Letting a band “Go”

Getting old is incredibly inconvenient.  Physically, your back hurts for no reason.  Mentally, you find yourself responsible for your parents (not the other way around: what a trip!), and eventually you need to decide if you’re going to age with your favourite bands or if you’re going to “let them go.”

Aging with a band requires the discipline of a Drill Sargent,   You continue to go to the shows, buy the albums and follow on social media.  Your worship of them never waivers.  You live in the musical past (for the most part) because the future is too complex.  Too uncertain.  Too hard.  This group gets busy with the challenges of life and eventually squeezes new music out of it.  As we age, we gradually find new ways to see ourselves in the world.  We no longer need new music to see our reflection.  We have children, careers and emerging interests to do it instead.

Embracing the ideology of “letting a band go” means being prepared to stop liking them.  Being prepared to stop defending them: and not holding it against them.  Songwriters age (like the rest of us) and inevitably change their writing style, content and performance tactics as a result of a morphing world-view.   Unless you’re changing on the same trajectory (or one close to it), it can be hard to truly identify with your favourite band as a 21-year-old, on the same level, in your mid-30’s.  This is no ones fault.

I have to let the Foo Fighters “go”.  They’re officially a “Dad Rock” band to me.  The evidence was all over the sold out concert in Edmonton last night.  The lead singer pulled a mega-dad move and played the show in a leg cast (my dad would  never miss a day of work either).  The band pulled John Doe out of the crowd to join them on stage to sing a cover song.  That cover song was by the ultimate “dad rock” band: Rush.  I understand there were local children on stage at some point for some reason or another.  These are all incredibly gracious acts by the Foo Fighters.   A band know as much for their genuineness as their record sales.

Some music lovers age with all their favourite bands.  Some “let go” of them all and integrate a new roster every few years.  Maybe you’re on one end of the spectrum or somewhere in the middle.  There is no right answer.

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