an evolution of identity

musicI used to be WAY into music when I was younger, but now I’m kind of not.

I mean, I still listen to music in the car or whatever … it’s just that my passion for music doesn’t define me like it used to back when I was a teenager.

Over the weekend we went over to Epcot for the Food & Wine Festival and one of the features besides all of the food and drink are the random bands of yesteryear that they bring in to play throughout the month and a half that the festival runs. Even though a lot of the names used to be fairly popular, it’s never really been a big draw for me because it’s no secret when they list Night Ranger – known for their song Sister Christian” in the program, that’s pretty much the only song that the group is known for…

…or at least the only one that anybody remembers anymore, anyways!

Case in point – a few years ago, we happened to be doing Food & Wine when Night Ranger was playing, and although it was kind of neat to be walking by when they were going into the power ballad that is Sister Christian, it’s not like I exactly stopped to take in the rest of their set, either.

So this year when we made an impromptu decision to do Food & Wine on Saturday after spending a few hours at one of the water parks, I picked up a guide book and sure enough, Sister Hazel was performing that night. I’ve always liked Sister Hazel, particularly after seeing them in concert while I was in college, and although they’ve been playing Food & Wine for a while now, I’ve never gotten a chance to see them just because we never seemed to go over during their three-day stretch of the festival.

I thought it might be cool, after having first seeing them live circa 2001 in the thriving metropolis that is Big Rapids, Michigan, but after not even half a dozen songs, I just wasn’t feeling it.

And it was weird because here after all of this time kind of mocking groups that settle on playing theme park gigs because they’re kind of yesterday’s news, here I was actually wishing that they’d just play that one song that they were famous for, too!

You know it’s not good when the singer actually introduces their next song as, “Now we’d like to play you one of our new songs … so if you could not leave and go back to eating and drinking for a while, we’d really appreciate it!” 😯

I hung around in the back for a few songs and we danced a little with the baby, who seemed to be more into the colored lights than the loud music, and then we proceeded on down our path to more desserts and drinks and by the time we had reached the Germany pavilion, the ambient music pretty much drowned out the band that we had left behind, anyways.

And the more I think about it, I guess that’s sort of what’s happened to me and music in the last decade or so, too.

Music used to be my everything – I wore the t-shirts and went to countless rock concerts, I had hundreds of CDs and posters on the walls, and for a while there I was even under the fun, little delusion that I could actually be a rock and roll star myself! But then it slowly started to fade away as I got more into writing, and publishing on the ‘net, and video games made a resurgence in my life, and then I moved to Florida and found me a wife and a family, and now when I look back at those live shows that I used to blow so much money on … I don’t really miss ’em all that much.

Every now and then when I hear that so-and-so artist is coming to town, I think for a moment whether maybe it would be fun and we should get tickets to go, but I just don’t have the drive that I used to, and then I find that tickets are way more expensive than they were back in the day, and frankly there are just so many other ways at this point that I’d rather spend my time and money.

It’s nothing against music, of course. Music served to give me one of my first identities during those teenage years when you’ll stop at nothing just to be you, and to figure out what that is, and for a while there, I was the long-haired, tie-dye wearing hippie guy who had way too many black light posters for the minuscule amount of weed that he realistically smoked and who lived through his guitar and emulating his rock heroes.

Now I’ve moved on and it’s a little weird to revisit that and find that I’m not nearly as into it as I used to be.

Which is strange in its own way when you consider how ridiculously nostalgic I am and you wonder why it doesn’t really carry over to music as much as it did some of the earlier stuff, but that’s another thought train for another day!  8)

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