Dream Concert – Meghan Zonno
By Meghan Zonno
I am a self-diagnosed concert junkie. I love the feeling of being in a room full of people who are there for the same reason—live music. The energy is high, the adrenaline is rushing, and the happiness felt by all in attendance is contagious. For a few hours, one can forget about all of life’s troubles, all of life’s worries, and feel truly alive. This list was incredibly hard to make. I started with about thirteen different artists/bands I love and had to narrow it down to three. I decided the acts would be (in order) Linkin Park, Green Day, and Queen. All of these bands, to me, are amazing and have influenced many of my other favorite bands that did not make the cut. These groups all also have immense sentimental value. I grew up listening to Queen and Green Day. They were the sounds of my childhood. Also, my favorite concerts are always ones where you can get a little wild in the pit, and these bands definitely have the music and the stage presence to do that.
Linkin Park was one of the first bands that I discovered on my own. I somehow heard the song “Waiting for the End” and googled the lyrics to find out the title and artist. I immediately became a fan. Linkin Park was doing something that ten-year-old me had never heard before; they were mixing rap with rock. I was amazed. This group was one of the bands most influential in helping cultivate my current taste in music. I remember when One More Light came out. I loved the album, even though it was different than their usual sound. The lyrics were hopeful, especially in that of the title track. I had never seen them in concert before, and I thought on this album tour I would be able to get that chance. Unfortunately, Chester Bennington died and the fate of the band is now up in the air. Everyone I know who had the opportunity to see Linkin Park said they were fantastic live and that Mike Shonda and Chester Bennington had such a great dynamic on stage. In my dream concert, Linkin Park is all together again, smiling as the audience screams their lyrics back at them. I can hear their songs in my head right now, and just the thought of seeing them live gives me goosebumps.
Growing up, I remember constantly playing 21st Century Breakdown and American Idiot. They were two of our favorite albums. My brother and I would listen to “Jesus of Suburbia” and “Holiday” on the way to school every morning. We made up a dance to “American Idiot”. We watched the music video for “21 Guns” more times than I can count. It is safe to say that we love Green Day. I was lucky enough to see them on their Revolution Radio tour in 2017 at the Petersen Events Center, and they were phenomenal. Their passion for music could be seen so clearly through their performance, even from as far away as I was. Billie Joe Armstrong is not afraid to lose fans for speaking his mind. He makes his opinion known at all of his shows and says, with more vulgar words, “If you don’t like what I’m saying, leave.” Green Day’s shows are filled with a rebellious energy as the band screams from the stage during “American Idiot” exactly how they feel about the President. Their fire and drive have made them one of the biggest bands in the scene. When I saw them, they brought a fan on stage, had her play the guitar on one of their songs, gave her the guitar, and then told her to stage dive. Ever since then, that has been my dream.
Closing the show would be Queen. In my opinion, the greatest band of all time. Sometimes when I’m sad, I will watch their Live Aid performance, because it is one of the greatest live performances of all time. Their stage presence was easy to see, even from a decades old video that someone put on YouTube. Freddie Mercury gave life to the songs. He left everything out on the stage and every performance he gave his all. When he was diagnosed with AIDs, he went into the studio and worked harder than he ever had before. He wanted to get it all out. That is what I imagine their live show to be like. Playing as if they would never perform again, as if they would never touch another instrument or sing another song. This is it. This is all they can give the world. Every second during their set would be an ethereal experience. I do not think I would recover fully from a night during which I was a part of the claps in “We Will Rock You” and “Radio Ga Ga”, or after witnessing the genius that is “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Imagining the chance to see some of my favorite bands live, even though some have passed away, reminds me of why I love music so much in the first place. It’s knowing that you are going to be alright when you hear “Numb.” It’s remembering that the status quo may not always be the best way when listening to “Minority.” It’s the sheer passion and power behind a song like “Don’t Stop Me Now.” The songs, the musicians, the people there alongside of you: these are the things that make concerts what they are. It is a space of love and of joy, but mostly, it is a place to feel at home.