So in a change to the kind of thing I normally write, this is going to be a bit of a hybrid post, one because I have a gig to write up, but two, said gig involves digging into personal feelings. Probably for the best that I'm also writing this late at night with the lights down low and in that whole headspace.
So, the gig in question is Madina Lake, who came over to the UK to fulfil their gig commitments without Matthew (read the background here). When I heard what happened to him, I happened to be at work, and I spent the entire day with tears in my eyes, hardly able to talk to anyone and feeling like I was holding my breath. I didn't know the band all that well, never met them personally and my only experience of them really was the gig back in April where I thought they were all totally crazy monkeys jumping all over the stage. Pretty strange then that I should find myself crying big fat tears in the toilet and spending every quiet moment wishing and hoping to I don't know who that Matthew would pull through. When I read that same evening that he was awake, I could hardly believe it. I think some of my friends think I'm crazy, but hey, you can't help how you feel and this just got to me like nothing else.
When the guys said they were still coming over without Matthew to play all their shows, I was pretty surprised, but having been to the gig at the Barfly on Wednesday evening, I can sort of see that they felt it was the right thing to do. With an audience of just 200 people, the atmosphere was supercharged, and from my point of view, if Nathan, Mateo and Dan could come out onto that stage and give it everything they had, then I could do the same from the audience, because this show was about us showing support for them and for Matthew. For about the hundredth time in a month, Nathan's words brought tears to my eyes as he kept saying that we were their family, and listening to him, I really believe that's how he feels, no matter what any of the cynical people I know might say.
I have no idea how Nathan manages to sing while the audience is holding him up and stroking him, his newly shaved head was getting rather a lot of attention. I knew all of the songs this time around (my enjoyment of gigs seems to be determined by how many songs I can sing along to) and I absolutely let rip singing and dancing...not bad to say I'm way past being a teenager...although why I got ID'd at an over 14's gig when I'm old enough to be the parent of a 14 year old...gah!!! I'm supposed to be thankful or some such nonsense that I look young? I was obviously old enough to be holding the gin and soda in my hand. At least it gave a few people a laugh :-)
I was hoping to meet the guys after the gig, but sadly, we hung around for as long as we could and they still hadn't come out - to be honest, I just want to put my arms round each of them. What's become clear to me is that these guys are really, really nice, decent guys. So, however quietly I support them, whether any of them realise it or not, the support will be there for life, that's just the way I work.
So for me, this gig has beaten all others I've been to in my lifetime. It was emotional, and personal and intimate. I think the only thing that's going to top this gig for me is the one where we have Matthew back, and that's a gig I can hardly wait for.