Today: Feb 21, 2024

Music and emotion

Savannah MulSpecial to The Southern News
On Jan. 18, the Shubert Theatre hosted one of the most beautiful acts I have ever seen. If you know me, you know I use this phrase repeatedly. But really, there’s only one thing to say here: it was Jeff Mangum.
Probably most of you reading this have no idea who this 40-or-so-year-old Scorpio is. He is a genius and frontman of the band Neutral Milk Hotel, who has kept out of the public eye for many years.
So for Mangum to come to downtown New Haven, (and I’ll try not to sound like a typical 16-year-old fan girl), oh my God, it was a big deal! Not to mention my friend and I had orchestra seating, which of course made it that much better, and it was a concert we will never forget.
My friend and I do this thing where we always arrive in perfect timing, which to us is usually when the opener is on his last song and the main act will be appearing on stage in 30 minutes. How we time this perfectly almost every time I don’t know, but mainly it’s all due to the desire for drinks to achieve the perfect concert buzz. We finished a glass of port before we went and had two beers at the theatre bar. We were then included in the atmosphere of many buzzed spirits chanting for Mangum in such uneven unison.
At this point in the night, it felt like everyone was thinking the same thing: it’s Jeff Mangum, the man who has been silent for many years and he’s back again. The anticipation was building and the people around me couldn’t stop smiling. Maybe it was just the port talking because at this point I couldn’t even get past that I was in the same town as Mangum, let alone the same room not even 20 feet away from the stage!
The feeling that overcame me and my friend at the show probably happened to many people before. Mangum to me could be your Taylor Swift, or he could be your Coldplay, or even your Radiohead.
With music comes passion. As I was watching Mangum perform I lost my wits. My friend and I were completely transfixed by the emotion he gave off with each song he sang. On stage he was in the company of four different guitars in a circle around him and one single light shining down.
For anyone who knows the band, you’d know “In the A e r o p l a n e Over the Sea” and the fame i t brought them with Mangum’s rough passionate voice and electrifying notes. Then to our surprise, he performed this for the encore. My friend and I were astonished. We lost i t and cried, f u l f i l l i n g our old teenage dream of seeing this song performed l i ve.
Anyone who follows music with a lust and a passion understands. If I had the gift of having any musical talent, I think I’m crazy enough to drop everything and run off to be in a band. Probably not the greatest idea for a financially stable life, but I would do it in a heartbeat. So for now it seems that I’ll just dream and live vicariously through the musicians I listen to.

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