When it comes to attending concerts, I am a prime time newbie. As of today, I’ve only attended two concerts. First, Beyoncé’s Formation concert in Pittsburgh last summer. And, most recently, a benefit concert in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in which Miguel performed.
Two very different experiences, yet equally fascinating.
Beyoncé’s performed at PPG Stadium. I had perfect seats. At the best elevation and angle that allowed the late afternoon breeze to flow through my curly locks.
In contrast, Miguel’s performance was on an impromptu stage venue in McCullen Park, food trucks and a variety of booths circled around the stage. Easy access from your spot to overpriced water and a delicious selection of food with Hispanic, Arabic, and traditional American influences.
One word to explain my experience at Miguel’s concert is unprepared.
I didn’t realize that Saturday was the first day of a week-long heat wave unleashed upon the Northeastern section of the United States.
One moment I was fine enjoying myself, and the next my chest ached, my heart was palpating, heat rose to my head, and the world felt heavy.
I knew what was happening. I was aware of the signs of an oncoming fainting spell after years of fainting or nearly fainting while riding the MTA, or waiting on train stations.
Once the line was moving, I barely made three steps into the venue when the sunlight bouncing off the asphalt ground intensified. I had to get on the ground or sit on a bench immediately or else I would completely pass out, risking hitting my head on the ground. A let out a meek cry for help and was escorted by my cousin and a venue security into the shade. I declined to be seen by EMS. I knew this was just something that happens to me and once I drink enough water and stay in a seated position I should be okay.
Luckily we were early, so after a few minutes of drinking warm water (because security made us throw out our fresh, ice cold water at the gate) I was able to regain my strength, and we were able to find a spot very close to the stage to chill while we waited for the performances.
Considering my only other concert experience was in a football stadium, it didn’t occur to me to bring things to this festival concert. Would’ve been nice to have a blanket or seat cushion. Man, I have never been so sore after sitting on that hot asphalt for hours. I knew I had to save my energy for when the main event, Miguel appeared on stage, so I remained seated during the majority of my time at Northside Festival, enjoying and swaying to the live tunes by two opening acts Soars and BJ the Chicago Kid. Each had a different genre of music which blended amazingly to introduce Miguel. Both bands gained a new fan that day.
I was so pumped as stage crew placed Miguel’s Fringe mic stand. Gods bless being 5’11 because I was able to be one of the first to catch a glimpse of Miguel right before he headed on stage. It’s thrilling to be so close to a performing artist. The set was selected perfectly with intermingling songs from Kaleidoscope Dream and Wild Heart. The use of lights to illuminate and pack a punch in my emotions sent my senses tingling. My experience was a definitely 8 out of 10, despite my mishap with my health I was able to spend a great time with my cousins.
I can’t wait to go to more concerts!
~~Photo Credits to my cousin Mike Tapia, check out his amazing work on Insta @pyreaux_