Last night I took my 14-year-old daughter to the Bryan Stars Ghost Stories with Ghost Town concert at the Masquerade in Atlanta. I’ve driven by the Masquerade dozens of times, but last night was the first time I went inside.
We arrived early for the VIP session. We’ve done this before for other concerts. You pay for a VIP ticket and it gets you into the venue early to meet the bands (s) and hear them play a song or two. Photos and autograph’s are a must during this time. Last night I finally gave a name to what my role is at these events. Instead of Paparazzi I decided my name is Mamarazzi. It’s fun to follow my daughter as she meets and greets the members of the band and makes friends with the fellow fan girls.
I learned a while ago that these bands do more than make music. They can be a life line for stressed out teens and young adults. I’ve heard from several fans that the music they like and the bands they follow have saved their life. Many of these concert goers have relayed how the music and the band members helped them stop their destructive behaviors, like cutting.
Unfortunately too many parents don’t take the time to understand what music means to their kids. Many parents are too quick to judge the music as the cause for the anxiety and depression teens feel, when in fact the music is what speaks to them and gives them hope.
I am still learning about this phenomenon. Back last winter a fellow mom of a Citadel cadet came to Atlanta for a concert promoted by the organization To Write Love on Her Arms. The mission of to Write Love on Her Arms states:
TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS IS A NON-PROFIT MOVEMENT DEDICATED TO PRESENTING HOPE AND FINDING HELP FOR PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION, ADDICTION, SELF-INJURY, AND SUICIDE. TWLOHA EXISTS TO ENCOURAGE, INFORM, INSPIRE, AND ALSO TO INVEST DIRECTLY INTO TREATMENT AND RECOVERY.
The concert we attended at Center Stage in Atlanta last winter was filled with people of all ages and genders. It was obvious to me that the attendees were there to hear the artists performing, but also to express their appreciation for the care and concern these artist show to their fans.
At the Bryan Stars concert at the Masquerade last night I had the chance to meet Kevin the lead singer of Ghost Town. He told me he encourages his fans to make a new friend at the concert. He agreed when I asked him if he too has heard how music helps fans who are struggling.
I watched the fans light up during the VIP session. Then as we waited outside for the concert to start we met a few fans who had VIP passes but arrived too late. Manny, the drummer for Ghost Town walked by. I asked his if he would say hello to these young women who missed their opportunity for photos. He not only stopped to say hello and take photos with them, he went inside and brought them their signed posters and lanyards. But mostly importantly, he spent time with them, talking.
I have a new admiration for these young artists. They live a very grueling life. They are on the road every day living out of vans and buses, getting sleep in short spurts, and eating on the run. Their fans adore them and they appreciate their base, taking the time to really visit. I’ve seen this happen at other concerts. The members of Late Nite Reading, and Farewell, My Love were the first band members I watched reach out to their fan base, including my daughter. Their YouTube video’s, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts help connect them in a way bands of my day never could. I wrote about them in the post, A Fan Girl’s Mom Says Thanks.
My hope is that more parents will take the time to talk to their kids and learn why they like the music of their favorite bands, instead of making judgements based on the sound or look of a group. It could make a huge difference in the life of their child. To Write Love on Her Arms has a great section of their website for people who would like to learn more about the issues many young people (and older ones too) are struggling with, see this link titled Learn.
To see my photos from the concert click on this link.