Smiles as bright as the stage lights shining down at them.
Voices screaming like it’s their last day to live.
Hands holding microphones like they’re the only thing holding them to the earth.
Falling to the floor and writing without a break in their voice
Or a pause in the wild guitar riff.
A mix of their old pain and their new joy,
A celebration of recovery and rebirth.
Yelling at us to face the extermination and survive.
Thousands of voices joining together to say
We’ll carry on,
An echo of “If we never play another show again,
“Keep yourself alive.”
A constant reminder that we did,
And so did they.
Every one of them over 40 years old,
And now all smile lines and greying hair.
Still throwing themselves into their work,
For us as well as themselves.
Running across the stage to stand together,
One of their guitarists saying in an interview
That one of his favorite things this tour has been
Getting to see their singer be his authentic self
As he wears skirts and dresses for the first time on stage.
Their smile reaches their eyes,
And lights up the huge screen they’re projected on
When they look up and see themselves,
Standing tall on stage,
In a white nurse dress.
His tears mix with his quiet voice
As he presses his hands to his chest,
Against his wife’s initial embroidered on the chest of his letterman jacket,
Layered over the green cheer dress
Made specially for him.
Their hands reach for their bandmate’s wrist
Holding it tightly as they bow.
A tour of love and rebirth
And of smiles and dresses and firsts.