by kateryna gehlhaar
I have been surrounded by music for as long as I can remember.
When I was 3 I used to throw a tantrum if my mom didn’t play the tiger song on repeat in the car
I remember singing Annie at the top of my lungs alongside my sister
My mom raised me on Sound of Music and the Little Mermaid,
But I never really knew the effect that it had on my life till I was in middle school.
I started to go through some of the hardest years of my life,
I was being bullied at school
My parents almost split up
I was a ballerina at the time, yet I was not as good as I had always hoped to be
I was constantly sad, anxious, and felt like I had no control over what was going on around me
I found music
I found songs about the struggles that I was going through
I found mad songs that I would scream to in my room
Sad songs that I would cry to in the shower
Happy songs that I would have the most epic dance parties soon
Music saved me
Took me away from my reality
It was my escape
I was able to find lyrics and melodies that reflected my inner most feelings
I no longer felt alone
There were other people in this world that knew what I was feeling
And they had put them into the most perfect words
Since then music has been my love
I take lyrics to heart
I cry, laugh, and sing as loud as I can to my favorite songs
I let music take me away from the real world
Music changed my life
It taught me that I am never alone
That this will all end in time
Music will forever be my escape
Thank you music
For changing my life
by tess vanek
the Doors opened at 7pm at the Pageant on Friday October 19th.The opening performance was given by a playful Caroline Rose. With a monochromatic red track suit and a stuffed kitten by her side, the young artist interacted with the audience with a fun combination of humor, liberalism and funky music. The band’s set included Everybody’s Making Out, Soul No. 5, and Jeannie Becomes a Mom, for which they recently released a music video. They also performed a cover of Brittany Spear’s Toxic, which the crowd seemed to very much enjoy. Overall, the band was very entertaining and a great fit for the main act, Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise was lively and captivating. The sound was great and the lighting changing effectively set the mood as they carried out their setlist. Songs they performed from their most recent album, How to: Friend, Love, Freefall, included Painkillers, Fever Pitch, Hide and When It Lands. Crowd favorite songs from their previous albums included Cocaine Jesus, Devil Like Me, and First Class. Lead singer Sam Melo was dedicated to his performance throughout the show, maintaining a strong presence on stage with his dance moves and vocals. Each band member was given a spotlight at some point during the concert. Bassist and backing vocalist Charlie Holt gave a brief but touching dedication to the trans community, which qued an emotional response from the audience. After their last song on the setlist, the crowd expectedly demanded an encore to which the band responded with two more songs. The audience gleefully cheered along as the band closed the night. On the whole, the energy was positive and Rainbow Kitten Surprise committed to an enthusiastic performance that did not disappoint.
by caleigh horan
For as long as I can remember, I have absolutely detested the song Dancing Queen by ABBA. This was not without reason, however. One of my earliest memories includes my family singing the song’s beloved chorus to me, but instead of identifying me as the dancing queen, they replaced the lyrics, hailing me as the drama queen. This did not sit well with me, and I often ran out of the room in tears. Little did young Caleigh know that I was actually confirming my status as the very title I feared. This realization would not come until much later on.
Given that ABBA is the most commercially successful pop group on this planet, it has not been easy to avoid this song. Throughout my life, I have found myself going out of my way to remove myself from any social situation, whether it popped up on the radio or at a wedding or a school dance. The gentle teasing associated with the song had caused me to form a deeply rooted hatred for all things ABBA. I thought that college would give me an opportunity to escape this unfortunate childhood memory, but I soon discovered that the song had taken on new life, whether it was played in its original form at a dance or through a trap remix out at a bar. I simply could not escape the throws of the Dancing Queen.
This nationwide fervor for ABBA seemed to come to a climax this summer as the premier of Mama Mia 2 approached, a cinematic event that I felt indifferent towards for obvious reasons. My room mates, aware of my relationship with ABBA, were still dumbfounded that I had never seen the first Mama Mia movie, and insisted we watch it together. I reluctantly gave in to their request, and it was easily one of the best decisions of the summer. All it took was a couple hours of well-choreographed musical numbers in a picturesque location, and I was completely hooked on ABBA. For now, I associated them with the story of Donna Sheridan and her daughter, Sophie. In many ways, I strived to have a “Donna Sheridan summer,” living whimsically and passionately, without the multiple suitors. Something was beginning to change within me. I was starting to enjoy Dancing Queen.
Although my summer was full of freedom and fun, I also did a lot of contemplating. I thought about why the song had bothered me so much throughout my life, and I have come to the conclusion that it’s because the changed lyrics highlight a part of me that I’m not very proud of. In fact, I try to vehemently deny my status of the Drama Queen. Nevertheless, I really am I drama queen in some ways. I am outwardly passionate about everything I do. I love, hard, and I feel everything so deeply. So if that makes me a drama queen, I fully accept the title.
I have spent a great deal of my time in college trying to figure out who I really am, and I think I am finally ready to claim portions of my identity, even if they’re not the most positive. I think we as people spend too much time trying to avoid these truths. I am loud and talk too much sometimes and yes, I have really spastic dance moves. But you will see me every Friday out in the center of the school that has become my home, dancing my heart out as I lead the organization that I have spent so much of my time and energy rebuilding. I reclaim my identity not only the drama queen, but as the dancing queen. I hope in this year, you can reclaim a part of you that you never thought was possible. And don’t forget to dance a little bit too.
BY ANNIE BRYAN