I've never been sober at a concert before this summer. Here's how it's going.
From that very first meeting, I knew that both my life and my passion for music could only move forward if I could stay sober. I vowed to not let sobriety affect my summer concert life, which last season included fourteen shows at Red Rocks. Last year, most of them ended in tears, fights and blackouts.
But how does one watch a set without a beer in hand? It was all foreign to me. Not drinking at a show was absurd. Wasn't I going to look like a loser?
I was fifty days sober when I got back to Colorado. I went straight from the airport to Red Rocks for a show by Gramatik. My first sober concert.
I had a Red Bull in my hand for the entire three-hour show, but I made it. I still enjoyed myself -- I couldn't wait to go back for more. And my sobriety was no longer terrifying. Hard as hell, yes, but not unattainable.
Concerts without alcohol are a different experience for me. It means focusing on the art of the show rather than my next drink. I am finding that it's easier to lose myself in the music.
This past weekend at Bassnectar, I found myself thinking deeply about the emotions of the songs and how the audience was affected by the different beats and track combinations. I followed the light and graphic show intelligently. Being sober at an EDM show has freed my senses like I would have never imagined.
DJ Lorin played his new song "You and Me" off of his upcoming album Noise and Beauty. I was moved to tears as I thought about the dark world I was leaving behind. I can even tell you some of the lyrics: "Cause it's easy to feel weighed down/And it's easy to blame ourselves/When the sky is filled up with clouds."