The Queens of Guitar Hero

The only photo I have from the Queens of the Stone Age concert that my friend captured.

I haven’t a clue how to play a real guitar, but I am a big fan of hitting those colourful buttons on a plastic one.

Guitar Hero has always been on of my favourite games to play, especially since it now exists as ‘Clone Hero’ which is basically the free desktop version that some beautiful soul developed. Nowadays, you can download almost any song, new or old, as a track to play on Clone Hero if you simply go on a little Google search. It’s amazing. And all free!

Thanks to these free downloads, you can play all of the old Guitar Hero games with their original songs from back in the ’90s and 2000s. Funnily enough, this is how I got introduced to rock music and kind of how I ended up at my first rock concert this past week.

What was my goal this week?
I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to enjoy the company of a friend without worrying about what work I had to do that day. I wanted to fully dedicate a chunk of my day to an activity with another person outside of school or work. A dear friend and I agreed to meet on a Tuesday to go to a Queens of the Stone Age concert at Pacific Coliseum. The thing is, I wasn’t really familiar with the band, but either way I agreed to go to try out a new atmosphere. In the coming days before a concert, I always go on a little binge and listen to a band before the concert, and I realized that I did know some of their songs because I used to play them on Clone Hero!

How did it go?
Going to a rock concert, in the pit, as a 5’3″ female can sound a bit intimidating. You know, getting crushed or shoved, or blocked by the people around you. My advice? Wear some chunky boots and you’ll be more than happy.

I surprisingly had more fun at this concert than a lot of other ones I’ve been to. It was a different crowd for sure: a little more mature, leather everywhere, a lot of head bumping, and very loud. Ever since I started challenging myself to talk to more strangers, I find myself doing it (and enjoying it) when I go to concerts – everyone was so friendly and excited to be there. And what I noticed was different than the other concerts I’ve been to, was the lack of phones out during the show. This was the first show where I didn’t pull out my phone even once, even when it was a good song that I happened to now. Not even a single picture…and it felt good! My friend had been to a fair share of rock concerts and did his best to make sure we had a good view, so much so, that we ended up at the front barricade where I had a perfect view of guitarist, Michael Shuman.

While I didn’t know all of their songs, I did have my share of favourites and from their new album that I binged beforehand. And let me say, hearing your favourite game songs live is an awesome feeling and made me more appreciative of the craft that musicians bring to life. My attention was redirected to the instruments and the mastery of the bassists and guitarists. I may not have known the lyrics of anything, but I sure knew how wondrous and hard the upcoming guitar riff was about to be (because I struggled to play them myself on a fake guitar!).

How did I do it?
Aside from me asking my friend if they wanted to hang out, I do have to give them credit for concert idea. I don’t think I would have gone and seen that band on my own, so being introduced to this new type of crowd was exciting. We enjoyed it so much that we’re planning to go to another concert together at the end of the month.

How do I feel?
Fulfilled? Or wholesome. Not because I got to see the band live or because I enjoyed being in a different type of environment, but it felt really good enjoying good company, aka my friend. The whole ordeal, from the drive there to the walk afterwards to get food, felt very pure. As pure and as simple as you can get when two good friends enjoy each other’s presence. I think a big part of this was that I didn’t allow myself any work to do when I came home, or to even worry about work or school at all that evening; that night was a block of my week that I sectioned off as something important. I finished my other work early and I genuinely feel like this added to the fulfillment and pureness of the night; just caring about each other’s company and not a worry in the world.

Next week’s goal
In honour of it being Autumn and as Halloween decorations are slowly creeping their way into neighbourhoods, I decided it would be nice to take a friend out for her birthday so we can do a seasonal activitiy. Pumpkin patch, apple picking, a corn maze even? Let’s see if the weather is in our favour.

Song of the Week

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