On Saturday, I checked something off of my bucket list. I finally got to see Alison Krauss in concert. It was especially cool because the concert was in my hometown at the amphitheater on the Mississippi River. And you all know how I feel about the Mississippi River.

We had general admission tickets so we got there really early to claim the best seats possible. It was definitely worth it, but it was raining when we got to our seats.  There’s nothing wrong with a little summer rain, and when the rain stopped, there was a gorgeous rainbow.


When Alison came onstage, I couldn’t stop smiling. Her voice is just as beautiful in person as it is on her CD’s. I was so impressed with her and her band that I don’t think I will ever see a performance that tops theirs. Almost every song was beautifully melancholy – which is my personal favorite. I love that her music is sad because, well, there’s something wrong with me and I actually enjoy feeling melancholy sometimes.

I sat there surrounded by my family, listening to the music that has painted every major event in my life. Each song brought a different memory to my view, and I couldn’t help but sing along as feelings from the past washed over me. There I was, in the middle of 3,000 other people – and I was 100% me. I was vulnerable, exposed, and raw.

This experience stands in stark opposition to my first concert experience. I went with my at-the-time boyfriend to see Linkin Park, Korn, Snoop Dogg, and Less Than Jake. I spent weeks planning the perfect outfit for the occasion. I wore black go-go boots and a black and white striped tank top with bear claw cuts exposing hot pink underneath. I temporarily dyed my hair black, wore fish net arm stockings, and made myself a black and hot pink mini skirt.

As you have probably guessed by the fact that the hair dye was temporary and the mini skirt had to be made from a pair of pants, this was not how I usually dressed. But I wanted to look the part. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be the type of person who goes to concerts and gets a contact high when Snoop Dogg comes onstage and the entire arena fills with smoke.

But that’s not who I was – even then. And it’s certainly not who I am now.

I am just a melancholy dreamer with a love for words and quiet music. I like bluegrass no matter how hard I fought it in my youth. And sad songs are my favorite.

Because art doesn’t come from happiness; it comes from pain.

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