Laura Martin knows

music is love.

By - Nov 1st, 2003 02:52 pm
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By Laura Martin

Music is love. Not a very popular David Crosby song, but an excellent summation of what music is to me. Everyone has those bands that they turn to in order to ease the pain of life or to celebrate the joy. For me, CSN&Y is such a band.

A few years back, I left the comfort of my Milwaukee home in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Philadelphia. Born and raised in Milwaukee and the surrounding area, Philadelphia was quite a change for me. Fast cars and faster people gave me a bit of culture shock. I felt lost and a little depressed, and was even playing games with my own mind about how to justify getting out of town as fast as possible.

A few months after my arrival, I saw that CSN&Y was coming to Philly for a reunion tour. I was thrilled. Since I had not been in Philly long, I couldn’t find anyone to go with. That, however, was not going to stop me from experiencing the blissful energy that they emitted.

I hopped in my jeep and drove across town to the First Union Center. A bit scared and crazily excited, I walked up to the ticket line. True to CSN&Y’s message, the feeling in the air was of love and unity. Immediately, my fear vanished as I interacted with people of all ages and walks of life, sharing excitement about experiencing CSN&Y in their first North American tour since 1974. Although members of the group had gone their separate ways, their charisma had stood the test of time.

I found my seat with minutes to spare. As the band came on stage, the audience roared in anticipation of the opening song. Before they even began, you could feel their energy move over the crowd. They sang songs old and new. True to their nature, they sang songs about the political and cultural upheavals of today and years gone by. One of my personal favorites was Stand and Be Counted, which encouraged the eager audience to go out and make a difference. Another new song, Seen Enough, spoke with passion of the disgust one feels about the problems of a society too obsessed with self. They also sang classics like Suite: Judy Blue Eyes and Teach Your Children. The evening proved to be more than I’d even hoped for. Having felt lost in a new city, without a personal compass or a friend to call my own, my energy and commitment to see through the goal of finishing my degree was renewed. My strength was inside me the whole time. The words of these four musicians reminded me of where to look.

I have always been the kind of person that tries to spread the love and joy our universe has to offer. At times, I get discouraged by the hatred and fear I see in some people. After this concert, I was completely recharged and have remained so to this day. There will always be “energy vampires” out there who try to suck you dry, but don’t let them win. Kind words, thoughtful actions, undying acceptance and patient love will always get you farther. Never give up on peace. By the way, if you ever need a friendly reminder that there are many out there who believe in the good, pick out CSN&Y’s Looking Forward. If everyone owned this album and believed in it’s message, the world would be a much better place.

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