I did something really, really foolish. I did something really, really great. And my feet still haven’t touched the ground after it. I’m still arranging things in my head, and it seems that this might still take a while.
Earlier this year I gave money to someone I had never met. Someone I only know through internet. I gave it to him to buy me a ticket, so I would not have to sit all alone in the concert. It would have been impossible to get adjacent places if I had bought mine myself.
Then I reserved a hotel room that had to be paid right away with no possibility for a refund if I could not make it. But it was a cheap room and I really needed it because the concert was going to be late at night so I could not make it back home that day.
A few days ago I bought train tickets to Helsinki. They cost me over 100 euros. At this point I had been told that the tickets exist, but I would really know for sure when I went to the concert place.
On Tuesday afternoon I sat in the train on my way listening songs on my iPod. Soon, really soon I would be hearing this music live. It was a bit too much to understand. Me. On a train to Helsinki. Just to see a band perform live. I had never done anything like this. I had always thought that it was odd that people would travel that far just to see a live performance. I would surely not do anything like that.
Still I was doing it. Had somebody told me this a year ago I would have just laughed. No way! Much less that getting into the concert depended on someone I had never met. And having to take time off from work… oh no, that would be just plain stupid.
I left my backpack in the hotel and left for the concert. I had been text messaging with my friend, so I knew he was on his way. But I also knew that it was not him who had the tickets. But I knew also that he had the phone number of the guy that actually had the tickets in his possession.
So I took a taxi to the icehall, where the concert was going to be. I looked around to see if I was really different from all the others there. I was not. It did not look like a biker’s convention. Sure, there were some long haired men, but no pink hairs sticking in the air. Just normal people. Or clearly that depends on the person looking at that crowd: I found a blog post (in Finnish, so no point in linking it here) that said that 77% of them were angry long bearded men with patches of other bands sewn to their vests, 20% otherwise angry young men and the 3% were their girlfriends. To my eyes the crowd seemed to consist of normal people, not especially angry or even that young. And I was there, too, but I was not anybody’s girlfriend. I even saw some kids there!
So my buddy showed up. He told me that the tickets were on their way and would be there in a few minutes. We decided to go for a beer while waiting. In the bar I noticed that the music really fit what was ahead: they played Judas Priest. Several Judas Priest songs. I was actually going to see them in concert, in just a little time.
So we walked back to the icehall. The tickets had arrived there. I had seen a picture of the man who had them, but I was not sure if I could find him. But I was right, it just took a while before my friend spotted him. And then – finally – the tickets. I finally had the ticket in my hand. It was real. I could get in those doors with this.
So that was just what we did. We went in. They let me in. I had a ticket!
I decided that I would not buy a concert shirt. It looked nice and everything, but I would not really wear it. I wanted to buy one, but 35 euros is really too much for something you know you will not really wear a lot. So I did not buy it. Even though it did look nice. Do you think it could be bought from the net?
I did not even know what the warm up band was. Not that I particularly even cared. So we hung around in the lobby. Surely it would be a while before the real concert started! But suddenly all the people seemed to vanish. Then I noticed that they were closing the curtains. Suddenly it became obvious that the concert was about to start, soon.
We went into the hall. In the dark it was a bit hard to find our places, but eventually we did. At first it seemed that there was a girl sitting besides my friend. That seemed to be really bored. Like this was the last place where to be right now. Only after the concert I heard that she was actually a he, just very young with a long hair.
On my side was a man maybe about my age. And the seats were quite narrow. And he tapped his foot during most of the concert. And my foot was so close to his that I could feel it. Otherwise he just seemed to sit there.
But who cares anyway. I was in the concert now. The music started. Damn, I do not know this song. It must be from the new album, Nostradamus. The one which is not out yet. I hope they do not play too many of those.
Not to worry. There were several songs I did know. Then there were songs that seemed to be old ones by the way the crowd reacted but I just had not heard them. After all, I only “found” this band sometime in the last fall. And they have been making music for several decades. I have not listened to every song they have ever done!
But some songs I did know. Not necessarily my absolute favourites, but I did know them. So I tried to sing along and live the concert. I could not just sit there like I was in a church or something. Like so many others seemed to do near me. Odd. That is not the way to enjoy the concert!
But then it came. The one song I did not even know I was waiting for. I knew it was it right from the start. How many songs are they anyway that start with the drums? Yes, it was Painkiller. Hearing that one live was really, really something. I mean really. I mean there just are no words. That one song was what made it all worth all the effort and money it took me to get there.
And then the music stopped. Damn, it could not have been that long already. But they will surely come back with an encore, won’t they. Just make enough noise and they will come back. Do I hear the motorbike? Yes, I hear it! It’s the motorbike! Woohoo!
Three more songs and then it was over. Always look on the bright side of life… My friend decided to put on the new t-shirt he had bought. Mmmm, nice body…
Ah, excuse me, where was I? Oh, the concert had ended. We were not in any particular hurry to get out. In the end one of the staff said to us that we have to go now, come back tomorrow. Tomorrow? No, we were here just for today. Well, he said, there will be another concert tomorrow. Does not matter, I’m not going to be here for that.
So we get out. After thinking for the last time if I would really need that nice looking t-shirt or not. Again deciding on not. Damn it. My head was spinning. Words still escape me. There is no way I can tell you how I felt. I want to feel it again.
Got into a taxi to get to the city centre. Went to a bar to talk about the concert. Had a really nice evening. Said bye to him at a bus stop at 3 a.m. Went to sleep in my hotel room. Woke up the next morning and took the train home. Still waiting for my feet to hit the ground again.
But for those who do not know what the title of this post means, here is the explanation: Breaking the what? Breaking the what? Breaking the fucking what?