Concert of a Lifetime
Two weeks ago Ben excitedly tracked down tickets for a music fest held at the University of Utah featuring Imagine Dragons. Tickets were pretty cheap and he loves Imagine Dragons, so we overlooked that it was a music fest featuring other acts we’d never heard of. To be honest, I wasn’t even that eager to go. Yes, it sounded like an awesome activity, but his sister had just had a baby in the neighboring state and I was pleading for us to give up the tickets and make the 5-hour drive to see them, instead.
Very few things can trump seeing a newborn niece, and I’m glad this music fest was one of them.
Ben didn’t look too closely at the tickets when he purchased and didn’t realize until the day before that it was called “Love Loud”; a music fest in support of LGBTQ youth. He had a quick laugh about it, but my reaction was more enthusiastic: I’ve always been one of those Mormons who actually supports the LGBTQ movement. For me, it’s as simple as believing that we all have agency to choose our actions for ourselves, and it’s not my right to take that agency away from anyone or to condemn them for how they use it. Additionally, I would never presume to judge someone on whom or how they choose to love- that’s for them and Heavenly Father to work out. I love love, and think any form of love makes the world a better place.
I have to admit, however, that I was nervous about how Love Loud would portray the Mormon faith. It’s not uncommon in today’s world for lines to be drawn, sides to be taken, and harsh (sometimes true, sometimes untrue) judgements to be made. I love being Mormon and hold my LDS faith close, and I didn’t want it to be vandalized. I was incredibly pleasantly surprised to learn this was a family-friendly event that didn’t serve alcohol, didn’t use swearing in their performances, and special guests even quoted (appropriately) Book of Mormon scriptures and General Conference addresses. The church, itself, even gave a statement of support for the event.
If You Don’t Walk As Most People Do
Dan Reynolds and Tyler Glenn, lead singers for Utah-based rock bands Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees even performed a modern-day version of the LDS Primary Songbook classic “I’ll Walk With You (If you don’t walk as most people do)”, followed by a message of support from the song’s author, Carol Lynn Pearson, who wrote a memoir on her marriage to a homosexual LDS man.
Many of the speakers brought tears to my eyes as their messages confirmed the feelings and assumptions I’d had towards the LGBTQ community. They are bravely reconciling their desires and beliefs, and many have developed strong relationships with Heavenly Father as they lean on Him. It was inspiring, to say the least. I can’t imagine the confusion and pain many LDS LGBTQ people are enduring, and those who addressed us have encouraged me to be brave, supportive, trusting, and loving in my own battles.
The concert itself forced me to confront some ugly truths about myself: I’m not young. Rave music is just loud. I don’t like standing up for hours at a time. I’m not super comfortable dancing in public. My fashion sense is vastly different from the general public. And, even though it makes me uncomfortable, it’s totally fine to cut a crazy long line if the line is performing inefficiently.
The music was great, the speakers were inspiring, the crowd was fun and respectful, and, overall, I loved this unique date night with my husband. Watching him hoop, holler, and jump to Imagine Dragons was worth so much!
The Best Moment of the Entire Concert
Here’s my favorite moment from the concert, when Imagine Dragons frontman and Love Loud orchestrator Dan Reynolds got emotional while performing Demons:
“What’s it all ABOUT???”
“Love, Love, LOVE!”