I was about to type, “I just got home from”— when I realised that I’ve actually been home for over two hours.
Nonetheless, I “just” got home from the Chelsea Wolfe concert at the Button Factory. It was the first concert ticket that I’d bought shortly after moving into my apartment on campus. I remember, so distinctly, sitting at my desk thinking, oh but it’s so far away, what if I end up making other, better plans that night? but bought it anyway. I knew really wanted to see Chelsea Wolfe, but I didn’t know what life on exchange was about to be like. It was early September, then. Now it’s the last week of November.
I’m nowhere near ready to leave Dublin and go home. But I think, for once, I may be ready to finally pick up my instruments again and actually do something with them. By the time I get to Auckland, it will have been just over five months since I made any sort of musical sound. I’m dying — to lie, starfished, on the floor and feel the vibrations of my bass delay and loop and swirl around my bedroom. Delay, and loop and swirl around. Delay, delaying, fuzzing, looping, swirl-swirling around.
Every time I attend a great show, I feel as if I forget a little piece of what it was like to exist before the experience. I feel fed, full, brimming with excitement with a sense of having been heavily educated in something. Sometimes I can put my finger on it; often I can’t. Chelsea Wolfe’s voice took me by surprise. I’ve always adored her voice, but I didn’t quite expect it to be… as big and beautiful, yet vulnerable-sounding, with such little effort. It didn’t look like she was trying at all. Then I spent much of the gig wondering what effects the band were using. How the layers were built. What tricks of the trade I could pick up.
I often wished that I could listen to music without the encumbrance of being a musician. Likewise, I wish I didn’t read so much into the politics of power struggles and societal norms in simple, daily exchanges. Give me a layman’s day, please. And so, part-way through stomping down some laid-back triplets in time with the drums, I glanced around the audience. When else does a room full of people pay, queue (or queue then pay then queue again!), stand around waiting, then sway or bop or nod along, transfixed with every sense perked, focused on the same thing at the front of the room? For once, there were only one or two phones waved above heads, taking photos and videos. It was such a nice change from what’s become the norm now, that I almost wanted to take a photo of the lack of photos being taken. I wish this was the default.