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A Skylit Drive - The Reasoned Obsession
To be a fan is undoubtedly something easy to do; to be a fanatic is another thing entirely. I have found something to be passionate about, and now I walk the thin line between the two. It seems almost foolish to be anything less, as I attribute this fine group of gentlemen with saving my life. This is my story, the story of my favorite musical group and why I idolize them so.
I first stumbled upon A Skylit Drive as a result of the iTunes "Just for Me" store. My friend Jack was over and I was looking for some tunes to blast, so I found ASD's EP "She Watched the Sky" and immediately fell in love with the sound they produced; I bought the whole 6-track album and listened to it a little bit, then ASD gradually fell out of my brain and into my shuffling list of bands I "used to like".
Fast forward to May 2008. I found their first LP, titled "Wires...and the Concept of Breathing," and after noticing their change in lead singers, quickly repositioned ASD at the top of my music tier. I listened to the album an average amount, but again after a few months, ASD fell back down into the muddle of past-likes.
Then, January 2009 rolled around. After a particularly intense breakup that I can't quite say if I'm over completely involving cancer, infidelity, and my ex's inability to live longer than a year, I slumped into a deep depression. I didn't eat or sleep for four days straight, and I was on the verge of suicide.
I'd had it all planned out. Mom and Dad wouldn't be home, and I would take a butcher knife from the block in the kitchen. Vertical cuts. One-two-three. Easy.
The knife was on my wrist. All I had to do was give a little push and it would all be over.
From across the house, I heard a very faint, very beautiful sound. It was a song that my iTunes had happened to play when I had set it on shuffle, as I couldn't pick the perfect song to die to. It was a song by A Skylit Drive.
After crying on the kitchen floor for an hour because I couldn't even kill myself right, I went into the computer room and I listened. And I listened. And ASD's album for some reason or another engulfed my existence.
I would come home and blare "Wires" into my headphones, trying to stop the ringing in my ears from the pain. I think some small part of me thought that if I played the music loud enough, I'd attain some sort of catharsis and my life would be perfect. But ASD kept me moving, kept me sane, after the world around me had fallen apart into shambles. Their lyrics, their intensity, their acknowledgement of pain and their theme of overcoming obstacles spoke to me like no other artist could. Their musicianship is incredible and a true outsourcing of real talent, so that spoke to my academically inclined musical side. I was entranced by them, and consequently 11 out of my top 25 most played iTunes songs (that's over 42 plays per song, btw) are from A Skylit Drive, and there'd probably be 12 had I not left a non-ASD song on repeat for a whole day. All from "Wires." All purely phenomenal.
So, after I attributed credit to them for saving my life, I heard that they were playing a show in March. Every fibre of my being screamed "GO!" so I went. Most of my friends know the following story, but for those of you who don't, here goes. I walked into the concert venue (a tattoo parlor called Art Ambush) and saw these shelves upon shelves of ASD t-shirts with some random guy organizing them, so I was like "Oh, an Art Ambush worker. Pfft."
After a coupla minutes, I walked up to the guy, tapped him on the shoulder, and asked him if I could have the shirt on the bottom left in a medium. He responded with "Oh, you like A Skylit Drive?" I said yes, that they were my favorite band of all time and listed some of the songs that I held dear. He responded with a "Thank you," which led me to ask if he was involved with the band somehow, which led him to tell me that he PLAYED BASS for them, which led my head to explode. Not really, but I was still uber shocked.
So after I had finished doing my best fish impression, I stammered my way back to coherence and told him how amazing I thought they were and how they had helped me through life with some certain songs. He then told me that when they played a song of theirs called "Eris and Dysnomia," he'd dedicate it to me. I think I fainted. Then their drummer came out about midway through their headliners, found me, knew my name, and took me backstage to show me his sparkly white drum kit with pink rims. During their show the bass player did dedicate E&D to "[his] buddy Luke," which made my night complete. They told me they'd never forget me, which I dismissed as them being polite, but overall my first-ever concert went perfectly.
After that night, if possible, I listened to "Wires" even more. The intensity of my love for A Skylit Drive deepened further when I learned that they were releasing their sophomore album, "Adelphia," in early June. I instantly pre-ordered their album and was notified that I won a free t-shirt and band-autographed booklet with my purchase.
In April, my birthday rolled around and one of my presents was an ASD concert in Dallas.
In June, "Adelphia" was released and I recieved it a day early, so it instantly went into my iPod and car stereo, where it remains to this day. I listened to it every day, rolling down my windows and blaring it on the way to school, trying to memorize every word like I had "Wires." The CD couldn't really get better than their last one, cause what could top perfection, but still it was ALMOST as good, which came as kind of a shock.
Then on July 5th, I went to the A Skylit Drive concert in Dallas, with all of the tension of a stretched rubber band. I got to their stage 2 hours early, so I had time to get close. By the time they came on I was in the second row in a crowd of about 2,000 - 3,000 people.
Lemme repeat that.
Naturally, I was in heaven. Their bass player came out to tune his instrument and I shouted his name; he gave me a look that said "Hey, it's you!" and gave me the rock symbol, which I returned. Then their set started about 30 minutes later. I got like a million pictures (which I PROMISE I'll upload) and their show was awesome, like the one before.
But the best part was their last song. The lead singer shouted into their mic that he wanted to sing the last one in the crowd. He jumped offstage and stood on the rail in between the stage and the crowd. Everyone surged forward, clamoring to touch him, even for a moment. I was one of the close ones who reached out for his hand, and he grabbed mine. He held my hand for like 30 seconds while they performed my favorite song of all time. People were screaming around me, I was screaming and jumping up and down.
After their show, they announced that they had a signing at their tent, so OF COURSE I went. I waited in line for about 30 minutes (I got a T-shirt so they'd have something to sign besides the ASD shirt I was already wearing).
Remember when they said they'd never forget me, and how I didn't think it was true?
I walked up to their drummer and the first thing he says is "Hey, Luke, right?"
After regaining consciousness, I told him that yes it was me and that I was shocked he remembered me. He then hugged me. The drummer. Hugged. Me. Then the rest of the band was like "LUKE! How ya been?" and acted like I was an old friend and signed my shirt and chit-chatted with me.
I couldn't believe it. Still can't believe it.
They remembered me. Me!
After that show, which was July 5th, I have no doubt that A Skylit Drive will continue to play a huge role in my life, but the question is how large a role it will be. I do hope it will be a long role; I hope they keep playing, I hope they keep making music, I hope they keep saving lives like mine. I hope to be reminded why I'm alive every time I turn on my car stereo. And I am reminded constantly.
"There's just so much to be said
So much is running through my head
In a time staggered on the end...
Maybe now we can pretend
This isn't the end."
-- A Skylit Drive, "This Isn't The End"