I have been: floored, broken to pieces, risen through the troposphere, stratosphere and mesosphere, revisited past lifetimes and looked into the future, gone on journeys to far-flung places and back and basically had one of the most amazing experiences ever last night, courtesy of This Will Destroy You and their wonderful opening band, 8mm Sky.
Yesterday’s show was one of the most punctual that I’ve attended but I won’t take my concert experiences as a good gauge since I am no concert connoisseur. It’s always interesting to people-watch before, during and after concerts because I like to wonder about all our similarities, differences and the one thing that’s binding us all together during those few hours—our love for the same music, and finding some connection with the same music, no matter how similar or different that connection may be.
I won’t attempt to write a review of the show although I still like to bask in the fantasy that I’ll someday be qualified to write reviews—but I’ll attempt to put to words the otherworldly journey I experienced.
What does it feel like to have your past, present and future flash past in front of your eyes as you allow the music to seep into every crack of your bones? Every time the band begins on a new track, the image in your head builds slowly up. You get transported to days, months and years before. You revisit events that you’ve avoided re-visiting all along, as though you were in those very moments again. You put your fingers in front of you and they are your fingers, but they aren’t your fingers because you know you’re already a different person now. But why, why? You’re going back in time.
You witness the trust being built up from ground zero. You feel the crack in the fortress, the walls beginning to fall away. You see the light seeping through, and then it gets so bright, so bright. You’re running in fields of gold, you’re running your fingers through sand; you’re feeling the sea breeze running through your hair. You feel your teeth showing as your facial muscles open up and relax themselves.
It’s coming, you know it’s coming. The music is picking up, building up to a crescendo that you know will end soon, just like the scene you’re seeing. You know it’s coming but you can’t let go. You see it coming but you hold on. The crash is sure to come but not just yet. The band is working up into a frenzy and your heart rate is picking up. You think the end is nearing but you’ve been fooled. Quiet comes. Soft plucking now. You relax a little, thinking that maybe you can hold onto the scene in front of you just like you thought before.
A period of calm has arrived. Steady drum beats. You feel like you can do it now, you feel like you can pull through this time even if you didn’t succeed before. Your body is swaying, swaying and the music starts building up again. The beat picks up speed. You look around the room and everyone’s moving in the same rhythm, but they’re all thinking of different things. What has brought you together? You are all watching the same performance but are your ears hearing the same thing?
You hear shyness, you hear laughter. You hear hours of conversation. You hear feelings being brought forth. Anxiety, anger, hurt, and regret. You feel the end drawing near. The music is all the while building up and up. It’s almost reaching its peak. The beat picks up even more speed. The minor sequence starts and you know you’re nearing the end. The drummer’s hands go flying. It’s coming, it’s coming.
And you’re at the top. You ride the waves of ecstasy. You’re keep riding and riding the waves. You let them take you higher and higher but you feel the walls starting to cave in. You’re finally at the top but when you’re at the top there’s nowhere to go but down. And the crash comes. The crash you knew was coming but could never be prepared for. Did you ask for this? Did you want this? Is this justified? You’re shivering now, you’re shivering inside. Was this cathartic? Have you been liberated?
The band is spent. They are as exhausted just as your heart is. The guitar distortions drone on but they’re quickly fizzing out. You see the drummer’s chest heave in and out heavily. You stay still for a moment as the band begins to begin again.