To the Aging Rocker…

I still love going to concerts. I love that feeling when your heart starts racing as the lights dim and each band member takes the stage. The rush as the first notes ring out and you are immediately enveloped in sound. The carefree way you can get lost in the music and the crowd, truly singing like no one is listening, because in most cases, no one can hear you nor do they want to.

Sometimes I wonder when I’ll be too old to stand in the crowd and feel that adrenaline, that sweet catharsis that comes from yelling until your throat burns as though all your emotions have clawed their way out from your lungs. Is there a limitation on that feeling? Like so many other things that dim and become just a memory with age, when do you hang up your show shoes and throw away the black eyeliner?

I recently went to see one of my favorite bands, Thrice, again. It all still felt so right and relevant, caught up in the excitement of their set. But one of the opening bands really made me stop to consider all of this. The Bronx, a band that was never huge but was popular enough in my college-era music hay day that I knew who they were, played an intense, interactive set reminiscent of moshing days gone by. Despite balding heads and signs of age, they played like they were still in their twenties and riled up a crowd that may not have really known who they were. The music wasn’t necessarily my scene, but I had to give them props for going out there and looking like they were having the time of their lives. And as the sweaty singer came out of the pit and ran past my old-person table to get back to the stage, I thought, “that dude is never giving up this life by choice.”

So will I ever be too old to go out and enjoy the music I love? Every time I hit a show I say I’m not getting in the crowd, but somehow the siren song of the stage pulls back into its swaying bowels. Maybe one day I’ll sit at that table I paid for until the house lights come up, but I’m not going to put an expiration date on my concert antics just yet.

So I say to all the aging rockers, whether you’re playing or watching, keep that fire going. Maybe it’ll keep us all young.

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