Friday, 6 June 2014
I tend to add a 'but' to everything I do, always questioning whether whatever it was was good enough, perpetually in search of something just a teeny little bit better, closer to perfection.
Wednesday was just that: perfection. After class a friend and I went to the beach to tan, with the light rays warming up the sweet lingering smell of coconut in my suntan lotion. There was a slight breeze, just enough to keep us cool as we were sautéing ourselves in the sun, and the faint clinginess of salt water on our skin felt like being on vacation without it being holiday time. We were unhurried, unstressed, not worrying about echoes of anxiety that seem to catch me at unguarded moments.
Then four of us roadtripped to Hamburg, as we were attending different concerts there. Nele and I headed to The National playing in the Stadtpark Freilichtbühne, which is an open air stage in an enormous park. Since my last years at school The National have been a musical emotional support system. Whenever not so happy times arose, I'd play Fake Empire, and as they released new albums Runaway and Fireproof joined the top 25 songs that my iPod plays. Their music to me is representative of the melancholy, awkward darkness that we all fall prey to at times and wallow in slightly, but which we then overcome after a glass of wine with friends or a good nights sleep.
It is hard to say why this concert was so wonderful. They are not a band where you dance excessively and they don't have an impressive light show or background visuals. Nonetheless, Nele and I were smiling the whole way through. There is something in the songs that pulls you along, that makes you swing slowly from side to side, that talks to you more than bigger, louder, dancier tracks do. The best moment was the final one: throughout the day the heavens had darkened, with heavy rain clouds rolling in over the venue. Not until the last last song did it start to rain ever so softly though: the band had come to the absolute front of the stage and sung a heartfelt stripped-down rendering of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks as the crown chanted along and the droplets hung as if momentarily frozen in the air.