So I realized last night why something as simple as going to see a Hanson concert has shifted my life so much. Because it really has. It seemed to single handedly take all the emotional stuff I couldn't figure out and flip it all into perspective, like a sort of greater-consciousness "Oh, I get it!" What I realized is that Hanson's actually changed my life twice: Once in 1997, when I first found them, and again, at the beginning of this month.
They were my first ever favorite band. I had bands I was fond of, up until then, but no one I'd ever say, "Yeah, that's my favorite band." With one album, Hanson showed me the amazing, moving power of great music. The stuff on Middle of Nowhere made me feel so deeply. They were passionate about their music, so I was passionate about it with them. It was the first time I ever dove headfirst into a fandom, without knowing what fandom was or anything. The first time I ever fell in love, it was with Hanson.
Yeah, yeah, it came with a lot of crap from peers, but what's funny is in talking to other Hanson fans, it seems like we were all outcasts before the Hanson phenomenon, and the band spoke to us because of it. Like the song "Weird", it's all about being that person who's alone, that no one gets, "Isn't it strange how we all get a little bit weird sometimes?" All my life, I'd been called "weird" at school, and I took it as a badge of honor but it also meant I didn't have many friends. And here comes this band saying, "It's okay. You're not the only weird one out there." It was like a big, cosmic hug in the form of a song.
Hanson was the band that spurred my real love affair with music. I had never cared so deeply for an album before Middle of Nowhere, and after that, I couldn't get enough. I searched through bands and songs trying to find others that touched me as deeply as Hanson did, and even though I found several I cared about (and still do!), I guess there's nothing like the first time. :)
Recently, I've been feeling somewhat lost. I've felt disjointed and unemotional, I've felt like I'm not able to feel anything deeply anymore. It's been over two years since I broke up with Drew, whom I had committed myself to completely for six years. I found myself getting in relationships and running scared. Scared of being tied down. But most recently, scared that I couldn't feel love. I couldn't even remember what being in love felt like. I'd spent six years in love, and I couldn't even recall the emotion. More than that, I didn't want it. And I think that scared me more than anything. I couldn't tap into love, and in turn, any strong emotion. I felt...kind of lifeless. I didn't really tell anyone because I didn't really know how to describe it. I asked Drew if he wouldn't mind talking to me, just so I could see if maybe being around the only person I'd ever really been in love with would help me connect with those emotions again. The talk helped, more with life stuff in general and realizing that everyone is kind of fucked up in some way. But I still had that hole. I had pretty much given up, thinking, "I'm never going to fall in love again. I just don't have it in me."
I was looking for an answer, but I forgot that when you're looking, you usually find the answer somewhere completely different. I guarantee I wasn't expecting to find it at a Hanson concert. I went because I'd been meaning to see them again since I stopped really paying attention to what they were up to, around 2002-2003. I knew they'd released albums but I hadn't listened to any of them.
So I was not expecting it when they got on that stage and my heart felt like it was bursting, I was falling in love all over again. I fed off their passion for music, which they still have after all this time. They are still putting all the energy they have into this music, and it is intense. There I was, standing in that crowd, looking at my heroes and realizing, "I'm feeling something right now. I'm feeling something powerful right now." And when Zac sang "Go," I felt love. I felt it, strong, aching, in my gut, and I was so surprised and happy and...freaking...emotional that tears just welled out and I didn't bother trying to stop them. All these things I'd been trying to feel, looking for, mourning the loss of, there they were, laid out for me, no questions asked. "Here you are," they said, "Find yourself again."
I can never repay this band for what they've done for me. It's funny to think that they don't even know. But that's why it's such a big deal, that's why you're getting deluged with posts about them. They make me remember what it's like to not be bitter and jaded by the shit life throws at you. They make me remember what it was like before, before I was hurt, when I knew what love was, when I knew how to feel. I guess true love never dies.
"I mean, they don't even know what it is to be a fan. You know, to truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band so much...that it hurts." --Sapphire, "Almost Famous"
Probably x-posted in hanson