A simple post by a Facebook friend today made me go down the rabbit hole of how much things have changed. They wrote...

“What was your best live concert experience? Who was the artist? When and where was it? Go!”

Concerts. Remember those? A communal experience in a time before the virus when we weren’t afraid to be near each other. Magical nights where you the fan as well as the performing artists drew off the energy and vibe of the crowd. And they yours. Like great sex.

Now we hide away from each other. We all look emotionally blank to each other because our expressions are hidden behind masks. We don’t even know whether to hold a door open for each other anymore.

Concerts were the antithesis of this pandemic. People crowded in together with the purpose of joy. Music so loud you could feel it, not just hear it. Dancing. Spontaneous high fives. Yes, touching. Like humans need to do.

If I were to answer that Facebook question, it might be Billy Idol at the Royal Oak Music Theater, Michigan, June 27, 2001. Stood the entire night, shoulder to shoulder with strangers and dear friends. I never had friends like the ones I had in Michigan. The night was amazing. Billy Idol was at the top of his game. The vibe was so tangible at one point between songs he got a leering smile across his face that I’ll never forget because it was so genuine and said, “What a great f - - - ing crowd!!!”

Or it was the evening at Forest Hills, Queens seeing Cage The Elephant and Beck. Absolute gem of a venue, absolutely perfect night, perfect crowd, peace and love and humanity all around. Amazing performances by two incredible acts. To leave a concert and find your car walking residential streets and not a parking garage is even special.

The camaraderie, the physical closeness, the joy in these massive gatherings. Yes, I remember these things called concerts. Will we ever feel them in the same way again?

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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