A Concert for Life

A Concert for Life
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  A Concert for Life  –  Discovering the Inner Musician It was the dawn of a beautiful Sunday morning. The day that I went to a metal music concert that could only be described as “legendary”. The sun shone brighter, the birds chirped melodiously, and I smiled wider than ever before. The thrilling excitement, the overburdening anticipation, the liberating journey through the concert that transformed my life and developed me as a musician. During the ‘80s, Christian metal bands encouraged youth with their one of a kind and controversial style of music defying the conventional belief that rock and roll was ungodly. However, live performances of Christian rock groups impacted a multitude of people across many nations and ages with biblical principles and the message of hope. One notable Christian band in the ‘80s was Stryper who gained acceptance in the mainstream with their “good” rock and roll. Being a Stryper fan, getting VIP tickets to their concert was an opportunity of a lifetime which I was blessed to witness. What I didn't expect coming was a critical trip into the universe of groundbreaking music and the discovery of what it means to be a musician. That day, I could sense the eagerness all around me as we were queued in line. The anticipation was palpable, and the gnawing wait cannot snuff out everybody's fervor. I remained there and held my ticket apprehensively as it was my first Stryper concert. While I waited, I envisioned what the concert would be like. I had seen concerts through DVDs before, and imagined their classic yellow and black stripes on the set, the instruments, and the attire. I imagined the lights and the loud abrupt intro of their classic opening song, “To Hell with the Devil” setting the concert in motion. And out of nowhere, my reverie was interrupted with the sound, "Roxas, over here!" The organizers recognized me and beckoned me into the concert hall. As I crossed the threshold to the outside, I saw that the concert hall was covered with yellow and black stripes with Stryper’s logo centered over the stage. Around the stage, there were large speakers and amplifiers, and in the center a large drum set that was truly rock-n-roll. This set the stage for loud things to come. The organizer lead me through a passage with dull lighting and distant ambient melodies reminiscent of classic Stryper songs  –  an appetizer for the show to come  –   towards the “mosh pit” (the mosh pit is a n area directly below the stage  reserved for the VIP). With every step through the passage, I could feel the alacrity of my persona rise. There were only around 30 individuals in the mosh pit  –  hardcore fans dedicated to the band from the start. They wore black peppered with yellow accessories, colored their hair bright neon or wore wigs. A few fleeting moments, the lights faded away quickly and the sound had died down. In those moments of silence, one could hear the deep fast collective hearts beat of the multitude behind us. The anticipation was at an all-time high, and you could cut the tension with a knife. All of a sudden, a voice turned out from the backstage, and the band was raised onto the stage. Everybody roared to greet and offer support to this special band. Then, the deafening blasts of the bass, the magnificent voice of the vocalist, the frightful tone of the guitars, the thundering rumble of drums launched the show. The excitement and commitment leaked through the artists as the strumming guitars, thumping drums and beating bass resonated through the arena and our souls. After an hour of screaming and singing our favorite songs, our energy did not waver, but energized further song by song. I saw the entire setting of the audience change into an immense collective chorus, singing the verses at the same time. No one thought about how good or bad they sounded, however we all agreed to be in unison. As the concert drew to a close, I was exhausted after an intense concert of singing, shouting, cheering, and head-banging throughout the entire night. Right then, Stryper sang their last heavy ballad, and there I knelt down and gave careful consideration to everything around me. I realized how their captivating music made their words come to life; tears would not stop rolling down. The whole experience seemed too short and it seemed like it was coming to an end way too fast. The voyage through the music, the environment, the hearts of the people brought forth a heavenly peace to my heart. Towards the end of this show, I began to look deep within myself and have reflected many things that had happened to me throughout my life. And then, the show was over. I thought it was amazing how you could pour out your life and soul into music, and then share it with the rest of the world without expecting any confrontation or judgment. All the joys and pains of my past, present, and future seemed like illusions and my reality became the very stage Stryper played on. I wanted this; I wanted to share this with the world. I decided to talk to  Stryper, and learn from them. After the concert, I waited for the audience to leave so I could thank Stryper. The band agreed to meet me and I shared about my experiences throughout their show. They showed kindness and humility by sh aring some of their lives’ stories, and experiences. They also gave me tips on how to be a successful musician. I still look back and think about how my day started with the excitement to know that I will meet my favorite band, then to go through anticipation before the concert, the feeling of liberation I had at the end of the concert. Going through these things in my mind allow me to be the musician I looked up to be.
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