Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Long Road to Sunday Night

I did something on Sunday that was six years in the making. I finally saw Lifehouse in concert, and it was freaking amazing.

I know going to a concert isn't a big deal to most people. But when you love a band as much as I love Lifehouse, and when you've been trying to see said band in concert for six years, have TWICE had tickets to shows that were ultimately cancelled, and have been a fan for more than 15 years... well, it *is* a big deal.

I remember hearing Hanging by a Moment for the first time in college, and loving it. I loved Jason Wade's gravelly voice. I loved the unique sound of their music. But I think what really made me fall into no-turning-back love with Lifehouse, to the surprise of absolutely no one who knows anything about me, is my association of their music with some of my favorite heart-melting moments on Smallville.

Like this one, which started a years-long obsession with the song Everything:

Or this one, where Lifehouse actually appeared ON THE SHOW and I still cry watching Lana put her head on Clark's chest and the look of complete happiness on Clark's face because he is just so in love with her and SHUT UP I DON'T KNOW WHY IT AFFECTS ME LIKE THIS BUT IT DOES OKAY?

So, back in 2011, when I was living in Connecticut, Lifehouse was scheduled to play an outdoor concert at Old Mine Park, and I was ECSTATIC to score tickets.

But then That Bitch Irene came alone, damaged the venue, and the concert was canceled.

Fast forward through another couple of missed opportunities to 2015. I'm now living in Georgia, and my husband buys tickets to Lifehouse and Nickelback at the Verizon Amphitheater for my birthday. Except two months later, the show is cancelled on account of Chad Kroeger needing vocal surgery.

I was seriously starting to think the universe had it out for me, and it was never going to happen.

But then, 2 years later, on April 21st, 2017, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, and saw this:


Or, you know, something along those lines. At any rate, I texted a screenshot of the tweet to my husband and I'm pretty sure I included a not-so-subtle reminder that my birthday was less than a month away, and an even less subtle hint that these tickets were the ONLY gift I wanted.

He got the hint, guys. My husband surprised me with the tickets for my birthday, and even took care of securing a babysitter for the night. I was beyond psyched.

I was also a nervous wreck. After all, I had a history of getting thisclose to seeing Lifehouse concerts, only to have the universe pull one of these:

I was terrified that my son would get sick, that the show would be cancelled again, that *I* would get sick... I angstily turned over hundreds of imaginary scenarios in my mind.

But then the day came. The weather was beautiful. My son, my husband, and I were all healthy. The babysitter showed up. I left the house with a huge smile on my face.

I was also wearing the Smallville shirt I'd bought specifically for the occasion.

And even though the smile didn't leave my face the entire night, there were two moments in particular when I thought I might just implode and drift off into the air as a euphoric wisp of Gina-shaped smoke.

The first was when Switchfoot's (who took the stage first) front man, Jon Foreman (which, BTW, you freaking rocked, Jon, and you have a brand-new die-hard fan in me) started to play Dare You to Move. I was already psyched, because I love this song. But then.

But then.

This happened:


That voice! Just listen to that voice! How I didn't melt faster than a Popsicle in the sun is nothing short of a miracle. Maybe it's because I was too busy screaming my head off, which you can hear in the video.

I've watched it about a hundred times since.

So, you get the point that I was happy. But my husband started to get restless. Lifehouse didn't take the stage until 9:45, and he had told the babysitter we'd be home by 10:30. She, and he, both had to be at work the next morning. Not only that, we had a 30-minute drive back to our house, and the babysitter had a 30-minute drive home from our house. After only a few songs, he told me we needed to leave.

"I'm not leaving," I said. "Not until I hear Everything."

Of course, I had no idea if they'd actually play it. But I'd waited way too long to be at that concert, and I was not about to go out like that. So I stayed right where I was, and watched Lifehouse perform Halfway Gone.

When the song was over, my husband looked at me and said, "Babe, we REALLY need to go." So I begrudgingly gathered our stuff and started to weave through the crowd.

And just as we reached the sidewalk surrounding the lawn where we'd been seated, Jason Wade asked, "So do you guys want to hear some older Lifehouse?"

I froze in place. He started to play Broken. It's part of my "soundtrack" for Last Year's Mistake, and it's one of my favorites.

My husband dutifully waited for the song to finish. But just as it did, the notes melted into the familiar sounds of another song. THE song.


And then my phone ran out of storage.

I almost died. So I switched to taking a live Instagram video, thinking I'd figure out a way to save it later. (Which I did, via a bootleg recording with my husband's cell phone.) Here is the link:

And with that, my entire life was made, and I skipped out of the concert while singing along to Whatever It Takes. I happy-cried myself to sleep that night.

I can't even explain what it is about Lifehouse's music that makes me so happy, but that's just it - it makes me happy. When you struggle with anxiety and depression, feeling happy can be a challenge. Even in moments when you know you *should* be happy, sometimes you're just not. But on Sunday night?

I felt happier than I have in a very long time.

It might sound dramatic, but hearing those songs that I've loved for so long, it was like a little piece of my soul had found its way home.

 It was a beautiful night that's become a beautiful memory, and I will cherish it forever.

Have you ever felt this way about something? Feel free to share!

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