By Leo Callanen
The crowd buzzes with excitement and alcohol;
Impassive chaperones lean against the bar in the back.
Barricade: X’d out palms pressed against smooth metal,
Barely scraping by the lip of the stage; you can almost touch the towering amp.
The openers went on a half hour ago,
and nobody likes the opening band,
But when the headliner asks the crowd
to make some noise for them,
They’ll cheer anyway.
Static: The electric sound of swarming flies has everyone terrified.
Someone in the stands is head-in-hands with feverish anticipation.
The posters said 9:30, the other shows proved 9:20,
But they usually let the static run for another 4 minutes.
Hands: Bathed in flickering stage light, they clutch cameras,
And reach out once the frontman (debatable) takes the stage. It’s frenzied cheering.
It doesn’t matter where they are, the background, the venue, it fades away.
The one gripping the mic stand could be in a basement of 30 people,
In front of 20,000 packed in a stadium, or they could be God.
Shit: What are they wearing?
What is the fog hiding from us?
(It looks like they’ve got something wrapped around their waist)
A paint pen rattles in their hand and it feels like the whole world
Scrambles, desperately, to get eyes on the dripping letters.
I bet it was you, they nod silently; No one knows what they really mean.
Hearts: The rhythm guitarist so often described as the beating one,
The one bursting with passion and flinging himself across the stage,
How soon you forget that it takes 4 valves to beat.
Colors: Stage lighting, yes, stunningly bright and always blinding,
But every soft green swish of fabric, every affirming twirl,
(The way vintage cream-white sleeves fit them perfectly)
(And the way they blend in and out of the corners of the stage)
It’s impossible to miss–Though it doesn’t steal the spotlight:
They were always the star of the show.
Euphoria: The legion of concert photographers skirt around them from the pit.
You can tell that every indie news blog is going to have a field day with this.
(Tomorrow, 10am, Buzzfeed: …and we’re not okay! (we promise))
You thank God you were born at just the right time to witness this–
As every rhythmic leap of theirs pounds a joyful rattle into your bones.
Their voice is soft and strong and all-encompassing,
And probably everything you ever wanted to hear in 2013.
Their words melt seamlessly into the crowd,
And for another hour, so do you.
And the drive back: Heavy feet tucked behind the seat,
Glassy eyes staring at the venue growing smaller in the distance.
The new shirts that lie crumpled in your lap,
Make all the ringing in your ears worth it.