Anticipation and Arrival
Everyone who regularly goes to see live bands is familiar with waiting in line. That buzz of anticipation comes from getting there too early, nervous about parking but excited to get a spot by the barrier. When you reach the front, they check ID before tickets, emphasizing liquor laws over the band you’re there to see.
The Straight Edge Choice
All my friends eagerly whip out their IDs, while I offer my hand for an X. Inside, the floor is sticky, and the air smells of beer. I hold our place in the front as everyone grabs their drinks. The band starts playing, and the atmosphere buzzes with enjoyment. I immerse myself in the music and companionship, ignoring the stickiness of my sneakers. But then, the scent of weed mingles in the air, and beer spills from the guy next to me. We end up leaving early due to a friend drinking too much.
The Challenges of Concert-Going
I’ve left my central spot at great shows more times than I’d like due to the consequences of alcohol. Despite the spills and smells, my passion for moshing remains undiminished. There’s an unmatched allure in attending edge bands or artists’ shows.
A Different Experience at Edge Shows
The last edge band concert I attended was different. A girl in line X’d my hands for quicker entry. I befriended guys who were protective in the pit, and free water was given out instead of shots. No one vomited, and the floors weren’t sticky. I stayed and enjoyed the entire show.
Camaraderie and Mutual Respect
Edge shows exude an indescribable camaraderie and mutual respect. Like all music enthusiasts, I feel that music unites people. At concerts, I’m always struck by the thought that everyone shares a love for the band. This commonality is special to me.
The Straight Edge Connection
Attending an edge band concert offers two commonalities: a shared love for the music and mutual sobriety. For those who feel isolated by sobriety, these concerts offer a quick antidote.
The Essence of Straight Edge
At its heart, straight edge revolves around music, acceptance, and clean living. The place where I feel most at ease and peaceful is among a crowd, screaming with hundreds of strangers. There’s a safety and excitement unique to these shows, free from the anxieties of typical concert-going. This sense of community, mutual respect, and unspoken energy is indescribable.
The Power of Music and Community
The straight edge community has profoundly impacted my life in ways I never imagined. But ultimately, it’s the music that unites us all.
When you go to see an edge band you have two things in common, mutual love of that music and mutual sobriety. If you’ve ever felt isolated by being sober it is the quickest way to get over it.
At its core, straight edge is about music, acceptance and living clean. So, it only seems natural that the place I feel most comfortable and at peace is screaming with a couple hundred strangers. There is an incredibly safe feeling that I get knowing that I’m actually excited to see the show and not anxious about what will happen that night. It’s the kind of calm that only comes from community, the kind of love that comes from mutual respect and an energy that I could never put into words.
The straight edge community has saved me in more ways than I would have ever thought possible but at the end of the day it will always be the music that brings us together.