On Monday in Fox Theater, Chris helped me find a spot behind the railing on the floor. I was happy, watching the band up close, but not too close. I recognized the large golden “foxes” on either side of the stage. A human really with lights that glowed green with a black pupil and a colored jewel.
On stage, the Joy Formidable banner went down and a Passion Pit banner went up in its place. While waiting between sets, I looked up behind me.
Then I remembered. I remember the last rows. I remember watching New Order. I remember watching another band that I had so-so feelings about. I remember all of this as I was wretched in emotional turmoil. I remember wanting to desperately be on the ground floor in general admission. I remember why I had hesitation. And most importantly, I remember how much I desperately wanted to be somewhere else in the darkness as the booming music floated from the stage into the last rows in the balcony, the furthest seat that you could possibly have.
That flashed over me as the lights went down and the lead singer Passion Pit appeared on stage. And even then, every song evoked a memory. The last two years of confusion and strife. I love the music of Passion Pit. On the surface, it’s happy pop. It’s a reminder of how to be fun, after all two tracks appeared in the happy LittleBigPlanet game that I was obsessed with during the recession (I wouldn’t leave for days). It had hope for me. Then when their second album came out, I listened to a few tracks over and over again over Spotify and in the car. I could quote their lyrics now—like the one where a voice declares how happy he is but underneath all the pain is just bubbling to the surface. I can quote the jazzy croon that evokes images of glances exchanged and words unsaid. All of this.
But there I stood near the stage the balloons batted by concertgoers, shifting from foot to foot trying to kill the numbness of standing in the same place, bobbing my head. In the darkness lit up by colored lights, I smiled.