A Musical Summer

A Musical Summer

A Musical Summer

A teenage summer is incomplete without attending a few concerts. Whether it’s a major music festival like Jamboree in the Hills or Lollapalooza, a small coffee shop concert or a packed arena, there is music out there for everyone. I have seen Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay, Beyonce and Journey plus a few others in my last few summers. Looking back on my music filled summers I have made incredible memories. Some, however, stick out more than others. After attending the Justin Beiber concert in July, I was thrilled to sit in a parking garage for 45 minutes following the conclusion of the concert. Just when I thought we were finally on our way back to Wheeling, I was the first car to be stopped and told that the Fort Pitt Bridge would be closing and there was a detour that would put me right back on where I should be. When I failed to find that magical road to Wheeling, I wondered “what do you mean” the bridge is closed, and if it was “too late now to say sorry” to the passengers in my car. We could only listen to Beiber’s Purpose album so many times before the puns were just unbearable. Finally, we found our way to a familiar road just as the gas light flicked on. After an intense 15 minutes looking for the nearest gas station, I refilled the car and hit the road once more. All while this was happening, heat lightning flashed in the background which was such a nice touch on the tiring and stressful drive home. Looking back, the concert was great even from the second-to-last row. Justin Beiber put on a phenomenal show with water effects and a large trampoline that hung from the ceiling, and I now know how to navigate myself around what seemed to be the entire state of Pennsylvania. The Doobie Brothers and Journey concert had a different crowd than Justin Beiber. I attended the concert with a friend and her parents; she and I were undoubtedly the only two under age 40 in our section. Although we were not alive when most of the songs were produced, we still knew the lyrics to the classic hits. During one particular song, I realized I was a part of something foreign to me. Normally during the slow ballads, crowds pull out their cell phones, turn on the flashlight and sway side to side. At Journey however, people in the crowd had actual lighters. Yes, the concert was outside unlike many others, but still, I could not recall a concert where I saw more lighters in the air than cell phones. This crowd took the phrase “any way you want it” to heart. It was a generational difference to which I was oblivious until seeing it firsthand. “Lights” I will not forget. The concert was a fantastic evening, and I was sad when the band and I had to go our “separate ways.” My favorite concerts above all else are ones in which the crowd is given a bracelet or glow stick upon walking into the concert. The bulky plastic bracelets never look like much, but they change an entire concert experience. The Taylor Swift 1989 Tour and the Coldplay A Head Full of Dreams Tour were kaleidoscopes of lights and colors thanks to those bulky wristbands. The wristbands were put in sync with the music and somehow pulse rainbows of colors in time with the song. During “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift, Heinz Field turned into a sea of twinkling red whereas the bracelets created a “sky full of stars” during hits from Coldplay’s latest album. Afterward, my eyes had become accustomed to neon flashing lights, but I just had to “shake it off.” I would never think blinking bracelets would make or break a concert, but in both cases, it was just the touch the artists needed to make their concerts go from good to great. My summers would be bland and quiet without a series of concerts to entertain me. Whether it is a hip-hop or country artist, indoor or outdoor, or today’s hits or oldies, I will gladly accept an invitation to a concert. The memories I have made both at concerts and navigating home thereafter in some instances are unforgettable. I hope I can continue my summer concert tradition in the next few years as I enter college. New artists, venues, friends and memories await.