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Ever since I saw 5 Seconds of Summer live in seventh grade, I’ve made it my goal to go to a concert every year. There is something so captivating about live music… even my 12-year-old self understood. The way the entire crowd is connected through an overarching love for the performing artist. The energy between the performer and the crowd. The shock factor when you realize that your favorite artist is right there, in the flesh, performing for you. Since then, I’ve kept up my goal of going to a concert a year, seeing artists spanning from Khalid, to The 1975, to Twenty One Pilots. However, this all stopped with COVID-19. My streak was broken. But more importantly, this meant I wasn’t able to return to the concert scene — indefinitely. I wasn’t returning to the places where I felt the most fulfilled. 

As someone who heavily relies on music as a support system, the fact that live music wouldn’t return for an uncertain period of time was heartbreaking. Yet, I held on to the hope that it would return soon. Flash-forward several months, two shots of the vaccine, and many precautions, live music was coming back; my safe place was coming back.

 On October 16, 2021, I saw Dayglow at Paradise Rock Club. My hometown friends got me tickets for my birthday — for which I am still eternally grateful. Can you tell they know me so well? I later found out that the venue was just a 15-minute walk from my dorm. It was heartwarming knowing how close the live music scene is on Boston University’s campus. While the venue doors opened at 6 p.m., the people I went with — my roommate and a few hometown friends — lined up at 4:30 p.m. This was a good decision on our part, as the line soon wrapped around the block. The wait to go to the general admission pit was something I didn’t miss during the height of the pandemic. Upon being let in, we had to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from the last three days. Knowing that most venues were taking this precaution made me feel extremely comfortable, added on to the fact that masks were required during the concert. My friends and I were in the fourth row from the stage, dead center, and the waiting game started again.

The opening act, Hovvdy, would be the first artist I saw live in over two years. They put on a show and their passion for music definitely shined through. They had a humble presence, but I would’ve loved to see them own the stage a little more. After their performance, we were met with the same dreadful wait to see Dayglow. The energy shift right before Dayglow came out on stage gave me whiplash; I completely forgot how electric the energy is in a concert venue. Everyone in the crowd was ecstatic, and I was a part of that. I was a part of this beautiful connection between everyone in the crowd and the performer. Sloan Struble, Dayglow’s real name, was an invigorating performer, dripping with passion for what he does. From playing the cowbell with the largest smile on his face during “Nicknames,” to telling his audience that things will look up soon in “December,” Struble knew exactly how to utilize his authentic stage presence to put on a great show. For my first general admission concert, and my first concert in years, I couldn’t ask for anything better. 

I’m more than happy that the concert scene has returned, I am excited for the future and more moments where I feel fulfilled. I need my little victories back, my consistent reasons to be excited for the future, and my moments where I feel fulfilled to the fullest extent.

Dayglow made me remember what I’ve been missing, and I’m excited to fully take advantage of Boston’s live music scene. As Dayglow says in “Something,” “I’ve waited so long” for concerts to not only return, but feel safe again.

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Ashley (Ash) is a freshman at Boston University, studying Public Relations at the College of Communication and minoring in Environmental Policy and Analysis. In her free time, she loves to curate Spotify playlists, play ukulele and sing along, and be surrounded by nature!
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