Thursday, May 6, 2010

We're Not Deadheads - Why Are We Doing This?

I've had moments where I've said to myself, "What are we thinking - traveling 2000 miles to see a band?"

This is really over-the-top, kind of Grateful Deadhead-like, frankly.

Then we listened to Our Lady Peace's Spritual Machines the other night and said, "Oh, yeah, traveling 2000 miles to see them really isn't that great a stretch after all."

Our Lady Peace intertwines our entire relationship.  They have been with us through defining moments of our lives, their lives parallel ours to a certain extent (in the sense that we've "grown up" with them - we are around the same age), and their lyrics call to us like nothing else we've ever heard.  Probably like the Beatles did for the generation immediately before ours. 

They are, without question, the most underrated band of all time.  And maybe that's good.  I'd be angry to see "plastic people" going around singing their songs without any concept of the depth to the words.

The music they were playing in our late 20's was hard-core, edgy, a little angry.  But when you dug beneath it, what you saw was uncertainty about life.  Who am I?  What am I seeing around me?  Why are things in life so unfair and is there anything to do besides be angry about it? 

Superman's Dead

I remember distinctly when Husband and I were on a road trip and had just left the strangest dinner of all time - a random steakhouse with an odd, odd, cast of characters around the table.  In our hooting and hollering about the hilarity of it, we totally forgot we were almost out of gas until we got 20 minutes down the highway and the "E" light came on.  We still had an hour to drive that night, we were in the mountains, and according to my Triptik (remember those?), there was only one place to stop for gas between where we were and where we needed to go.  Think Deliverance.  And the one gas station?  Completely boarded up and closed.  I got through it (one of my biggest, most irrational fears has always been running out of gas) by singing Clumsy.  More than once:

When Oldest was born and she wouldn't stop crying for months and months and months, it was so difficult.  I questioned so much about my life and whether I could even be a mother.  I eventually had to find a "happy place" to travel to when I paced the halls with her and she wouldn't stop.  That summer, Gravity was released.  When it got really bad, I would sing "Somewhere Out There" to her over and over, because I was so tired and it was the only song I could think of that lasted more than 30 seconds:

If you ever wonder whether your infant absorbs what they hear from you in their first year, take a look at this picture of Oldest singing Somewhere Out There at 3 years, 2 months, at someone's party with her Daddy.  Don't I wish we had a video of it?  She sang every word, right on tempo, all alone.

Their latest album was released in July 2009.  We drove 2.5 hours to see them in August, after winning a meet and greet contest.  So in August of 2009, on Husband's 8th concert and my 7th concert, we attended a sound check, talked with them afterward, took pictures, then came back for the show a couple of hours later.

That trip changed us, bonded us to each other and them even more than some of the others.  We were so worried that they might be jerks in real life and our image would be ruined!  They weren't.  They were so nice and they could have had 100 people to the sound check.  Guess how many they let in?  6!  We had real conversations with them.  We talked about raising kids.  Husband talked to the guitarist about different songs they both know.  I cried (even though I tried so hard not to - I wanted to maintain my "cool" so badly). 

That trip bonded us to each other because we had the chance to spend 5 hours in the car, alone, going to do one of our favorite things.  No TV, computer, chattering kids (who ARE our other favorite thing, you know).  Just quiet and each other. 

So I imagine when we learned they were doing a Canada-only tour of specialized concerts where they would play 2 nights in a row, do a full album set each night, followed by a regular set, it didn't take much thought to decide we were going.

Because really, if there is any way for us to bond, reconnect and reaffirm our love (besides through the children, of course), it's through our love of this band.  To travel halfway across north america to see them on our anniversary actually isn't that big of a stretch at all. 

The concerts will be my 8th and 9th and Husband's 9th and 10th shows. 

Paper Moon, on the latest album Burn, Burn is exactly why they mean as much as they do to us.  When I listen to the lyrics, it makes me say, "YES!  Doesn't everyone feel this way right now?"  If you listen to only one song embedded in this post, make it this one. 

Music has so much power.  It can heal you in so many ways.  Our Lady Peace does that for us.  They make us realize that all of these complex emotions we feel in life are not only OK, but important for growth.  If we didn't feel them, we'd be just going through the motions like many people in life do and that would not be ok. 
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