Friday, October 9, 2009

In the Beginning, When We Were Winning

So here it is, the Manics concert followup, which I meant to post yesterday but was too tired and still digesting. I'm not going to write a song by song review. Mostly because it would read like an adolescent boy's daily lunchtime conversation about video games; Awesome! Awesomer! So Awesome. For me, there's a deeper connection to the Manic Street Preachers' music than just loving the songs and that's what I want to talk about . . that connection that we make as individuals to certain pieces of art.

Though there are many bands that I love with a passion, there are only a handful that I ever felt, at one time or another in my life, as if they were speaking directly to me. Figuratively, of course. I'm not so far crazy yet that I think the television is talking to me (which actually happens to be the premise behind the first children's story I ever wrote when I was 17, but that's a story for another time). 

The Manics are one of those few bands. There's a collective world view presented in their songs that very much aligns with my own. Issues of class, capitalism, society, emotion, and being on the outside of all of those things looking in, I listen to them and just nod my head, thinking right on. And the fact that they choose to express those opinions in literary ways, endears the music to me even more. 

As I was watching the show, I was thinking about this idea of connection. It occurred to me that the way I felt at that moment was probably similar to way many of the readers who have emailed me about my writing, feel about my books. I mean, I knew that before. But I guess I never felt it. It was quite a wonderful feeling. I'm really appreciative of having such dedicated and unique fans. 

I think sometimes people think that the whole notion of praise or "the love of the crowd" is somehow vanity. Though I suppose it could be, I don't think that's true in a lot of cases. For some, myself included, it's about howling into the world and getting a response that tells you you're not alone. I honestly believe that's what the Manics are about too. They are more than a band with fans. They believe in the we that are the fans. They believe in art as revolution, or at least in its power to change minds. I have to say, I do too.

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