A Change is Gonna Come…hopefully

I’ll admit it. I’m a chronic Taylor concert-goer. I’ve been to more than a few and they’ve always been met with the same mindset. Get pictures, get video and stay out of the way of the Soul Patrol. Taylor Hicks was my first real obsession. I had never joined a message board, never posted anywhere, never wrote anything. I couldn’t really make videos, or even send pictures through email. So, in the world of fandoms, not only was I not very experienced; in terms of being savvy to the ways of “true fans” I was pretty naive.

This “Soul Patrol”, as Taylor loves to call it, is ruthless. I never knew that such cattiness and maliciousness could exist among grown women. There are factions, groups and whisperers. There are fans who claim to know him, fans who think they are going to be the one to settle him down, and fans who try to hang on to anybody who knows him. There are fans that think ‘If Taylor could just see me, if he could just get to KNOW me, then I’m sure he’d fall in love!!’ Yeah, right. Maybe in an alternate universe. I have a sneaking suspicion that Taylor keeps a tight circle of friends, surrounding himself with old friends, friends that he knows he can trust. I don’t know for certain, but I’d bet that there aren’t going to be any members of the Soul Patrol in that circle anytime soon.

This summer, I went to an Amos Lee concert. It was in the same place as one of the Taylor concerts that I went to awhile back. I didn’t stand in line to get a good spot, I didn’t take my camera. I stood back by the bar, just listening to the music. It was an awesome concert, and I even enjoyed the opening act. As I stood there, among the screaming fans, I was able to actually live in that moment. I was able to enjoy the music without frantically trying to get the best pictures or video, without wondering where Amos Lee was going to be playing later that night, desperately stalking the tour bus trying to get the photo, that connection. My connection to this artist was just, simply, his music. It was, dare I say, refreshing. There’s something to be said for not being a fanatical fan, if that makes any sense.

So, will I be at the next Taylor Hicks concert near me? Probably. But, I think I might try to slow down and just enjoy the show.


20 Responses to “A Change is Gonna Come…hopefully”

  1. spinshack Says:

    That’s the way to enjoy a concert. It’s how I handled it when I saw him at the House of Blues. Good points made.

    By slowing down doesn’t mean not getting into the music; some have already hundreds of pics, film, yet that seems their only goal while at a show. Man, tune into the music – much more worth the experience than fighting to get up front and snapping another 100 pics. ha.

  2. Talk about refreshing! I enjoyed reading this.

  3. Spin, I agree. Unfortunately, I was one of the ones spending all my concert time trying to get pics and video…I missed most of them doing that. 😦

    Thanks, Caryl.

    I just don’t understand why that man divides his fan base so much. Every faction thinks they know what’s best for Taylor . The best way for him to market himself, the best sound for him, the best way to promote him, the best way to get radio play. It’s not like he’s going to be reading a fan board, and suddenly say to himself…wow, that’s a great idea. And honestly, I don’t care if he gets radio airplay. IF that makes me a shittastic fan, then so be it. I want him to make the music that I know he’s capable of making, that kind of music that he wrote in his late teens/early twenties. Maybe he’s past that part of himself, but I sure hope not.

  4. I don’t know who you are, but I like what you wrote. During the past 6 months online reading and discussing Taylor, sometimes I feel like I’ve stumbled into hell . Then there are the fanatics who feel a need to say at least once a day, that Tay is the man, the bomb, the king, the greasest ever, the smartest, most manly stud muffin, and will be a huge success . Some of these fanatics get their biggest kick putting down other posters. Common sense tells me Taylor is wary of fanatics. Common sense tells me that no man likes gossipy, catty women.

  5. virtual speak Says:

    I so agree with you on this. I spent almost all my time at shows getting caught up in watching the show through the eye piece of my camera. No more. Those days are over for me. I’ve learned many lessons over the past few years in this fandom. This time, I’m going into it with eyes wide open and my ears ready to actually listen to the show.

    The rest of the BS is so inconsequential in my life anymore. These people don’t and maybe never will realize that for whatever 3.3 minutes they spend with Taylor, it’s 3.3 minutes he’ll never remember.

  6. Rosie, welcome to sanity.

    Virtual, your last sentence speaks volumes. That is very well said.

    “These people don’t and maybe never will realize that for whatever 3.3 minutes they spend with Taylor, it’s 3.3 minutes he’ll never remember.”

    Absolutely the truth.

  7. Confuzzled Says:

    I’d like to know just which SPers you’re hanging with because I’d love to see them in action. The Taylor fans I know, unless they have me fooled, seem like normal, down to earth people. I don’t know anyone who is attempting to become one of Taylor’s “in crowd.” I don’t know any who harbor delusions of having him fall madly in love at first sight of them. I do definitely know at least one whom I would classify as “catty.” I’d call the very same fan malicious.

    Every fan base has it’s share of eccentrics. Every fan base must certainly have it’s share of wackos. As a Taylor fan, I’m getting a little perturbed with those people who refer to me as a loon, a fat hausfrau, a bedazzled freak. I am none of those things. I enjoy Taylor’s music, I long to be able to go to another concert, and I will be taking plenty of pictures and videos, because that’s part of the fun.

