Matty & Lynn during AL4W’s final set ever // Worcester, MA // 12.27.15
If you reblog this picture, feel free to delete this following blog post, unless you read it, but I wanted to share something:
This photo was taken at the final A Loss For Words show at the Palladium this past Friday (12.27.15). There were a lot of strong emotions floating around that day. I don’t believe in miracles all that much, but I believe the universe likes to throw signs at us that are supposed to open our eyes to things we’re too stubborn or cloudy-minded to notice. My friend and I got into a car accident on the ride to the venue. It was both our first accident, and it was a three car pile up. It happened so fast that I barely even remember how it actually happened, but what was miracle-like to me was the outcome. The scenario itself is something I don’t believe. I’ve never heard of an accident like that where all members walked away uninjured. Our car was more or less fine, no one in the accident was severely injured, and we made it to the show only 45 minutes late. Everyone always says, “tell everyone you love you love them, live your life without regrets, you never know what will happen tomorrow.” I walked away, we walked away, that day able to see another day, and with only mere neck strains. Many people aren’t that lucky in an accident. It didn’t click in my head until later on how unreal that really felt.
I had been looking forward to shooting this show for a few months. I heard about the show from a friend of a friend in one of the bands and I was stoked from that moment. Personally, I was never a die-hard AL4W fan like most people in the venue, but they were a great band. They were the first “real” band/show I ever got to shoot as a music photographer, and I loved their records and everything they stand for as musicians and as human beings. Every band in that venue and every visitor was a friend or a fan, and there was just so much love filled within that room. A lot of the bands gave speeches about the music scene AL4W created, and I definitely cried during Vanna’s set, but when AL4W came on everything just made sense. Everything they worked for, everyone they met and became friends with, all the bands they helped make their way, all the fans with hearts they touched, all the opportunities they created for people like me that they don’t even know they opened up.
I have seen so many bands, I have seen so many bands play their hometowns, and I have seen so many bands play farewell shows that gave it their all, but I had never seen something like that. When Lynn came out and sang during the third song (photographed above), it just hit me. It was a precursor to how emotional the set was going to be. Matty gave several speeches regarding how proud he is of the New England music scene, how happy and grateful he is for his band and his career, and most importantly how he wouldn’t be where he is without his friends. For the first time, I felt something real. The words Matty spoke were so sincere and heartfelt that I just started crying (I never cry in public, and I’m not even a sappy person either). Taking the risk to follow his dreams, going beyond what he ever imagined, and the friends he had that pushed him along with the friends he made along the way. I’ve heard so many musicians give this speech, but this was the first time I really believed it and saw it. It really sparked something in me, and the day seemed to tie in together.
For all my life, I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted out of it. What did I want to be, who did I want to be surrounded by, what was going to create happiness. Music has always been the answer for me, but I never made it as a musician (well, being a classical music major on the flute wasn’t exactly getting me into the “scene”). I played around with photography ever since I was about 11, never knowing what I was doing I just knew I loved what I was creating. I got a real DSLR around 14, and I got a Canon 60D around 16. I had friends in the local music scene and we always just shot around and I started taking pictures at their shows. Timehop reminds me daily how awful those pictures were, but it made me so happy. I lost that confidence for a few years when college started getting too much to handle until this year, and I got to shoot Warped Tour and some other great bands. I’m not where I want to be, I’m really nowhere compared to the photographers I look up to or even the photographers in our local scene, but I’m trying to get somewhere. I struggle with a lot of personal problems, a lot. And some days I don’t even know why I woke up, or why the universe allowed me to wake up and see another day. All I know is that getting one good picture at a show, or just in general, makes me feel accomplished. And any time someone says “Wow, you’re really good, you’ve got some talent,” I feel unreal. It’s so small, and I’m nowhere right now, but …
… To tie things up, hearing the things Matty said, seeing the crowd that was there to support his band in their final goodbyes, and the legacy in the music industry that they created showed me I’m capable of what I want, I can do what I want, and I can get to where I want to be. I’m alive for a reason whether or not I can see it yet, and until then the only thing I have to believe is that I’m here to succeed and be happy. The friends, the opportunities, it’ll all come with time and with persistence. Be grateful and stay hopeful. Here’s to better times.