I Went to a Concert Last Night and Regret Nothing
Before you pull out your pitchforks and torches and start lecturing me about how selfish and irresponsible I am, hear me out.
You guys know me. You know that I'm always quick to say "it's going to be alright" and offer some words of encouragement, but I need to be frank and speak plainly. That's getting harder and harder to do everyday. Something about social distancing and self-quarantining has brought out the ugliest parts of people's personalities. It's gotten to the point where I'm actually scared to post something on Facebook for fear of the comment section.
Today I asked "Who in the Treasure Valley is still working in their actual office today?" and that led to some hideous, disrespectful comments. I simply wanted to know where our listeners are at, so I can talk to you guys where you're at. There was no need for commentary on a pretty straightforward question.
I shared an article about the release of Black Widow being pulled with three crying face emojis and got lectured about why movie theaters need to close right now. I get that. Believe me I get that. These postponements and cancellations are good things. They'll help us flatten the curve and help give those working in healthcare a fighting chance of not having to prioritize who gets treatment and who doesn't because they're so overrun. However, that's way too long of a conversation to have based off of three emojis. You read into them way too much.
We're still allowed to be sad things like movie premieres, music festivals and restaurants were taken away from us. Why? Because on any other day, those events and gathering places are positive experiences in our lives. Seeing those dates and events on our calendars ultimately drives optimism as they give us something to look forward to. Right now we're being overwhelmed by the amount of negative news coming at us from all angles and I can't speak for you, but it's starting to make me feel pretty hopeless and depressed.
We've been in an unshakeable funk for over two weeks and I need something good...anything good...to help turn my sour attitude around. That something good was the opportunity to see my favorite artist, Matt Nathanson, in concert last night. Once I found out about it, I was optimistic and excited for the first time in a long time. It was good for the soul.
You're still mad that I went to a concert, aren't you? You REALLY want to say something negative right now. Well, chill. I didn't leave my apartment. Matt's one of the artists embracing our new normal and reaching out to fans who need to be pulled out of a dark place. He's been working on his eleventh album in his home studio, where he's had to shelter in place with his wife and daughter for days. He took a break from that to put on a virtual concert for fans via Facebook and Instagram Live.
Between the two feeds, over 6,000 fans tuned in to watch and got to interact with each other in the comment sections of the videos. The comments were so full of gratitude and kindness not just toward Matt for putting the show on, but toward each other. For 37 minutes, I had my faith in humanity restored and my spirits lifted. For 37 minutes, I was actually happy.
Matt's not the only artist reaching out to his fans. John Legend did an hour long "Together at Home" concert where he got Chrissy and their daughter involved. He's challenged his friends Miguel and Charlie Puth to join the "Together at Home" movement and put on their own virtual concerts. Coldplay's Chris Martin and P!nk already have. If you could use a smile, McQ from ExtraMile arena shared this link from Billboard with me today. It's a continuously updated list of online music events happening as we navigate this tough time in history. For your own mental health, it's worth checking out!
I leave you with this. Be good to one another. Be kind to one another. We're all trying to cope right now and there's no need to sit behind a keyboard and preach, criticize and bully over something that not many of us truly, truly understand. Say thank you to those in healthcare. Say thank you to your mail carriers and delivery folks who are bringing you all your online purchases. Say thank you to the grocery store employees who've been through the war this week.