Paris, France at the Batclan theatre. New York, New York at Irving Plaza. Once again, we have to wake up while wiping the haze out of our eyes and add an unfortunate tragedy to within our musical community. Singer Christina Grimmie, who was an alum of the NBC show, The Voice, was shot and killed last night as she signed autographs for fans after her set opening for the band Before You Exit at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida. She was only 22 years of age. It’s heartbreaking to refer and describe to someone who was only beginning to realize the fruits of their dreams in the past tense. Every person I talked to that has either met or interviewed Grimmie spoke of amazing talent and warm heart. Take a look at her YouTube channel where Grimmie garnered an over three million subscription following and all the love that brought. This was a young woman who was just stepping into her purpose. The sad irony that she was killed bringing that same joy doing what the thing she loved the most.
Concerts are in essence, a gathering place for excitement and happiness. Perhaps you had a long, arduous day at work, but that anticipation that builds when you’re playing that song or album hours before you go to a show – there’s nothing like it. It’s like in Super Mario Brothers when Mario gets the invincibility star. One of the things we may seem to neglect that musicians are people just like us. Mortal. They feel, hurt, and struggle just like we do. We view them as our modern-day super heroes. You can point to that one song that helped you get through that really hard time to where we do not think that they will ever die. From the stage to the ground floor, we all heal each other in some way. We mosh and dance until the sweat permeates all the fibers of clothing we have on. I remembered the shock in 2004, when Pantera/Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was killed. The one place where you thought a tragedy like that could never happen, did. Concerts should be a place where you lay your fears to bed, not manifest them.
What are some of the things we can change? I tried to empty out my brain within a coffee cup as I was caught between two emotions. There was disbelief that we were experiencing this again, but also I want to help salvage We may moan and groan at long security lines, but we now live in a time where door checks need to be more thorough. Meet and greets may either happen in more secure spots or may cease entirely as artists may fear for their safety. As we add to the numbers of these tragedies, the bond between musicians and fans weaken to where we won’t be able to enjoy each other due to fear. Perhaps, we need to take better care of ourselves and each other. We look towards music as an outlet, but that can sometimes manifest into an unhealthy thing by itself. Check in on your friends and family, not to talk, but to listen. If you’re having issues, know that you are not alone and seek help. Do you see how inclusive music can be? Carry that into everyday life because you never know who you might be saving. As much as there are issues with guns, there are just as big an issue as to why people seek to use them.
Let’s not live in a world where we have to eulogize our heroes before they fully realize their potential. Let’s fight for a world where we can enjoy the places and things that are meant to distill the ills of everyday life. While everything may never be the same, let’s project our creative outlets and places of expression while helping ourselves. That’s how you will honor the memory of those who are no longer here.