Covid prompts concert cravings

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Art by Rida Shaikh

Music allows a sense of relief to many. Paige Casey said, “Since I’m not the best at being able to express how I’m feeling, being able to listen to artists that know how to do it really helps.”

Rida Shaikh, Reporter

SHS students and staff are looking forward to being able to attend concerts again this year, and the ticket purchasing is happening like rapid fire. 

For sophomores Karly Reger and Jessica Reece, a concert is all they need to get out of the Covid slump.

Sophomores Jessica Reece and Karly Reger are going to attend the Weeknd concert in January of 2022. The tour is his After Hours Tour.

The Canadian pop singer Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, will perform January 30, 2022 at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

“I think the main reason we decided to attend this concert,” Reger said, “is because we both enjoy his music and it’s also something to look forward to throughout the COVID lockdown and receiving a sense of normalcy again.”

Reece said she just started listening to The Weeknd more recently, after his performance at the 2020 Super Bowl, and the radio playing his songs. “I became very entranced by his music,” she said. “I love the energy of his music, I think it’s light and fun but also relatable.”

The Weeknd’s songs are mainly made up of intense heartbreak and loneliness which are ideally made for teen fans who go through the same struggles. Examples of these songs are “Call Out My Name”, “Heartless and “Secrets.

“I can definitely relate to the Weeknd,” Reece said, “especially through his song ‘Save Your Tears.’ It is the first song on my playlist, I love how versatile that song is, I listen to it when I’m stressed, sad or happy and it always gives me a sense of ease and relief. There is nothing better than listening to ‘Save Your Tears’ with the windows rolled down.”

I prefer spending money on experiences rather than items and I believe that a concert is a great way to sustain that.”

— Sophomore Jessica Reece

Junior Paige Casey is also looking forward to attending a concert in the next year. She will be seeing Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) December 18 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in MGK’s hometown of Cleveland

I’ve always liked his music, but more recently I have gotten more into him and I think his concert experience would be really fun to see,” Casey said.

Casey said she loves blasting MGK’s voice through her car and playing it on her phone whenever she gets the chance.

“I love being able to scream all his songs while driving around in my car,” she said. “No matter what type of mood I am in, I’m always able to play some of his music and jam out anywhere,” 

MGK is very emotionally relatable to Casey and has even gone as far as helping her through tough times, she said. 

“MGK is very open in his songs about things he has gone through and stuff he is feeling,” she said. “Being able to openly speak about problems through some type of way is something I’ve always wanted to be able to do, since I’m not the best with being able to express how I’m feeling. Being able to listen to artists that know how to do it really helps.” 

Casey agrees that quarantine has messed up a lot of the mental health of everyone. She has been longing for a very much needed break while still following the Ohio guidelines.

“I’m still extremely nervous about going,” she said. “Even though [the date of] the concert is far away, there will always be a part of me that is cautious. Even though I know I’m safe about COVID, I know there are people that just don’t care….”

This is not Casey’s first concert. She saw Imagine Dragons perform at Blossom Music Center.

“It was a great experience,” she said. “I got super close to the lead singer Dan Reynolds. The image is embedded in my brain because of how cool it was to me. That is a concert I will never forget.”

The Weeknd will not be Reece’s first concert, either. She has been to a total of three concerts in the past: Hannah Montana when she was 4, Big Time Rush and Victoria Justice at age 8 ,and Ariana Grande when she was 14.

“I loved all of them so much,” she said. “I was totally obsessed with Hannah Montana when I was little and at her concert she rode on a motorcycle over the entire crowd which I thought and still think is the coolest thing ever. At Ariana’s concert, I had an amazing time because I knew every word to every song on both herSweetener ‘and ‘Thank U Next’ album,  which makes it way more fun when you can sing along,” Reece said. 

Journalism teacher Polly Dierkens is taking her daughter, Audrey, and Audrey’s best friend and her mom, to see Thomas Rhett at Blossom Music Center August 29. She bought the girls’ tickets as gifts for their 16th and 17th birthdays, which they will celebrate in June and August. 

They saw Rhett in Michigan together two years ago, and Dierkens said they have talked about seeing him again ever since.

“I’m a bigger country music fan than my daughter, but she and her friend really love Thomas Rhett,” Dierkens said. “Our group will all be vaccinated by the end of summer, and it will be outdoors, so I will feel pretty safe. I can’t wait to share a girls’ night with Audrey and our friends, and feel normal again enjoying some great music.”