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Concerts After Covid: A Love Letter to Live Music

For someone who was used to being in crowds with thousands of strangers, I never thought there’d be a time where being around more than five people would quite literally be illegal. 

Like a fever dream that I couldn’t seem to wake up from, COVID-19 stole the things that kept us all happy, and for me, those were concerts. We keep saying 2020 was a rough year, and while it was, its isolation dragged on into the early months of 2021. A year and a half is a long time to be separated from the things you love, let alone the one thing you never thought you’d stray from. 

Then again, I never thought I’d be living through a global pandemic at 20 years of age, either. 

As the lights in concert venues shut down on that Friday in March of 2020, something inside of me began to dim as well. Dramatic – I know, but concerts were my lifeline, my mini therapy sessions, the times where everything made sense and all seemed right with the world. 

But enough of the sappiness. The worst is (hopefully) behind us, and for the first time in a while, the future’s looking bright (and a tad expensive). As different shows begin to fill up my calendar and drain out my bank account, I can barely contain my excitement. It fills my entire body up with the utmost joy to be able to say that live music has finally made its way back to Toronto. 

Just a few weeks ago, after 18 sombre months, I had the opportunity to see Madison Beer perform on the opening night of her “Life Support” tour. With masks covering our noses and hearts pounding with excitement, for most of us in the crowd, this was our first show after lockdown that was held at full capacity. A show filled with catharsis, intimacy and trickles of magic, Madison’s performance sewed up the wound that COVID-19 inflicted on my concert-stricken heart. Being apart from the things that make you feel like the most authentic version of yourself is something I hope none of us ever have to endure again.

During Madison’s last song “Everything Happens For A Reason,” already teary-eyed, I looked up at the ceiling and found myself in the midst of a pink-confetti shower. Engulfed in a crowd filled with communal tears of joy, I realized that the moment we had all been desperately searching for since the pandemic began was the one we were all currently in. Screaming in achingly beautiful ways with strangers who instantly become best friends is truly a feeling unmatched. If Madison’s show taught me anything, it’s that, although, the pandemic temporarily took away concerts, the connectivity among fans and artists will always remain untouched. 

From the moment I stepped into the Air Canada Centre at three years of age to watch Avril Lavigne perform, the world of live performance claimed me as its own. The closest thing to magic on this wavering planet is live music. It will always be my first love and will forever have my heart. 

Born and raised in Toronto, Bayli is in her 3rd year of Media Production at Ryerson University. Obsessed with music, live shows and all things pop culture, you can almost always find her at a concert, near the lake or rewatching early 2000s teen dramas!
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