We headed to Kansas City around noon, or so, and arrived around 3:30. We shared fajitas at a really good Mexican restaurant before we walked around downtown. I am incredibly directionally impaired, but I miraculously knew exactly where I had seen an antique store- ha. I had to spend a minimum of $10 in order to buy anything, so I ended up with costume pearl earrings and a mini porch swing bird feeder. I'll post pictures when I get it set up, but it's really, really cute. Thank you, Anthony, for finding it!
Anyway, we killed time walking around downtown until about 5:30. Somehow neither Anthony nor I realized that this was an outdoor show, so my burned self stood outside in the sun until it went down during the concert. I felt like an idiot. I'm not going to go into detail about how gross the sunburn got... haha.
We were probably within the first two hundred people to get in, so we actually got really good spots. Of course there wasn't any seating, so our "spots" were wherever we found a place for our feet. I got super lucky and was somehow placed next to a drunk girl that was so determined not to be "that drunk girl at the concert" that she became that very person. She spilled her beer on me several times and I'm pretty sure that I could pick her butt out of a crowd any day, considering that she brushed it up against me just shy of 1,243,346 times.
The first band that played was called Matthew and the Atlas. I am not exaggerating when I say that this is definitely the only opening band that I have ever enjoyed. Honestly, I'd be down for going to see them play, again. You should check them out, for real. I have great taste in music-- I promise. ;)
The next band to play was Nathaniel Rateliff and the Fairchildren. The lead singer seemed really conceited, and I'm pretty sure that he was high (or was it just his eyes?). Also, his pants were a little too tight for my liking. Of course, this is all opinion and/or speculation. I will say, though, that their music is pretty incredible and the chick playing the upright bass was amazing. I am pleased to say that this concert was enjoyable, all of the way through. If you go to many concerts, you'll know that this is rare.
At this point, the sun was about down, and the direct heat from the sun morphed into sweaty, muggy heat from warm bodies sweating beer.
But then Cake went on stage and all was forgotten. Are any of you guys Cake fans?? They are incredible live. There are some bands that lose the autotune and sound horrendous, but Cake is absolutely not one of them. They're also very interactive with the crowd, so that was a nice touch. I noticed that John McCrea loves his vibraslap. It was really cool to hear them play live, because their CD is so unique. A lot of times, the sound effects that are used in the studio aren't able to be replicated on stage, but Cake definitely did not have that problem!
AND AT LAST, Mumford & Sons got on stage. This is when the crowd started to get pretty mean. If anyone tried to get through to the front after leaving for a drink or to go to the bathroom, good luck. I certainly wasn't budging. Anthony and I had been outside for almost 7 hours at this point, and we got there super early in order to be so close; there was NO WAY I was moving for someone who thought that they were entitled to a closer spot. I actually started to get really irritated with people. Isn't there some kind of concert etiquette that people can pay attention to? Why would you want to get drunk for Mumford, anyway? Don't you want the full effect of the performance?! Stop bumping into everyone around you and talking so absurdly loud-- you're going to miss them, entirely. I mean, REALLY.
Moving on, Mumford was INSANE. I have never been to a better concert than this.
I'm going to be completely honest with you all, and some of you may feel offended or uneasy about what I'm going to say, but I am completely comfortable with stating that what happened last night was a spiritual experience for me. When I first listened to their CD, I had similar feelings, too. This is not the type of music that I play in the background; rather, it is the kind of music that I play at full blast with my eyes closed, or while I'm driving and can sing along at the top of my lungs. That is not a figure of speech-- I'm talking about truly singing at the top of my lungs, feeling every word that comes from my mouth and from the speakers. I quote their lyrics quite often in my blog, and perhaps that gets old, but for me, they say what I am feeling, perfectly.
But it's not just the words that they're singing that move me. It's the passion behind them and the complexity of the instruments that carry my soul through every lyric.
There are times that I sing, "And I'll find strength in pain, and I will change my ways; I'll know my name as it's called again. [...] So come out of your cave walking on your hands, and see the world hanging upside down. You can understand dependence when you know the Maker's land. [...] 'Cause I need freedom now, and I need to know how to live my life as it's meant to be."
(Who was I? Who am I now?)
I'm trying to be an authentic person. I'm not perfect, and sometimes the words I use are not perfect. But to be human is to be raw, I think, and that includes raw emotion. That raw emotion is sometimes devoid of "holy" language. This song expresses that for me.
There are other times that I'm singing, "Weep for yourself, my man, you'll never be what is in your heart. Weep, little lion man, you're not as brave as you were at the start. [...] Take all the courage you have left, wasted on fixin' all the problems that you made in your own head. But it was not your fault but mine. And it was your heart on the line. I really fucked it up this time."
Maybe this is only me, but sometimes when I'm praying, I use words like that. That may be wrong of me, but sometimes I really want God to know that I know that I've really fucked it up. This might not be what Mumford meant when they wrote the song, but when it comes to me, this is when I admit that I was wrong, I screwed up; I can't blame God. (I really am sorry if this is offensive.)
Other times I'm singing, "And after the storm, I run and run as the rains come, and I look up. I look up. On my knees and out of luck, I look up. And night has always pushed up day; you must know life to see decay, but I won't rot. I won't rot! Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot. [...] And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears, and love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears. Get over your hill and see what you find there, with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair. And now I cling to what I knew. I saw exactly what was true, but oh no more. That's why I hold, that's why I hold with all I have."
But usually, I'm singing, "Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see. [...] Awake my soul, awake my soul, awake my soul: for you were made to meet your Maker! [...] In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, and where you invest your love, you invest your life."
(My favorite song, live!)
When I'm angry, God is there. When I'm joyous, God is certainly there. I feel God's presence when I listen to Mumford & Sons. When I'm upset, this music helps me to cry out to God rather than my steering wheel. I blogged about music a little while ago, but here are two things I'd like to repost:
"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think and see my life in terms of music."
- Albert Einstein
"Music is an energy field-- which affects and interacts with the human energy fields."
- Unified Field Theory
Okay, so aside from that thinking stuff, can I say again that the concert was phenominal?!
I had a lot of great video footage, but for some reason Blogger isn't uploading it. I tried uploading it to YouTube, instead, but it's taking hours to do so. (literally) I guess most readers skip over that stuff, anyway, so maybe it wouldn't have been worth it, after all.
On an interesting note, two people fainted during the concert, due to the heat. (ridiculous!) Everyone was yelling at Mumford trying to get their attention so the medics could be notified. They eventually were, and they were carried out.
Also, there was a car garage pretty close to the concert, and a ton of people were on the top stories of the garage trying to listen to the bands play. It was kind of cool, actually. It must be an overwhelming feeling to be a part of something that 10,000 people (sold out show) showed up for, and even more standing around the perimeter hoping to hear parts of the performance.
We got home around 2:30 am, and I had to work a 12-hour shift today, so I'm pretty tired. If you read all of that, congratulations! I really do wonder who reads all of the words in-between the beginning and the end.
I hope that you all will have a great weekend. Thank you, Anthony, for the best birthday gift I could have hoped for.