Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Afghan Whigs - Ottobar

This happened.
On my 43rd birthday.
I don't usually celebrate my birthday - or rather our birthday since I'm an identical twin. And, I've never done anything special on New Year's Eve. Luckily, thanks to Melissa, Anne and the rest of The Congregation, I celebrated New Year's Eve in 2012 and my birthday tonight.

It's been an incredible journey, filled with music, running, races and concerts, since Melissa, Anne and I first met each other (along with many other Congos) at The Afghan Whigs reunion concert at The Bowery Ballroom on May 23, 2012.

I'm grateful for social media for connecting me with Melissa and Anne as well as re-connecting me with The Congregation (FYI - The Congregation is a group of individuals who love The Afghan Whigs and all things related to Greg Dulli). I used to be on The Congregation email listserv when I had AOL dial-up in the mid-90's. Ouch. I am really old. Today, The Congregation is on Facebook which makes it easier for us to connect with each other.

While I'm known to live tweet or Instagram a concert or a race, tonight was not the time or place. I did refrain from all iPhone use except for one photo with Melissa and Anne before the show and a photo with Greg after the show.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the audience respected the band's request. Greg politely asked one guy not to use a flash and that was it from my perspective. Of course, I was fortunate to be directly in front of the stage so it was easy to be fully present in the moment.


During most of the shows I attended in 2012, I took at least a few photos or videos to share since amateur photography was encouraged. Tonight, I was grateful for the no photo policy so I had no temptation to take photos. I enjoyed being fully present at this show with no distractions from digital devices. 

Similarly, I used to love to tweet and run. Tweeting while running was a way for me to connect with other runners. It served it's purpose at the time but now I prefer to tweet before and after my run so I can focus on running in the moment and feeling the music while I run. 

While I find the most meaning in music and running while I'm alone, I still race and go to concerts for the camaraderie. For me, concerts and races are all about the stories and the connections. I do hope to write more about my moments and stories. But, it's easier for me to write in 140 characters or less

In the meantime, please read this post by MamaDeakBrooklyn, Boston, Baltimore - Maybe I Should be a Roadie. I'm always inspired by Anne and her willingness to share her thoughts.

Thanks again to Greg Dulli, John Curley, Melissa, Anne and The Congregation for a night filled with music, joy, laughter, inspiration and gratitude.

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