As a high school and undergraduate student I estimate that I would attend at least two concerts a month. I once thought that I would keep up that pace for most of my adult life. On top of that, I would typically show up early to catch the musicians before their sets and start conversations with them. I used to look at the older folks (people in their mid-20s) as they sat in the balcony at the Troubadour and scornfully think, ‘I’ll never be one of them.’ But by age 21 I was attending far fewer ‘shows’, showing up last-minute and missing openers, and if doing my best to find a comfortable place to sit.
Moving to St Andrews didn’t make it any easier for me to attend concerts frequently and for the most part I haven’t cared to see many bands recently. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in music or the new music scene – I’m probably more adamant a listener now more than ever. I’m also not especially cynical of the crowds at shows, though pretentious hipsters more concerned with how they appear at a concert than taking in the art of others do rub me the wrong way. Maybe I’ve grown up a bit, but I’m not too old to go see musicians whom I really admire. That’s why I am very excited about two upcoming concerts I have already bought my tickets for!
Sufjan Stevens, 16 May 2011, The Sage, Gateshead
While I was at first disappointed that Mr Stevens was not going to make his way to Scotland during his upcoming European tour supporting last year’s record, The Age of Adz (which was my favourite record from 2010), Gateshead is not awfully far and I’m really looking forward to seeing his Adz show in this venue:
I will be joined by several amazing friends (and I hope to make many new friends on the minibus ride from Glasgow to Gateshead), which will make the experience all the more memorable.
6 9 October 2011, The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Much later on down the road (date changed from 6 to 9 October) another one of my favourite bands, Spiritualized, will be playing in Edinburgh, a little closer to my home. This will be my first time seeing them live and I am expecting great things. Queen’s Hall seems like a excellent place to see Spiritualized. It’s not an incredibly large venue (about half the size of the Sage’s main hall), yet it has enough room for the music to create its own environment – at least that’s how I imagine it will go.
This will be even more exciting as it is likely that Spiritualized will be releasing their latest record (the first since 2008’s phenomenal Songs in A & E, one of my favourite records) in the autumn. I’m looking forward to the new tunes, as well as many amazing classics…
Around my standard academic work, the possibility of a more demanding church placement in the near future, and the general meanderings of my own mind, I anticipate at least two amazing gigs in 2011. So who else is going?