Live Music and Mosh Pits Minus the Drugs

By pterodaxel 09/04/19

This past Sunday night I got to attend a show featuring South Florida natives New Found Glory. They played one of their famous tour closing dates in their hometown- an event not to be missed.

A favorite of many Pop Punk fans of my generation (both local and abroad), New Found Glory was formed in 1997 in Coral Springs, Florida. As is to be expected, the energy was high and the crowd was ecstatic to see the band so many of them have loved since their formative years. Opening for the band, artists The Early November, Real Friends, and Doll Skin riled the crowd with excitement.

I had promised myself I wouldn’t ruin another good pair of shoes tonight by going in the pit, but as the crowd went wild I couldn’t help myself. I was front and center singing along to some of our favorite tunes such as Head on Collision, Sonny, My Friends Over You, as well as some amazing covers, Let It Go (yes, from Disney’s Frozen, with Jordan in full Elsa gear), Eye of the Tiger, and The Neverending Story. The crowd grew more energy-packed and exuberant. Some concert goers lost their balance only to pick each other back up as everyone let their hearts out singing along to lyrics they loved.

For years, the thought of attending a show without any substances was something unfathomable to me. I love live music and regularly go to concerts, but at many of them I will admit the music was secondary to the high. Experiencing a “newfound” clarity after being clean almost a year and attending shows again, I couldn’t help but think about recovery. When you find yourself in the middle of a mosh pit, it is easy to lose your balance, trip, or fall over. Be it because your mind is too focused on the pure bliss of seeing some of your favorite musicians let it all out onstage, or if you became caught up and bothered by other people having too much energy for you. For me this resembles recovery; sometimes we fall down and rely on support from others to be picked back up and on our feet. Other times we do this for others. Some people end up rubbed the wrong way by the behavior of others—one can only hope they didn’t let it get to them too much before returning to having a good time.

In recovery it is easy to be set off by the behaviors or actions of others, but It is important to not let them affect our stability and sobriety, and always get back on our feet. It is important to forgive, remember everyone else is simply trying to do the best they can with what they have, and have a good time. Finding the positive in every situation is crucial in recovery; similar to letting a fellow concertgoer’s energy ruin your show, you can’t let someone else get in the way of your own well-being and enjoyment.

When New Found Glory played “Head On Collision” and I heard these lyrics, I was reminded of the times where I had disagreements with people since entering recovery. Times I was let down by someone who I had high (or even normal) expectations for. I had to cope with the fact that they made a mistake, express how I felt in a healthy manner, and sometimes consider what I had done in the situation to make it worse.

Slightly bruised and broken

From our head on collision

I've never seen this side of you

Another tragic case of feeling

Bruised and broken

From our head on collision

I've never seen this side of you

Another tragic case

When New Found Glory played another classic, “Sonny,” it was difficult to not apply it to my experience in recovery as well. This song is written about Jordan’s grandfather (nicknamed Sonny), but can definitely be applied to the tragic overdose crisis we are currently living through. It brought to mind the many of us who have lost a loved one to a drug overdose, and those we care about that we are still grieving while they are alive, for they are still suffering in active addiction. Too many of us know what it is like to receive heartbreaking news about someone we love, and to go on with empty chairs at our dinner tables.

I'm sorry

I heard about the bad news today

A crowd of people around you

Telling you it's okay

And everything happens for a reason

When you lose a part of yourself

To somebody you know

It takes a lot to let go

Every breath that you remember

Pictures fade away

But memory's forever

An empty chair at all the tables

And I'll be seein' you when all my days boil down

But it's better where you're goin' anyway

Overall, I was happy to have left the show remembering every moment, every time I lost my balance, almost fell down, and someone else helped me, and when I did the same for others. I am grateful to be experiencing daily life in the same way, and not forgetting a second of it.

In the end, it is important to hold each other up- not just in recovery or in the mosh pit-but in life. It is important to understand the bad and good sides of people, within reason, while still protecting ourselves..

Recovery is a balancing act that is one of the most difficult things anyone could experience, but it is worth the effort. It is also important to enjoy it, do the things you love, and have a good time.

We do recover. We don’t do it to not be happy.


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