On this day exactly ten years ago, I was on my way to what would be a life-changing event for me. I had been to many concerts before (even some Type O Negative shows), but this one was special. I’ve even been lucky enough to hang out backstage at a few, watch sound check at a few, and meet the bands at a few, but this one was special. It wasn’t even because they were my very favorite band at the time. But this one, for me, was strange magic.
“Music is the strongest form of magic”
I got up early in the morning, got my kids off to school, got myself ready, and drove to Birmingham. There, I met up with my friend S, another music fan in the area whom I’d recently gotten to know. We bonded over a shared love of certain bands, our dogs, weird stuff, and tendencies to keep to ourselves.
From there, she drove us to Atlanta, where we planned to spend the day near the venue until showtime. Only, we actually ended up spending the day inside the venue thanks to a connection of hers. This was a good thing, as it had started raining during the day.
We got to meet people, watch sound and lighting set up, watch several sound checks, and (this is very important!) grab two really sweet spots along the guard rail before others started trickling in. I think this must have been the first time since I was a teenager that I actually got to be inside a venue for sound check, and certainly the first time in as many years that I got to be front and center along the security barricade for a major show.
Of course, all the bands were fantastic. Halloween was definitely in the air, as was a full moon. This was one of those shows that only happens to me every now and then – where everything was just perfection, and I’m not talking about just the show itself. I’m talking about the imperceptible (at the time) event that changed me. I know it probably sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. What can I say? This happened at a time when I desperately needed something good to happen. (and this is the show that not only re-ignited my love of live music, but changed my attitude and how I handled my life from there on out.) I was so excited that I wasn’t even tired after getting home at 5 the next morning – yep, there once was a time when I went to another city for a show, and drove directly back home afterwards. I’m not sure I could do that now!
Sadly, The Masquerade is no longer in the building this (and many other awesome shows) took place in. Peter Steele of Type O Negative (RIP!) is no longer with us. I am especially thankful I got to have this experience. I only wish I had taken lots of pics – unfortunately, I was unsure of the band/venue’s photo policy, so I opted not to take any.
If you’ve been lucky enough to experience something similar, what was the show that was magical for you? How did it change you?