The war was raging and I had let it get out of control. The people in front of me were screaming but the sound of battle engulfed me. I couldn’t hear them. I couldn’t help them. But I could see them. Dripping in my sweat, I searched for something familiar to help me grasp what was going on. On my left flank, the battle roared on as I witnessed my guitarist shredding what looked like guitar strings into pieces as he flailed about the battle field like a madman. Reinforcing the machinegun guitar, the kick drum shook and rattled the stage to a point where every drop of the bass pedal became another exploding bomb. The bombs were so loud and consistent they became impossible to distinguish from my heartbeat. Camouflaged to my right, my bassist isolated himself among the blue and red strobe lights as he slapped recklessly away on his guitar caring for nothing else save his sound. I was in control of 450 people in the middle of a war. When I raised my hand, they raised theirs. When I reached out, they reached back. There was a connection between my audience and me I will forever be searching to recreate and feel again. The relationship that music forged in that little time epitomized its power. Time ceased to exist on the stage that night.
Behind the atmosphere, the energy, the excitement, the noise, the miked up guitars and drums, and the professional light shows, was our sound and our identity as a band. Our preparation freed music to bust apart its locked doors and soak us in its ecstasy. Music held my hand through the threshold of expression and once I walked through it, I never looked back.
I’ve played in championship football games. I’ve played for the title in basketball. I’ve felt the power of a team so prepared to battle that the only thing left to do is fight. Nothing however has come close to the sensation of sending a message through music. It transcends the boundaries of the natural world and floods into the expanse of the supernatural. Speaking through music is so powerful because it adds another facet of expression to a grouping of words. By using music as my medium of expression, nothing is lost in the transfer of my thoughts and emotions into something that people can understand. Music offers me a second dimension of expression that nothing else can.
I’ve found what makes sense to me; though it seems too early in my life for such a realization. Eighteen years unhinged my mind and touched it to a stream of living. A stream I believe that lies hidden in everyone and too often dries up before we tap into it. I don’t know if we’ll ever know the answers to the questions. But I do know that I’ll be just as content without them.
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