By: Sarah Espiritu
Picture this: the lights are low, the crowd is wild, and your favorite band is about to walk on stage. From the very first strum of that guitar or beat that drops–every bit of your soul is captivated by this one Music Genius. Who is it that you imagine? Whether it be a band inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame such as U2 (2005) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (2012), the indie and folk sounds of Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons, or even a modern day boy band such as One Direction (you can’t deny you somehow know the words to their songs!), music can just take you to another place and be your great escape.
The first time music made me feel alive was at my first concert. [I don’t count the time I saw NSYNC play before the Pro Bowl in Hawaii in 1999. For me that infatuation is not quite the feeling I'm describing, although for other fans it may be the same. Regardless, still amazing!!] In the early summer of 2008, National Product, a band based out of Huntington Beach, played a national tour, with a final stop in my home state: Hawaii. I was ecstatic. This band had members originally from the beautiful island of Oahu (represent!) who took the chance to pursue their dreams in California. Though at the time of their tour they may not have been on MTV or won any Grammy’s, they still had a serious fan base all over the US and Japan. I, personally, held them on a pedestal as my favorite band, and their album Luna, was constantly on repeat. Their music made me feel alive for what felt like the first time, and their concert did not disappoint. From the very moment they stepped on stage until their final encore, I felt a high like no other.
Music can feed the soul, comfort the broken, break down inhibition, and enlighten the mind. Whether your genre is Country, Metal, Pop, Hip Hop, Trance, or if you’re like me and have a wide range of musical tastes, that feeling of being alive or being connected to the music- is real. Additionally, for me, despite your genre or artist preference, few songs/albums/artists are as powerful as those who sing, write, and compose their own music (like National Product or the sister duo Aly & AJ or Gavin Degraw…the list goes on). Since my teens, my friends and I would have jam sessions or perform for benefit concerts around the island, combing various musical talents and infinite creativity. Nothing beat the sensation, that feeling of being truly alive, that comes from pouring out emotion in song, on stage, or just with a group of friends.
As Shakespeare once said, “If music be the food of love… play on.”
As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
As Maya Angelou said, “Music was my refuge.”
As Bono said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.”
As I said, “Music can make you feel alive.”
So, what music makes YOU feel alive?