Photo from www.backstreets.com
Any kind of music fan knows what it's like to see one of their heroes play to a stadium full of fans. It's fun, but it can also be emotional.
Bruce Springsteen, one of my heroes, began his latest world tour this week on the back of an album that has gone internationally to number 1. On reading some reviews of the first few nights, I came across this blog post of a woman experiencing her first Springsteen show after many years as a fan:
"I experienced anything like the emotions of last night. I had this totally uncontrollable physiological reaction to seeing him, him, play. I wept. Literally. I cried in public. Over and over. I couldn’t stop crying. It was like I couldn’t understand how it was possible that I was in a room (however big) with him. It was the music that overpowered me, but as much it was his presence. His energy, his commitment, and above all–his devotion to the crowd. Gushing out of him and into us and I was crying.
It feels funny to type this now, and I know that some of you will laugh at me, but it didn’t feel funny last night. Because everyone around me, all these crazy awesome rabid fans, didn’t think it was weird at all to see a grown woman crying at a rock&roll song. They knew what it was. People told me their stories, wanted to share their first times with me, as though this shared ecstatic experience was a given. A sacrament.
You think that’s weird?
But then I’m sorry for you.
I’m thinking about faith today, about religion. Not about God–that’s something else again. But the other stuff, the not-God stuff. The community of the faithful. The practice of worship. The rituals we create to surround the things that take us outside ourselves, and at the same time, make us more ourselves. The stuff we share, and what we do with it.
What fascinates me is that this isn’t about a shared object of faith–in this case I’m not even sure what that would be–music?
I’m talking about the feeling created when a charismatic leader somehow channels the energy in a room, draws all the people into a common experience. With powerful words or music or some other form of communication. Indicates to the crowd that there is something greater than the individual."
She concluded that the experience made her feel that the concert was able to:
"Inspire those people to be better versions of themselves, to be more happy, generous, creative, kind.."
Read the full blog post: http://laurelsnyder.com/?p=1609
Have you experience this power of music? What is this experience that many thousands of strangers experience together? Springsteen himself has referred to the 'Church of Rock'n'Roll'... he is a lapsed Catholic, but often speaks about his faith and his Christian belief. Surely inspiring people in this way can only be a positive thing? Who can inspire you to be a better version of yourself?