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It’s show time: After long wait, concerts returning
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It’s show time: After long wait, concerts returning

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Well, it’s finally happening: After over a year of dark venues, concerts are finally coming back to Central Virginia.

As someone whose idea of a good time these days is a swaying hammock, a gentle breeze and a good book, I admit it takes a little work to remember back to those days when my idea of fun was a bit . . . louder.

The other day, while cleaning out a coat closet (not, for the record, my idea of good time), I came across an old t-shirt that had fallen behind a stack of long-forgotten boxes. Upon further inspection, I recognized it as a concert t-shirt, one I hadn’t seen in decades. It had apparently been back there for quite a while (did I mention I tend to avoid cleaning out closets?)  but it took only a few seconds for the memories attached to it to come flooding back.

I won’t reveal the tour dates and cities listed on back of the t-shirt, or the three band names emblazoned on the front, but I would be willing to bet that if you happened to be a hard rock music fan in the mid- to late 1990s you would have given your last can of Aquanet to get your hands on those tickets.

For me, the chance to see what had been billed back then as one of the most monumental shows in music history had been a 13th birthday present from my parents, who were surely stretching the bounds of their own parental comfort level to a near-breaking point to even let my sister and I attend.

The concert was held at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, and the seats were on the field — which meant there were no actual seats. This, in turn, meant that two kids could easily slip between the other attendees and make their way to the very front of the stage.

Reader, it was epic.

A few years later, another concert, but this time the seats were higher up where you could see everything. My high school friend and I had been looking forward to seeing the band for months and we were finally there. Even years later I can still remember the stands shaking as thousands of people danced and sang along, and any teenage problems we might have had were momentarily suspended and replaced by the sheer joy of being part of it all.

As I mentioned, I don’t attend too many concerts any more. But as live music finally makes a return to the Commonwealth, I find it thrilling to know that the opportunity will once again be there for those who wish to leave their troubles at the gate and lose themselves for a few hours listening to their favorite songs.

If you happen to already have tickets to see a show this summer, I wish you the most wonderful time.

It’s been a tough year, after all, and I think we’ve all earned the right to finally rock out.

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