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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Oiga

Years & Years, Tears & Tears

Here’s the deal, even thought I no longer actively play, I am and always will be a musician through and through.

Okay, maybe I’m not totally non-practicing, because I do try and volunteer and teach whenever I can, and I’m often found procrastinating via learning new (and old *cough* Mister Brightside *cough*) songs on guitar. I pick up a pair of old sticks and drum out old cadences from miraculously lasting muscle-memory, just to blow off steam when I need to.

My point is, I’m no longer totally consumed by music all day, every day, every hour. Back in high school, I lived and breathed for music, I cried for bands, cried over bands. I played every single day, only hung out with other musicians. Music was my whole life, and it’s been a long time since the peak of it.

But at the core, I’m still rooted just the same as I was when I was sixteen.

In a couple weeks I’m going to see one of my favorite bands of all time, live in their hometown, playing a special “intimate” concert right after the release of an album they’ve poured their hearts and souls into.

I’m going to see Olly Alexander, I’m going to see Years & Years.

I’m going to cry.

It’s a funny story, I actually found Years & Years through another love of mine, through -- wait for it -- James Bond, of all things. You see, I’ve always loved Bond, something I inherited from my dad. But then in my Bond era, the Daniel Craig era, came one of the greatest things to happen to the James Bond franchise: Ben Whishaw as the Quartermaster.

Not following? That’s okay, because Whishaw’s filmography is a little… indie. And one of his first roles happened to be in Years & Years’ music video for Real, which, to this day, is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Here’s the thing, you can’t follow Years & Years or Ben Whishaw without an awareness of the LGBT commentary that they each stand for. Especially for Olly Alexander, the frontrunner of Years & Years, it’s the core of his ethos, it’s the purpose of the platform.

It’s why so many people cling to this band, love them with the entirety of their hearts, feel so connected with them it creates a special kind of emotional connection with their music, with their message.

So when Years & Years says that this show is something special for their hometown? That this show is intimate and meaningful?

Oh man am I ready to start bawling, right there, in the middle of GA, surrounded by people who love Years & Years as much as I do.

There’s other concerts I’m planning on going to, somewhat of a treat to myself, since most of my favorite artists are British, or at least European, and I almost never have the chance to see them in Chicago. Or they just happen to be here while I am, too, a sign of fate. I’m seeing Moon Taxi at a small dive bar type venue the day before I see Years & Years. I’m going to two day festivals, just to chase down Pale Waves and CHVRCHES while I can. But I know I’m going to remember these concerts, remember the music, for the rest of my life. And it’s worth it.

Thank you to London for bringing me music, for bringing to me the people who create the very things that keep me going, that fuel me.

So in the words of my favorite musical, thank you for the music for giving it to me.

xoxo, j.


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