a little, and remember that life is good.