Ryan Thomason

Geek Dad Report: I Have Seen My Last Concert

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I’m not saying this because the Coheed and Cambria concert I recently went to while they were in Salt Lake City blew me away onto some spiritual level that can never be attained, but it was something special for me. I’ll be honest, I’m not a mega fan, I’ve never had anything I dived head first into and never looked back. I will say though, that I consider them my favorite band right now.

The reason I hold this concert experience in such high regard is because of two factors: I got to meet the band beforehand, and I’ve never been to a smaller more intimate concert like this before. The hard part is though, that trying to be in a dark venue with this degenerative eye disease I have is almost overwhelming. Thankfully, I had a good friend there to help me navigate around, but still, it’s frustrating when someone is trying to stamp my hand and I don’t see them. So people think I’m kind of jackass. I will say this though, that meeting your favorite band is one of the weirdest things in the world to do. As we slowly shuffled forward in the very short line of VIPs and Press (which I think we were the only ones) I ran through in my head what I would say to them, that joke that they might think is funny, or just praise.

I did none of that.

When our turn came up to get our stuff signed, and just say hi. I was muted, my capacity to use my voice had been rendered non existent. Xopher told frontman Claudio Sanchez who we were, and Claudio had that big eyed look of realization, because he knew us (well, mostly just Xopher who’s done 99% of our coverage of the band and the comics from them) and then said some stuff I couldn’t understand because I was in a state of semi-shock. Or maybe it was because he smelled of shampoo from a recent shower (his hair was wet and matted down, I know, weird huh?) All I could do was shuffle my press card to the band members to sign and then turn for our group photo.

Once we found our perch to watch the concert from and things started to roll around, I found myself transfixed by the stage, the fog, and the different color hues that shined through from the lighting. The giant fan behind them looked as if it could turn on full speed and blow everything away.

It is very easy for me to “zone out”. Along with my loss of night vision, my peripheral hasn’t fared any better. So when the music started to flow out of the speakers and I found myself locking in on the stage, it nearly cut out everything but the band from my visual spectrum. I would have to say that the only way to describe what it’s like is to take your hands and angle them a little and put them next to your eyes. Notice how you lost a bunch of your side vision? That’s about what it’s like for me all the time right now. Someone could have been standing next to me naked about to dry hump my leg, and even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t have been able to see them.

Immediately though, I had to take out my hearing aids. Even though it’s the top of the line, the pure loudness of the music was making a clicking sound in my ears. As if they were desperately wailing for me to give them a reprieve and shut them off. Thankfully, I’m not totally deaf so I had no problem whatsoever from enjoying the musical aspect as well as the visual of the show. I just had to make sure there were securely in my front pocket.

Even though I had an amazing time at the concert, which was partially a validation of all of the hard work we have been doing at WPR for me. I worked hard to make sure we had press credentials for this concert, did an interview, and a promise of a more accurate review (Interview/Show Review coming very soon) from the website. What I got in return was giving a business partner and mega fan of the band a chance to meet his idols as a way to thank him for giving me a chance to work on this site. Even though two months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what a Coheed or Cambria is, for the first time I took a leap and tried my best to submerse myself into the band and the lore/comic books surrounding the music. I practically listen to all the albums every day at work, and even try to get the deeper meanings of the songs and the story that they tell. It’s incredible what a story can do to you.

Trying to find a concert that could even come close to replicating anything of this experience I had before I eventually go blind (and then get my cyborg eye implants…hey, its possible!) wouldn’t be worth the effort. I doubt I could find a concert that connected to what I’m trying to do with my life and where things are going ever again, so the search to one up this last concert would be a futile attempt. With that, I want to thank Coheed and Cambria for giving me my last concert experience. I had no idea what band it was that would be the one, but I’m glad it was them. It was tremendously personal of an experience for me that I don’t think words can bring to justice. So now, I cross off the #8 thing on my Vision Bucket list, See My Last Concert.

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