It’s These Words and Music that Keeps Me Living, Keeps Me Breathing.

In some of my previous entries I’ve discussed my desire to get out and do more, but how there’s some thing or some force holding me back. I’ve discussed my financial situation and it’s not what I would like it to be. I’ve also had a few entries discussing how much certain bands and my experiences at their shows have given me and what that means to me. This particular entry has a nice mix of all of those topics.

The first three weeks of May, 2015 were some of the most memorable, worthwhile, and expensive weeks I’ve had in a very long time. In all seriousness, I spent almost every last cent I had, which to be honest, wasn’t much to begin with. But, I had been putting money aside for this specific cause. I attended multiple concerts in May and each one of them gave so much back to me as far my own personal health goes.

My month quite literally started out with back to back shows from Life of Agony on May 1st and 2nd in their hometown of Brooklyn, NY. As my depression has really taken hold of me over the last few years, Life of Agony’s 1993 masterpiece debut album, River Runs Red, has begun to mean so much more to me. Any time I see Life of Agony, I feel like I’m a part of something. I feel like everyone there is forgetting their problems and uniting to let all of their frustrations out in a positive way. In particular the song “Underground,” which is pretty much about that particular topic. I was privileged and lucky enough to be able to watch the 2nd show from the side of the stage and even got to sing a little bit of “Underground” on the stage with friends. I really don’t know if I can put into words how much a moment like that really meant to me.

There were bands I liked as a pre-teen and into my early teens, but none of them grabbed me quite like Faith No More did the first time I ever heard one of their songs. They were immediately my favorite group, and remain in that spot many years later. They just released their first album in 18 years and are currently on tour for it. I was lucky enough to get a ticket to each of their two (very quickly) sold out shows at Webster Hall in New York City. To say that these shows were flawless is accurate. I’ve spoken to enough people that attended one, or both, of the shows and we’re all in agreement that they were just amazing.

A few days after Faith No More, I ran another 5k race and I set a new personal best time for myself at 28:46.4. That’s almost 30 seconds better than my previous record. Later that night I treated myself to a Moonspell concert in New York City. I hadn’t seen Moonspell perform since 2006 and it was fun to see them again.

Next on my concert going agenda was the one and only Clutch. I’ve seen them over 30 times and I’ve seen them play some interesting and different venues. But on May 19th, I got to see them perform in New York City’s Central Park. Yes, it was as cool of an experience as it sounds like it was. The temperature was just right, it was a nice day, and they performed one of the better sets I’ve seen them do in a very long time. Just like everything else from this month, I could not have asked for more.

I ended my month of concerts by going to Baltimore, Maryland for the first night of the Maryland Deathfest. Death Metal supergroup, Bloodbath played their first ever (official) show in America and I couldn’t miss it. If you’re not familiar with Bloodbath, it’s made up of members of Katatonia, Opeth, and their new singer is the singer of Paradise Lost. And if you know what I listen to, you know why I couldn’t miss seeing this. I didn’t know what to expect as far as their set list went, since there was a new singer I didn’t know how deep into their catalog they would go. I did have hopes of three particular songs being played, and all three were. I’ll say that just like Faith No More, and other than dealing with crowd surfers on top of me too often during the set, this show was also flawless. And, as a bonus, I got to have an exclusive beer made just for the event. Of course, it was called Deathfest Ale.

The month of May for me wasn’t just about the music, although music was foundation of the month. It was also very much about friends. While some people did attend multiple shows with me, I had different people with me almost every time. I feel that some of those friendships became stronger. Also, at these shows I reconnected with someone I hadn’t seen in a few years and now we’re talking pretty regularly. And in Baltimore, I even had the pleasure of seeing a friend that I had not seen in about 19 years. I couldn’t possibly ask for more. If you were a part of these shows with me, I thank you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of these great events that meant something good to me.

However, as all good things must come to an end, my three weeks of “Epic Pure Rock Fury on the Other Side of the River, with a Bloodbath at the End” did come to an end. Thank you for indulging my cheesy line there. A few days after it ended, so did my emotional high from the shows and I started sinking back to my usual feelings. Another reality set in quickly. I am really close to being completely out of money until my next paycheck.

As usual, I don’t think this entry is nearly as good as it could be. But this time, I’m just accepting that and saying it’s because I’m honestly having such a difficult time putting into words how much I did enjoy myself for that three week span. So maybe since I’m having trouble with MY words, I’ll use a few lines from Clutch’s song “Earth Rocker” to sum it up nicely:

“So don’t look to me for answers, because I don’t got-a-one.
I just came to have a good time, and I’m gonna have one.

Yeah, I’ve lost many battles, and even more days.
But if I had to do it over, I would do it just the same!”

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