In eighth grade math, our teacher was teaching us the difference between mean, median, mode, and range. To provide an example data set, he did a quick survey of the class. After we as a class determined that Maroon 5 is a popularly liked band, he asked us how much we were willing to pay for Maroon 5 concert tickets. As the price of the tickets increased, less people in the class were willing to buy the concert tickets. Now, I’m pretty stingy with my money, and I’ve never been to a live concert before, so I didn’t get the point and dropped out of the bid pretty early. I probably didn’t go over 50RMB, or even 40RMB. I mean yes, live music is nice, but 1) money, and 2) crowds. Wouldn’t I much rather listen to music from the comfort of my room? And what was I gonna do once I met them anyway? Be friends? Nah, I’d just be a fangirl of many. Which I don’t have a problem with, but I wouldn’t pay for it.
Then I went to my first live concert and everything changed.
I had no responsibilities during the summer of 2015, so I bummed around for the first two months in Beijing and then bummed around for the next two months in Seattle. Kevin was in Seattle too, and we hadn’t seen each other in forever even though we’re attending college in the same state (so close yet so far), so we decided to meet up. He asked if I’d be interested in going to a George Ezra concert. I wasn’t familiar with the artist, but I’d never gone to a concert before, it’d be great to go with a friend, tickets were affordable, and I had nothing better to do (or anything to do) that summer, so I said yes!
Do you remember middle school dances? The beginning of middle school was when I’d only just been introduced to pop music, so I hardly knew any of the songs that played at the dances and the dances weren’t any fun. Well, even after I was able to recognize more songs, I still didn’t like middle school dances, but that’s beside the point. Anyways, similarly, I felt like concerts would be a lot more fun and a lot more meaningful if you knew the artist and their songs, though I’ve never been to a concert before so I couldn’t say for sure, but I’d say that that logic was reasonable.
The only song I knew by George Ezra was Budapest (that and Blame It On Me are the songs he’s most known for), so for the week following up to the concert, I studied up. All I listened to was George Ezra. I put the lyrics for all his songs into my Notes app on my iPhone. I’d sing along, and sometimes my dad would join in. His favourite song to make unnecessary comments on was Coat of Armour. There’s a part that goes, “Is she letting you down again? Is she letting you down?” and at the end of every one of those lines, my dad would say, “Yes.” Dad jokes -_-” My favourite George Ezra song is Barcelona. I also love Angry Hill, Breakaway, and Da Vinci Riot Police. The music video for Listen to the Man is rad.
While studying up for the concert, I also found out that George Ezra is only 22!! When you listen to his voice, you wouldn’t think that he’s the age he is, or that he looks the way he looks.
Finally the day came. We met up at Kevin’s house, took the public bus to around Pike Place Market, walked a little further looking for dinner, and finally settled on hot dogs from Dog In The Park. At the park there was some public dance event going on. It looked like a lot of fun! They were teaching dance moves, so even coordination-challenged people like me could follow along. I usually despise dancing, but I was tempted to join in and very well might have if I wasn’t eating a hot dog.
We arrived at the Paramount Theatre and got our seats up in the balcony. The theatre had intricate gold walls and seats with plush red cushions. It was all very proper, which I was a little surprised by, because when I picture concerts, I think of people crowded together, body to body, screaming at the top of their lungs. But maybe that’s just pop concerts. This vibe here feels right for George Ezra I think.
While waiting for the concert to start, I do some last minute cramming and look up George Ezra songs with Kevin. It turns out I know more songs than he does 😛 I told my dad this afterwards and he said, “I think I know more than him too.” Hahhh… Thanks Dad for tolerating me listening to the same songs in the car and in the hotel on repeat for the past week.
Now I know why people pay for live music. When I listened to the official audio of Stand by your Gun for the first time, I didn’t think much of it, but when I heard it live at the concert, it felt completely different and I almost didn’t realize that it was the same song. It might have been my favourite song of the night. Energy never felt so tangible.
Tue Aug 11 2015
(opener: Dylan LeBlanc)
901 Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98101