“Isn’t it wonderful that we’ve got all that good medicine? I think it’s got to be all part of our DNA, this mass communication through music. That’s what it is. It’s got to be, hasn’t it? Music is the one thing that has been consistently there for me. It hasn’t let me down.” – Jimmy Page
Friday the 13th ended very differently than it began. As news started pouring in from France, high spirits and excitement of the approaching weekend soon turned to feelings of sadness, horror, and helplessness. As someone who spends a lot of time at music venues, it is all too easy to identify with those who were at the Bataclan last night. Music exists to bring people joy. To hear of people struck down so senselessly is devastating.
The venue was pretty quite when I entered, but there was a different feel to it. It wasn’t fear, it was more of a sense of solidarity. No doubt everyone’s thoughts were elsewhere, but we were all there to enjoy the thing we love most: music. Opener, Swimm, entered the stage around 9:15pm and opened with a song with a slow build “for Paris.” Swimm’s set was energetic and upbeat, and concert-goers became more at ease.
The main act, The Bright Light Social Hour, took the stage around an hour later. Guitarist Curtis Roush spoke briefly before they started playing and dedicated “every song, every note, for peace and love in Paris.” The crowd hollered in support, and the Austin boys got to it. Prior to last night, I had never seen TBLSH live. Like a sumptuous appetizer, I took in their new album in the week leading up to the show, but their live performance was something else. I can’t quite put my finger on it, and it may have been partly due to the day’s events, but it contained so much more emotion and depth, and had the feeling of home. The atmosphere in Lincoln Hall was so positive and familial, and everyone came together to enjoy the music as one group instead of pockets of groups. The music calmed my nerves, gave me a sense of safety, and I eventually stopped taking pictures to bask in the peacefulness of it all. The guys put on a rockin’ show—there was singing, there was a dance party on the stage, and a “wardrobe malfunction” that left singer/bass guitarist Jack O’Brien and guitar/synth’s Edward Braillif in their skivvies.
Music was truly the medicine everyone needed last night, and Swimm and The Bright Light Social Hour gave us a hefty dose. Last night reminded everyone not to live in fear, because living in fear is not truly living. Instead, be kind to each other, be accepting, and be bold, and be yourself.
For more photos, click here.
Photos and review by Abby Walter