Music and live shows – drug or cure?

It´s 11pm and it´s weird that I am actually sitting here and typing these lines, as I am actually looking for posisble flights from Hamburg to Tallinn to maybe see Apocalyptica play a show there. It would be my 4th show this year of the guys – Hamburg, London, Deichbrand – and maybe Tallinn.

And oddly enough and probably one of the first times during all the past 12 years that I am actively following these guys, I wonder if it´s too much. If I am investing too much – too much time, money, passion, love, emotions. I wonder why seemingly three great shows are not enough for me anymore, why I seemingly always find THE reason why to attend a show.

In Hamburg I went there because it was in Hamburg and I didn´t want to miss out on the anniversary tour, I thought it would be hilarious to miss out on it even though I was not too fond of just hearing Metallica songs. And because I needed the contact, because I needed the music and I needed this time of inner peace during a time where I felt it was hard to find this peace.

In London I was because I wanted to treat myself for having passed my exams for my course, to be able to forget the hassle of the past months and to forget all the application writing that had been awaiting me. When I went to With Full Force festival, where it didn´t come to a show, I went there because my mind was storming, I felt like a loser and could have hardly been more depressed even though I didn´t show it. The storming continued and got worse, and I decided last second to go to Deichbrand festival – because I needed this inner stress to end, because I needed a break from daily life with all its struggles.

Now I know I have a job and will be working, and I tell myself the trip to Tallinn in november would be to “treat myself” whilst I somehow got the feeling it´s more of another time of fleeing from reality because I am scared of what my new job might bring. I claim it´s because Antero Manninen will most likely not be with the band after the tour again, that they might record a new album in 2018 and might not tour and a zillion of other hilarious reasons. I´ve survived this all not just once – Antero had left back in the days, and the guys recorded several new albums during the past years. I am still alive, no doubt. Any damage? Not sure. Hard to judge.

Drug? Addiction?
What kinda makes me think is that everyone is talking about addictions, things they do to “forget the world around them” and over all these years and for many reasons, I´ve been reading a lot about the reasons and signs of different kinds of addictions – internet, phone, TV, alcohol, drugs and and and.
But has anyone ever seriously been considering how music and also live concerts can be a drug (not including this one case that mad eits way into media)? You might not exactly be able to overdose and die, it might not bring you in hospital (unless you drop and fall n a moshpit and get stamped on) and it doesn´t kill necessary organs (if you´re deaf, you can still live, right?). That´s what the “real addictions” as many call them, do. And that´s why internet and TV and phone additions are often just laughed about still, even though it´ more and more getting “popular” and getting more attention.

So, why not music? Not live concerts? When I listen to my fave music, and if I am at a live show, I feel like the world could end tomorrow and I´d die with a smile, because I had a nice time right before. I have no problems, current problems and what the future might bring are irrelevant. It´s just me, right this moment, with this music and this band and nothing else counts. Literally. It´s like getting onto a trip, being high and at some point you fall and crash when everything is back to “normal” – when real life hits, when the show is over, when you have no idea when you get the next “dose” of what makes you feel so light and fearless. This is what we funniley enough call “post concert depression” or similar, it´s nothing uncommon, especially when you had a great time at a show. It´s that circle of: you feel bad, go to the show and feel amazing, feel even crappier than before, want more, spend more money on it, have more problems – and it repeats and repeats and repeats.

That´s the one side of it, let´s call it the “vicious” side of it.

But there is the “cure” side of it – I´ve been struggling with depressions, bad and light, since my teenage years and music has been – how I always felt (if that´s right or not, let´s simply not discuss this here) – the only stable thing and the only thing that I could invest my trust into. No, music is no person, yet it´s always there when you need it. Cds, vinyls, music Dvds, YouTube – you name it. I found myself in lyrics, found my pain, my struggles, my fears, my doubts, my anxieties – I had someone naming them by their bloody name, I had someone seemingly able to relate, knowing how it feels. No matter if it´s been Apocalyptica or any other band that I listen(ed) to. It felt good to be understood somehow, to know someone else was also struggling and fighting against the seemingly same demons as I myself.  It´s a sick attraction that builds up, you feel close to whoever writes these lyrics, sings them, gives them a voice, a tone, a “face”.

I always felt save with music, and also at shows – they are my safe haven, I know I have people around me who just love the music as much as I do, who relate to the music, who might even be in a similar position than me – who knows. I´ve met amazing people thanks to music and live shows, and I wouldn´t want to miss this at all. Because it´s a kind of family – not only the concert venue is like a “home”, but the fans seem like a big bounch of mates, and at times the band feels close, too – especially if they saw you grow up (e.g. I was just 15 years old when I first met Apocalyptica – now I am turning 28).

Music, the music I love, that I have a connection to, is the best medicine for me that doesn´t in return numb me down – it makes me bloody emotional to a point I might break down in tears, but it´s a relief because that then had to come out, it´s released and done and over with it. I always felt better. And all the music in return brings back amazing memories of concerts, of great times – and even those memories give strength, hope and always brought a smile back on my face. How much strength and hope concerts have given me in the past – there is no words to explain this.

An example was the US tour of Apocalyptica back in 2015 – I was at the bottom, I was depressed to an extend that I was hardly able to bear it anymore, was ready to quit my job because of several reasons and simply couldn´t cope anymore. The trip to the US was exhausting – physically, but especially mentally. I´ve been crying a like a baby – not at one show, not at two, not at three, no – at all four of them, Like a baby. During, partially after. And for once I didn´t give the smallest fuck if anyone saw me crying. All the pain that had piled up had to just get out of my system somehow – and music made this possible. It was painful, it was hard work. But it helped. It helped better than any medicine or other therapy could have ever helped me.

And then here we are…it´s about inner peace for me, to make my mind shut up and stop making up problems that are none – and music helps. Temporarily. So I run from one show to another, or at least feel the urge for it. And spend moe money on it than I would have ever imagined – I am close to 40 shows now, add on top of the tickets also traveling, accommodation, and groceries needed extra, fuel money, and and and. It´s a sum of money, whilst I would be out cheap if I would just shut up and take what the doctors would like to prescribe – isn´t it bitter? the easiest and somehow healthiest therapy is the one noone cares about…
I haven´t YET booked my flight and concert ticket…not yet…


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