I’d said right after the concert was done that I would blog about it, so my oldest daughter has been waiting for this post. So I guess I must. It isn’t that I don’t want to write about it. It is just that I have had second thoughts about how much I want to say. Sometimes, writing about a thing can dilute it if we want to use the ideas somewhere else. And there are thoughts I want to express more in my fiction than in my blog.
But there are a few thoughts.
Watching Brandon Flowers up there on stage, I got a big dose of Artist. The feeling that he created, he performed, and is now connecting to people. It’s pretty powerful stuff, and is recieved differently by everyone. We put so much of our own stuff into the words and music we’re listening to. I realized that music, like story, had two sided creation. The artist creates their vision and then the audience experiences it through the vocabulary of their experience. I’ve always loved this aspect of artistic creation. Like one of the lyrics say “I don’t shine if you don’t shine”
Which brings me to an aside. The lyrics of Killers music, written mostly by Brandon, I understand, are very layered. A lot of different meanings can be taken from them. That’s some great writing.
There is only one problem with this. When we, as artists, make that connection with people we’ve never met, there is a lopsided relationship. The reader or listener feels that someone has understood them. And so often, the audience thinks they understand the artist too. They have found a friend. But it is a friend that can never give more than performances. They can’t be true friends to everyone in the audience, no matter how worthy that person might be.
There is one other thing I wonder too. Brandon is Mormon. So are we. The concert was in Salt Lake, where there is a large minority of Mormons. I’ve noticed that his music has drawn from a lot from the well of religion. I wonder if he felt more understood in Utah and if those of us who are LDS get things a little more than others. Even as I wonder this, I berate myself for feeling elitist. True or not, the paragraph above still applies.
Then there is the other side. The downside of it all. The process of art has the deeply unfortunate side effect that it takes us away from our loved ones, even without factoring in performance and stardom. We live so much in our own head, we might find it harder to see how we are affecting our family and friends. This is not just arrogance. It is blindness, a native disability I must strive to overcome. A lot of artists, me very much included, are really introverts. Socially stunted in my youth from a variety of factors, hopefully less so now. Somehow, in me at least, this is part of the chemistry of living in our creativity and recording it in an effort to gain audience. It falls upon me, though, to try harder to give those around me what they need of me. Knowing my weakness is the first step to overcoming it.
I came out of there with a short story idea. Plotting it out, I’m afraid it might be a novel. But some of the elements are better suited for a short story, so I’ll have to rethink some things, as well as plot out the novel because that has great potential.
Yeah. So, wierd reaction to the concert maybe. But not for me, with the stuff that bounces around in my head. I hope your experience was a good as mine.