I have a slightly hoarse voice, I’m pretty sure I still have on the remnants last night’s makeup, my feet hurt and I have never been more thrilled by the sight or prospect of water in my entire life.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. What lead up to me deciding to wear highlight, two colors of eyeshadow, a shirt with a cute demon in 106 degree weather?
Last night I went to a concert; so, let’s talk about it.
Miyavi is a Japanese rockstar who I have had the pleasure of following since I was a wee young demon angsting around my high school with an iPod full of music in different languages. Now, I don’t go to many concerts and this concert was truly something special and in a special circumstance: I was going alone.
Long time readers will know that I suffer from social anxiety and the mere thought of going to a place alone was daunting. There are plenty of things I do alone but this was akin to going to the movies alone, a barrier I have yet to fully cross. The thought was made even more daunting by the recent mass shootings that have happened around the country: one happening in my home state. Social anxiety is a funny thing that hyper-inflates usually paranoid ideas about tragedy happening at events but when those primal crazy lizard thoughts seem less crazy, that’s truly a scary thing and quite the hurdle to jump over.
But Miyavi was coming to San Antonio and the tickets weren’t expensive. I waffled for a day or two about going before taking the leap and purchasing exactly one ticket. I spent the week trying to find a “logical” reason to back out of the show. The show was on Sunday, I had work in the morning, what if it’s too hot, and other reasons that had varying levels of validity. I spent Sunday mostly unenthusiastic about the concert and did my best to muster enthusiasm as I put on my makeup and scheduled my Uber ride to the venue. None of that is Miyavi’s fault, it’s just my dumb, mean brain’s fault. The Uber ride to the venue was short, my driver was nice and when I arrived about twenty minutes before the doors opened and the line wasn’t too long which was a relief. It was still unbearably hot even though it was past 6 PM. I chatted with a few folks in line, got many compliments on my makeup and one that stuck with me: the woman who patted me down and checked my idea said I was “so sweet and so pretty” and that warmed my cold dead heart for some reason.
I entered the venue and had about an hour to kill before curtain. I ordered one cocktail (a Sprite and Deep Eddy’s Cranberry vodka) before promptly discarding it because it tasted like miserable old-timey medicine for questionably sick children and I figured vodka would only continue to dehydrate me.
Being alone was nearly maddening as I waited for curtain to rise. I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I worried about draining my phone battery and I was already starting to get sore and cranky.
I did make a few friends talking to people around me but it was mostly me trying to not linger on any one person’s conversation for too long.
That, of course, all changed when the curtain rose.
Miyavi is an electrifying performer. He is hot, he is talented, he is brilliant. He is a charismatic showman and from the opening number I was just hooked. Without speaking hyperbolically, Miyavi may be the best guitarists I have ever seen perform live. I was so happy to be close to the stage in such an intimate venue. I could ignore the heat and the pain in my feet; I was too busy dancing. Miyavi is just pure hot electric sex on stage; an attractive and stunning man who is talented beyond belief and compare. Each song blended so seamlessly into the next and just being so close to someone I have followed for years was so moving. There was also a pretty good balance of new songs and old classics and really, whether the song was in Japanese or English, the whole crowd sang along with him.
Miyavi spent a good amount of the concert just talking with us as an audience. I learned a lot about Miyavi as a human person and not just the idol I follow on Twitter. He’s never had Whataburger despite several visits to Texas, he’s currently Paleo and he loves Buc-ee’s. He also talked a lot about his work as an activist and advocate for those in refugee camps. Hell, he opened the show by talking about the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. I think if any other artist had been so topical, I would have been more cynical about such conversation but from Miyavi it felt more genuine since it’s backed up by actual work towards the greater good. It was a little distracting to me personally because honestly, that misery was the part reason I wanted to go to this concert: I wanted an escape. El Paso is literally too close to home and with my day gig, I am constantly reminded of the fact that there are terrors happening everywhere and all the time. I wanted to just have a good time, wear too much makeup and sweat in a tiny venue.
The show did wrap up about an hour earlier than I was expecting. In the moment, I was thrilled and happy to be returning home and to the sanctity and cool embrace of air conditioning but in the cold (this is San Antonio, the day is not cold, it is still 100+ degrees) light of day, I do wish the show went on a little longer. Another slight ding on the experience has nothing to do with Miyavi. There was a show happening in the venue next door and oftentimes the two concerts were in competition with each other as far as noise went. It seemed like the other band ramped up in volume just as soon as Miyavi was going for a ballad or slower song: that’s just poor planning on the venue’s part. Miyavi even told the other band to stop playing once and encouraged us as an audience to out yell the rival band. It was sort of distracting but far from a serious neg.
With the concert ending earlier than expected, I hailed another Uber and headed home. I relished in the car’s air conditioning and chatted with another driver, mostly talking about video games and comic books. I came home, took off my makeup, sang Reflection from Mulan as per tradition and ate popcorn on my sofa. I checked in with my friends so they know I made it home safely and went to bed cooler, happier and still electrified by the power music and bonding.
I learned so much about myself going to this show alone. I would likely not have gone at all if I had to rely on someone else going with me. However, I will say that going alone was a bit of a challenge; those negative voices in my mind were the only thing I could focus on. There wasn’t anyone there to distract me from my aching feet and damn near heatstroke.
Almost all of that negativity was mitigated once the show started. As a performer, Miyavi is one of the best I have ever seen. He is magnetic, charming and so eloquent and just…oh god, the show was so good. Miyavi is amazing at putting his body in a position that just made every photo amazing. He was so athletic and energetic and just watching him command the entire stage was mesmerizing.
I am still a little sore and still a little tired. I am still a little anxious and still a little starstruck. But that night was such a blast and seeing Miyavi is for sure a memory I’ll keep for the remainder of my days. I took so many photos, talked to so many people, got to see people all share in an experience of seeing someone they love so up close.
It was glorious and grand and I’m so glad I went.