At 52 there are a lot of things I am too old to do/be.

Among them:

  • Professional Soccer Player
  • Nude figure model
  • Cub Scout
  • MMA Fighter
  • Any other kind of fighter
  • Break Dancer

One of the things I am not too old to do is go to see live music and neither are you

Ever since the first rock band I ever saw, The legendary Ian Hunter(with Mick Ronson no less) in 1980 I was hooked.  I am a music obsessive and for me, the best way to consume music is live.

I used to run with a pack of guys, great guys that I am still close to today and we saw everybody.  In clubs , in arenas, at festivals you name it.  We saw as much as we could.  We did it for years through our twenties and into our thirties and like everyone else, gradually and grudgingly we all grew up.  We all got older and went kicking and screaming into adult responsibilities.  From time to time I get these chaps out to see shows, but it is rare indeed.  It’s hard to be out on a school night.

My neighbors by and large are a bit younger than I am, but I cant get bites there either, add to that being the parent to a soon to be 10 year old, and it gets hard to find show going companions,  so most often I go out to shows alone and quite often, but not always, I am the oldest guy there and I don’t care in the least.

I get it, it’s hard for people my age to go out to shows, especially when the act on the stage is one maybe they haven’t heard of.   I do the homework, I look for the bands on streaming services, I look at the websites, the YouTube videos, the social media sites.  I get an idea of what the group is about before I decide to go.  I do my homework.  I am lucky I get the chance to do that, and I get it that my peers don’t and in some cases, the whole delivery model of music  these days  baffles them.  There is so much, you have to hunt for quality.

I never felt like I was too old to go to shows but sometimes it IS awkward.  My city, Syracuse,  being a bit of a shitty music town sometimes,   results in me sometimes being at shows with embarrassing turn out for acts that sell well in other cities.

One tends to stick out at shows like that, being  alone, and older, it’s hard to blend into an audience that isn’t there, but it all works out.  I see some great stuff that others, maybe YOU miss.

Honest to god, if you’re a music lover in this town you can’t say there isn’t SOMETHING that would make you move.  You’re just not trying hard enough.

I do worry though,  if we keep having touring acts playing to empty rooms that the word will get out, and there will be fewer shows.  But enough about that …at least until the next time I’m in an audience that numbers in the teens.

They say that music means less to you as you get older, that has not been my experience.

It means more, especially these days.

It doesn’t mean the same as it used to, how could it?  I’m not 16 anymore, I am not full of teen angst and a need to foster rebellion.  As a former punk rock kid I feel like what is punk these days is different  than punk in those days, yes, in “my day”  (there goes grandpa again”)  but really that music is not made for me anymore and that’s fine, I still have my Clash records.

Music means a great deal to me, and as I find myself at a time in history with such incredible ugliness given license by our leaders and here in the States, by almost half of our countrymen, Art in general means more to me than ever.

I came to a conclusion that I wasn’t quite ready for the easy chair, not full time anyway.  That I needed to seek out what makes me happy, what elevates my soul.  That might be art, that might be cinema and it might be live music.  My mind is way to hungry to pass this stuff up.

I know sooner than later in the grand scheme of things, I will not be as able to go do all this and see all this.  We only have today and I’m just not ready to cash in today for a a break on tomorrow.

I have learned a lot in my travels.

I’ve learned that as long as there is authenticity, as long as there is heart, there is no such thing as bad music.  If a performer is  not resonating with me, it may resonate with you.  You don’t know unless you listen.

I find myself being more discerning, but less exclusive.

Let me explain that, just because someone’s music doesn’t move me, that doesn’t mean it “sucks”  in fact, even the stuff I used to think “sucks” turns out to have been either stuff that just never resonated with me, or stuff I was just not in the right place personally to have appreciated.  Either way, my ears are more open than ever and I think that comes with age.  Music means a great deal to me and there is plenty to keep me busy.

I wish I had learned that lesson sooner.  With closed eyes and ears you miss so much.

I do have my favorites, of course, the older I get the more Reggae music I find myself listening to.

I still love loud fast, three chords (if you’re lucky) rock ‘n’ roll, punk, power-pop.

I listen to a fair amount of Jazz.

I even like the odd pop gem these days, an ear worm is an ear worm.

Most of all I love a new discovery.  This year, in fact I discovered some music that has been exactly what I needed for reasons musical and maybe even at a higher level.

But no, I do not think I’m too old for this despite what I have been told from time to time.

If you see me at shows, I hope you don’t think so either,  if you do, that’s fine, I don’t care.  I’m still going and I truly believe  that the best music is played live and in small venues.

I’ll be close to the front.




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