I have been going to concerts since I was 8 years old. I’ve been fortunate to have seen some incredible acts put on amazing shows over the years.
At their best, concerts represent what music is all about: coming together, uniting us under a shared passion for a particular artist or song that has impacted our lives exponentially. Some of my fondest memories as a concert goer are those communal moments: chatting with strangers about past concerts and favorite songs as if we knew each other forever, the high fives being passed around as the lights went down, the artist-goaded audience singalongs of “Born to Run” or “Hey Jude.” It’s what great art is all about.
I’m sure those seeing Ariana Grande last night were looking to share the same experiences. Many may have been kids going to their first concerts.
When news about the bombing ripped through the headlines last night, my blood ran cold. I thought about how scary it could be to be in that environment, how dumbfounding it must have been when the mood changed from joyous to terrified in an instant. I thought back to 9/11, where security at Madison Square Garden was at an all time high and we lived with our own fears. To see them come to life is surreal.
The natural response to this is fear. It’s what they want. It’s what they thrive on. We can’t let it win. We can’t let them win.
My heart is sick this morning: for those killed or maimed, for their loved ones, for Ariana Grande. An attack on music is an attack on art, which is an attack on the human spirit. The proper response is to fight back.
Go to concerts, go to festivals, revel in that communal spirit. Remind yourself of how music is there to bring us together. Dance, sing, embrace. Laugh, cry. Do it all and do it together.