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Blind Guardian and the Importance of Music in a World Gone Mad

September 21, 2016

I woke up this morning with an urge to write after a night of headbanging and singing like a fool at the Blind Guardian show. The only problem, was that music reviews aren’t my thing. Never have been, probably never will be. After a few moments of reflection, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. This wasn’t supposed to be a music review. At least, not in the conventional sense. What happened last night was something that many who love music understand, but don’t generally reflect on outside venue doors. Last night was living proof that people of all races, backgrounds, and religions, can unite under one banner. I guess if I’m going to expand on this, I need to recap the events of the last week here in the States. Not but a few days after some dickhead terrorist tried to plunge New York and New Jersey back into a constant state of fear, and a Somali toolbox stabbed 10 people in a Minnesota mall, a large group of metal heads descended on the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, Michigan. Among their numbers, were white people, black people, Democrats, Republicans, Heathens, Christians, Atheists, Jews, and even a few Muslims. According to the mainstream media, such a gathering in today’s divisive world would have been cause for concern. Instead, all these people gathered for one common purpose: to share the communal experience of a live music show. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But CJ, that happens every single day.” Yes it does, and that’s exactly the reason I’m writing this. We live in a world that is so filled with hatred and division right now, that it seems almost impossible to believe that goodness still lives in the human heart. And yet, here we were in Pontiac, MI, a group of diverse people sharing in the love of a band that has meant so much to all of us. No anger, no hate, no division, and that, in a nutshell, is why music, and indeed the arts in general, is so important today.

Politicians won’t be our saving grace this time. There will be no JFK who comes out and calms tensions with eloquent speeches that speak to the human heart. If we are going to survive this recent onslaught of hatred and negativity, it is going to come from within ourselves, and music has shown that not only is it possible, but that the chances of success are pretty damn high.

My revelation from last night came when Hansi stood in front of all of us and tasked us with the challenge of carrying on the Guardian tradition of singing The Bard’s song. For a little over three minutes, every voice was heard in unison. No anger, no hate, just the love of music. That’s why we will make it through the darkness that has spread over our beautiful planet. We may all have our differences, but we can always find something to unite behind, even if it’s just three minutes of soul baring singing.

Thank you Pontiac (and Blind Guardian) for reminding me that goodness and humanity is still alive.

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