I’m always amazed by the power of music; how it stirs your soul, imprints itself on your memories, and spurs powerful emotions, but sometimes I’m just amazed at how music can simply bring so many different people together. Last night I attended an outdoor concert at a local shopping centre; nothing big or flashy, just a free community event for the town, and I was amazed at how many people turned up, blankets, chairs, and coolers in tow. At the start, the clouds above were ominous and dark, but the rain held off, the music played on, and the beat was infectious.
The band wasn’t one with whom I was familiar, but a quick google search this morning revealed that they were The Mother Hips, and a lack of familiarity didn’t have an impact on the level of enjoyment. This band kept everyone entertained with their blend of rock and bluesy folk music, and their set was solid from start to finish. The dance floor in front of the stage was continuously full, but most people chose to spread out on the grass, creating an eclectic mix of concertgoers. There were the strollers with babies wearing oversized headphones, the young children jumping and dancing along with the music, the preteen with her nose buried in a book, the sullen teenagers trying to look disinterested but whose enjoyment was betrayed by their tapping feet, the adults enjoying a night out to relax and enjoy a show, and even a couple of hula hoop enthusiasts who kept right in time with the music. There were families, friends, and community groups all mingling together, smiling and laughing as they watched the concert.
As I sat in observance of all this, it occurred to me how wonderful an event like this is for a community. In merely offering a free summertime concert to the town, the town came out in full force, helping to build a stronger community while having a good time to boot. Whether the crowd was filled with The Mother Hips’ ardent fans, or people like me who were just discovering them, the area was packed, the music was rocking, the dance floor was hopping, and once again music was the catalyst to bring people of all types together for a lovely evening that eventually even brought out the sun.