For the past two nights, I was able to let go at two different shows. Absolutely let go without breaking the law or making a fool of myself. Just being able to do that has been difficult in recent memory, but it looks like the Afghan Whigs and Jealous Sound helped me get out of this box I've been in.
Prior to Sunday night, I had never seen Greg Dulli perform live. Not with the Gutter Twins, the Twilight Singers, or the Afghan Whigs. Thankfully, I was able to see the reformed Whigs (assisted by players from the Twilight Singers) play a magnificent set at the Granada Theater. Playing all of the songs I love by them (especially from Gentlemen, Black Love, and 1966), I was quite a happy camper.
I sang along without a care about who was around me. Dulli's lyrics and singing certainly convey an incredible vulnerability -- hence why people still love him. Even though he sings about a lot of broken relationships (and I've sung along to them while going through one in recent memory), I didn't feel tremendous anger come out of me. Rather, it was relief. Especially during "Faded," with a musical cameo from "Purple Rain" in the outro.
The same kind of relief happened as I watched the Jealous Sound play last night. I saw the band earlier in the year, still trying to come to grips with a broken relationship that had turned incredibly bitter. Watching the band play while a couple who couldn't keep their hands off each other, it was a very vivid experience, especially given how many Jealous Sound songs about people breaking up, whether as friends or lovers.
Last night, there were no goo-goo couples in front of me. Instead, I watched up in front as the four-piece powered through a spot-on set. Not skimping on any beloved song, they sounded like they were playing a 2,000-seat theater instead of a bar. With songs like "Got Friends," "Change You," and "Perfect Timing" seemingly sounding like the soundtrack to the past twelve months of my life, there was a release seeing these songs live.
Thinking about the shows now, I'm extremely relieved to be in a safe, secure, and loving relationship, yet I can still understand the language of these great songs. Makes me thankful for where I'm now instead of wondering about what went wrong in the past.