We are preoccupied; the crowd is throwing disk-shaped glow sticks all around the arena, passing from one section to the next in enthusiastic yelps. The creeping feeling that something is about to happen, the tightening in your stomach is suffocating. With absolutely no warning, a heavy handed bass rattles your bones from the arena floor. You are taken so aback and the suffocating in your stomach moves to your throat. The once-still stage that was teasing you, comes to life at once with bright flames, and a figure holds a torch; the arena fills with primitive guttural screeches, such a sound you believed was neglected long ago as humanity evolved to civilization. Here we are civil no longer, as bodies thrash.
Your heart has been hijacked; what keeps you alive now is the intensity of a single drum that possesses your every moment. The drummer is the puppeteer of your body for the next two hours. You no longer have control; the voice of what would appear to be the shyest and most timid man is your new vessel. He is all powerful and will control every word as your voices and screams become one. You will sing as he sings, you will rap as he raps, you will feel as he feels. You are him, he is you, you are every single person in the room, and every person in the room is you and him all at once…
Lights will blind and hypnotize you, they create cages and a visual interest that you can’t look away from, no matter how bright. Such graphics draw you in like a moth to a lamp. The experience is orgasmic to the pupils, beautiful, moving, emotional, every note there for you to see right in front of you, it’s just enough that you reach out to try and touch it, to feel their warmth and complexity.
A bridge descends from the ceiling; people in the pit become his new ground, his place to stand as we hold up the one who laid our foundation when we truly believed we didn’t have one. His voice was the concrete with small cracks but still supported our feet to keep from slipping into the thoughts we once would free-fall in. He runs through the bridge, we watch him travel and move towards the piano that his fingers graze in such tender touch. You want to be the piano, to be comforted in such gentle intimacy and so close to the vibrations of his voice that lulls you between dimensions.
The scaffolding is brought out; he climbs up, we pray as he does, so that he does not fall, balancing upon such a small platform, and we all hold him with our voice singing back every word. Silence in the music that is so deafening your heart can’t take it. He rips it off, the ski mask that hid away his impurities, and we in turn rip off our own transparent masks and let ourselves stand naked; naked in front of an arena overflowing with other who bear the same scars; we are raw and destroyed, but so happy about it. We attribute such feeling to him, he who converted us back to the untouched atoms that we came to the world as.
The finale is upon us; the energy in the room is so powerful it would be stronger than an atomic bomb. Buzzing and crying, screams and laughter, adrenaline still pumps through us but we are nearing the end of our tanks. One final song, one final promise. “DO YOU STILL HAVE ONE MORE IN YOU LEFT?” but of course we do, so with ever hit of that drum we screech out “YEAH” in response and with every scream we disappear more and more, no longer human, but a force that cannot be destroyed. Legends that have healed many and made a concert experience a whole spiritual, physical, emotional, moral journey in a span of two hours…and yet to this day I’m still stuck in a whole new dimension.