This past weekend I went to my first ever Taylor Swift show and it was quite different than anything I’d ever been to before.
An easy critique would be to say she puts on a good show and clearly enjoys what she does, both of those things are obvious within the first few minutes. The unexpected magic, however, came from her audience.
In general, concerts are funny places. Strangers from all over come together for a night to listen to a person or persons that they love. And it doesn’t matter who they are or where life has taken them because once those lights go down, every heart simultaneously escapes into the music, creating one communal heartbeat within the room.
This past Saturday I was sat up high in the Staples Center, with my friends on my left and a boy to my right whom I’d never met. Upon arriving, the boy was very quiet. He sat down between his mother and I and didn’t make a sound during both of the opening acts, not even a clap, and I became curious of who he was and what brought him there that night. But then, as the room went dark and cameras began to flash wildly, he came alive.
From then on, not one lyric went unsung and not one song went without applause. I’d never seen someone so completely free. The whole night was a celebration for him.
At one point during the show Taylor Swift brought Mary J. Blige on stage to sing a song that Taylor explained meant a lot to her. She said she’d heard it at a party and it completely resonated with her and changed her way of thinking. As she told this story and then sang the song, I couldn’t help but realize what a catalyst Mary J. Blige was. She herself already has a substantial fanbase, however having chosen to play that song on that night that Taylor Swift heard it, she was now reaching thousands more people than she may have expected to.
That’s what I love about music. So many artists write songs from their heart, not knowing how or if it will reach the public, but they write them because they have to, because it’s who they are.
Isn’t it amazing, the power we have to spark change, even if we don’t know when we’ll set it alight?
I am an avid hiker, and when I’m on the trail, I make an effort to acknowledge fellow hikers that I pass, whether it be with a simple nod and a smile, or an audible “good morning.” It’s strange in a way, I’m not someone that would usually go out of my way to draw attention to myself, however when I’m out there, I feel like I’m part of such a big family, and as such, I feel the need to spread some kindness along.
Who knows, maybe after I pass them they scoff at my back or roll their eyes, or maybe they smile, feeling like that hello is exactly what they needed. I’ll never know. And I think the same goes for artists like Mary J. Blige and Taylor Swift and millions more out there. We never know how our words or actions are going to change the lives of others, but if they are rooted in kindness and honesty, chances are they’ll be a catalyst for good.
The way I see it, kindness is kind of like the glitter of the world. Once you use it, even if it’s just a little tiny bit, it spreads, everywhere, on seemingly everything, and it tends to linger long after you think it’s gone.