    So, actually, you left off one type of Taylor fan. There’s also the kind who think they know more about music than any of the rest of us. Therefore, the seem to feel compelled to give us lessons in how to best enjoy a concert. If you prefer hanging back at the bar and chilling to the music, that’s cool. But don’t tell me that my way is wrong. Different strokes!

  8. I’ll have to agree with you, Confuzzled. Every fan base does have its share of eccentrics. And like I said earlier, I’m not very experienced with fandoms. But, more ofen than not, the people that I have encountered have been willing to risk friendships and integrity just to try and get a shot with Taylor.

    Obviously, I wasn’t referring to every Taylor fan in the fandom. There are plenty of normal people out there. And if you can point to where in my post I told you that your way was wrong, I would appreciate it. All I did was relay an experience that I had last summer, and express how I was going to change what I was going to do.

  9. I’ve been one of those fans, too. One of the crowd jockeying for the best shot, the hottest concert video, the coolest M & G photo. Those concerts were a blast, but so disappointing if I didn’t come away with something … extraordinary.

    Would I do it all over again? Heck, yeah … but I’d forget about all the tactical maneuvers and just get into the music, hang with my friends. And that unfortunately, is what I miss the most in this fandom … finding REAL people, those without some motivation involving connecting with Taylor on a personal level.

    Isn’t it supposed to be “all about the music”, anyway? If only it were only about that. Instead, the “Soul Patrol” I see is all about one-upmanship and embracing a set of beliefs about Taylor; if you deviate from the beliefs of the group, you’re “out of the club”.

    It’s interesting that when you look in a thesaurus under the word “fan”, you’ll also find: addict, freak, groupie and zealot . Obviously, not ALL of the “Soul Patrol” fall into this category, but hang around in it long enough, and you’ll start to recognize those who are.

  10. Tayfancier Says:

    One of the nice things about being old enough to be Taylor’s mother is you don’t have any illusions about having “a moment” with Taylor. I’ve never actually met him face to face, and I’m ok with that. I’ve seen him twice (not counting the Idol concert) and will see him again—many times I hope.

    Yeah, he is best to be enjoyed with no secondary agenda.

  11. I very much enjoy Taylor Hicks and his music. I look forward to years of entertainment with Taylor.
    The surprise for me is the fan groups and fan sites, a new experience that I love! In the past two years, I’ve met wonderful people and spent weekends with near strangers! So far, everyone I’ve met has been kind, friendly and fun-loving. It’s opened my eyes to a different kind of music enjoyment – one that I can share with other Taylor fans.

  12. Tayfancier,

    Thanks for posting. I’m with you, I hope to see him many more times, too.


    If all that you have had are positive experiences within the Soul Patrol, then you are one of the lucky ones. I have also met very wonderful people who I continue to have friendships with, even though most of them are done with Taylor.

    I hope that your experiences continue to be positive.

  13. RedRoseSpeedway Says:

    It’s nice to read sane stuff once in a while

  14. I enjoyed Taylor alone at first – traveled alone, sat alone at concerts, everything alone. I didn’t know about blogs and fan sites and Taylor friends. Honestly I was a little embarrassed to be somebody’s grandmother who got such a kick out of an entertainer that I took off all by myself across the country to see him. When I met some friendly fans, Taylor fun was enhanced. I have discovered the blogs and fan sites; I’ve made cool friends to share with. I’m lucky to Taylor have pals that I enjoy so much.
    As for being a Taylor fan, I’m in for the long haul.

  15. Yeah, it is fun to have friends to go to concerts with. One lesson I’ve learned is to just be careful who you call a friend.

  16. It’s fun to have someone to play with. I take your advice seriously. I’ll try to be careful.

  17. Great blog, Grey! I know what you mean about the fandom. I’ve been around the Internet and fansites of other bands for years. Never have I seen such craziness before like I have with Taylor (and Daughtry) fans.

    I’ve seen Taylor twice in concert, but attended with my boyfriend. I didn’t talk to anyone online about which show I was attending and didn’t hook up with any SP at the shows. Yes, we did wait outside after by the bus (at both shows) and I got a bunch of stuff autographed. Also, took some pics and video.

    You are sooooo right about just enjoying the show and not having your eye stuck to the camera the whole time. Not only have I done that at Taylor shows, but other artists’ shows as well. We’ve decided to stop bringing the camera with us and just enjoy the music. After all, before the cell phone cameras and digital cameras, you weren’t allowed to take pictures at shows.

  18. Thanks, SixxFan. Thanks for posting!!

    I actually probably had a better time at the concerts when I didn’t have the camera. Just allowed me to be in the moment, ya know?

  19. I went to Taylor’s concert in Birmingham recently at Workplay and enjoyed it very much. I too sat back enjoyed it. No standing in the mosh pit, but sat at a table, which was still close enough to see him and enjoy the music. I noticed someone nearby who was holding up their camera and videotaping it and I thought it was such a waste to watch the whole show through the eyes of the camera when you could be enjoying the show right in front of you.


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