Music fanatics explore world of shows, performances

By Julie Potrykus and Amelia Kurk


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Bright lights beckon the crowd. The entire area silences before the noise erupts. Then everything amplifies. The screams. The writhing dances. The chaotic energy of being there. With these people. With this band. With this energy. Lost in the music of this moment.

Despite the distance or the cost, that magic of a concert captivates people to immerse themselves in the concert scene.

“I absolutely love the energy,” said sophomore Scout Hartlage, who enjoys concerts featuring artists such as  One Direction and 5 Seconds Of Summer, said. “There is nothing in the world like the feeling you get when the artist or band is about to come on stage. When you take a moment to look around at  all the people, it just makes you happy. We all love this band or person, and we’re all here jamming out together.”

The dynamic pull inspires music listeners to embrace the concert scene, which includes music festivals like the famed Austin City Limits (ACL) festival featuring more than 130 artists.

“If you go to something like ACL, it’s definitely not intimate,” senior Taran Stupka said. “It’s very crowded and a lot of people. It’s hectic, but in a good way. It exhausts you physically so much, but it’s entirely worth it. The experience is what you go for.”

The  tantalizing invigoration caused by the atmosphere enthralls the audience to return.

“I try and go to as many concerts as I can,” senior Ethan Desai said. “I definitely take every advantage I can because I don’t think anything beats live music. I like the ambiance and all the lights and everybody enjoying the same thing. It’s so much more alive than the studio version of anything.”

The heavy breaths and voice breaks from feelings that are edited out for the radio are on full display at concerts where both the performances and the artists visit this raw atmosphere of emotional truth that resonates in the venues.

“I remember going there and being blown away by the performance because it had so much energy,” senior Bailey Payne said on attending the Warped Tour. “There is something about that that is almost a break from reality. I think of that as the reason why people go to concerts instead of listening to their MP3 all day.”

Stupka shares the same enthusiasm about the intensity and emotion a concert provides for both the audience and the performers.

“Seeing someone live either confirms how much you like them or makes you like them more because you see them as a person as well,” Stupka said. “When they are performing, they make little comments and say stuff about how they appreciate their fans. You can tell when they really like a song.”

Performers such as sophomore Courtnie Ramirez try to invoke that connection when sharing her Christian and blues-like music. Ramirez, who started singing on stage when she was 5 years old, will soon be singing in several music festivals and has plans to record her first EP.

“I’m just trying to get my music out there,” Ramirez said. “Singing is everything to me. It’s been there for me through the thick and thin times and has impacted my life so much.”
That appreciation these performers have for their gifts infuse in their music to create something unique and worthy to share their experiences and emotions.

“When I’m writing songs, I end up just tying together elements of what’s happening to me and the music becomes a combination of that,” sophomore psychedelic pop artist Samuel Moore said. “I guess it’s less of how the music makes me feel and more of how I can express to the world what I’m feeling.”

Both Moore and Ramirez say that music, in one form or another, will be an important part of their lives forever because it’s what brings meaning to them. Even if music careers don’t come immediately, they will continue pursuing the art that has changed their lives.

“Music is less of a career and more of a life,” Moore said. “It’s kind of a hobby, but it’s more of a hobby of pain—one that’s frustrating and makes me really annoyed, but it’s so beautiful when I’m done with it that it’s all worth it.”