Last year I had 2 main goals for 2013 after spending so much of 2012 being pregnant and running about, traveling for lots of family engagements and spending a lot of our money on the have-tos. Being pregnant meant spending 110% of my time working and living and functioning for a being that was beyond me. I wanted to make sure to do 1 thing that was just for me. Selfish, maybe, but also so incredibly necessary.
So, in June I frantically ticket mastered it up for Macklemore tickets for the final show of his big tour, a show that would be in Seattle. The Seattle-based hip hop artist, ending his tour in Seattle, the home I desperately wanted to get back to? Yes, there was a concert in San Francisco but seeing Macklemore in his home terf, in my home terf was a major priority for me.
I feel like a weirdo fangirl even talking about Macklemore. But maybe those who are not from Chicago, LA, or NY can relate. I am from Seattle. When I was in college (I went to school in the midwest) many people assumed I was a “tree hugger.” That was the term I heard many, many times. All anyone ever knew about Seattle was flannel, grunge, nirvana, and coffee. So many artists who I love rep all of these other major cities, talk about worlds and lives that I have no relation to at all. They are things I can maybe pretend to understand, maybe aspire to, maybe view as a kind of fictional story, but actually relate to? I have never felt like any artist is speaking about my childhood, my neighborhoods, the world I lived in… until Macklemore. The feeling is so empowering and makes me incredibly proud of who I am and where I come from.
And then! It lined up perfectly with our move back to the PNW!! Like Kamel said – I couldn’t have written this story any better. And if this was a movie, no one would even believe this part.
So Claire and I bought hip hop inspired outfits and readied ourselves for the sold out show.
We stayed at the W downtown, had room service beer/hummus/fries as we chatted and got dressed, then wandered down to the bar for sushi and cocktails.
When we got to the venue the opener had been on for about 15 minutes, so we got our seats and peopled watched.
Now then… our seats sucked. We were up in the rafters, all the way at the side of the stage. We could not see the jumbo screens, and we could only see about 75% of the show as it went on due to the giant hanging speakers. At first I had a bit of a panic. I wanted this experience to be AMAZING and I wanted to have this mind blowing experience where I felt connected to the show and the music, I didn’t want to be craning to see the action. I wanted the full meal deal. But… whatever. I was there, at a show many people couldn’t get tickets for, and I was going to rock out as hard as I could.
I thought a lot about the difference that being on the floor at a show like this makes during the concert. As I saw them covered in confetti, time and time again, as I saw the giant balloons drop from the ceiling onto the lucky fans on the floor at the end, as Macklemore crowd surfed into them, as he borrowed a ridic fur coat to perform Thrift Shop from one of the people in the first few rows, as he connected with that specific audience, and rarely looked to his left and right, rarely looked way up in the stands to where the rest of us were I thought about what it means to be in the nosebleeds. I watched all of that as Claire and I were dancing and screaming and clapping and jumping and singing along. I watched it all as the people around us knew all of the words, were on their feet for the entire show, gave each other repeated high fives because of the awesomeness that was happening all around us, and had the exact same view as I did. And I realized something: It is easy to be a fan when you’re on the floor. It’s easy to get swept up in the energy as gold glitter is being sprayed at you and a performer is standing feet from you radiating with energy, bringing you into whatever electric field of awesome he has going on. Even if you’ve never heard a song, even if you’ve only heard the radio versions, it’s easy to feel that strong connection when it’s all happening right in front of you and the full force of the show is raining down upon you.
It’s harder to be a fan where we were sitting. It’s harder to feel connected. But there we were, sweating and fist pumping and yelling and clapping with the immense energy that filled the Key Arena. Where people were fighting back tears when their song came on, where we all yelled with immense pride every time he called out, “Seaaattttlllleeee!!!” Where I did occasionally wish I had worn my glasses so I could see what was happening better. Where we all paid for these tickets, would have gladly paid more if better seats had been available, and when Ryan Lewis did walk over to our side of the arena and lift his arms to us, we lifted ours back because they saw us… I’m certain for that one moment we were seen.
And it was amazing. It was… literally indescribable. I am so proud of Macklemore. I am so proud of Seattle. I am so proud that I stuck to my guns, even though it would have been way easier to just not go, it would have been way easier to see buying tickets in June, when I wasn’t even sure I COULD go, as frivolous and irresponsible. I am so grateful to Kamel who continued to push and push and push that I go to this, even through my second guessing. And so grateful to have shared this with Claire. Another great moment, another great story.
Being a mom has changed me. I have to make a lot of decisions that have nothing to do with the things I want for myself. My resources of time and money and energy are often spent making sure I do right by Gabe. But sometimes, every once in a while, I have to do something that reminds me of who I am without all of those things. The part of me that is not a wife and mother. The part of me that isn’t even really an adult. I have to do the things that remind me of … me. Just the me parts, without all of the other hats. And I have a feeling it is always going to be worth it.