Tuesday, January 27, 2015


"Never let your fear decide your fate."
~ AWOLNATION, 'Kill Your Heroes'

June, 2011
Kenny Carkeet
(aka Assassin)
It's 9pm and I'm walking into a very dark and very loud Irish pub in downtown Boston.  It's a Tuesday night and I'm here to see the band AWOLNATION.  Oh, and I'm by myself.  I look around that bar and notice that it's full of sports fans (the Stanley Cup is on), college kids, and maybe even some high school kids who aren't supposed to be here.  I am definitely the only 37 year old mom in the crew.  I grab a drink and walk to the back of the bar, pretending like I'm totally comfortable and acting as though I do this all the time.  I pull out my phone and try to look busy but I'm really playing free cell to kill time until the band comes on.  Earlier in the day, I'd heard the song 'SAIL' on the radio and it had struck a nerve.  I'd been driving into the city and I was sitting in traffic on Storrow Drive.  When the song ended, the deejay came on and announced that AWOLNATION would be playing a live show, one of their first, later that night in Boston.  I picked up my phone to call the station and ask if tickets were still available.  The deejay let me know that the show was actually free and asked if I'd like him to add me to the guest list.  I heard myself saying 'yes', even though I knew I would likely be going solo, something I had never done before.  Ever.  There was no chance in hell my husband was going out on a week night to see live music when he had to work the next day.  But, something in me was telling me I needed to see this band.  So I go.  The band is supposed to come on at 9:30.  It is now 10:00 and they are nowhere to be seen.  One can only play so many games of free cell.  I head over to the promo table and ask them what the deal is. They let me know that they're waiting for the hockey game to end (it's currently in overtime) because they want AWOL to have the crowd all to themselves.  I panic.  I have to get up at 6:00am the next day, make lunches, walk the dogs and get my kids to school on time.  I'm 100% sure that I'm the only person in the bar who cares what time the show starts and I'm starting to wonder if I've made a mistake in coming.  But, at 10:30, the lights go out and AWOL takes the stage, which is one small step up, maybe two and about the size of my living room.
Aaron Bruno
I can literally shake hands with Aaron Bruno, we're that close.  I look around again and realize how strange it must be to see an 'older' woman in the crowd by herself.  And then the band starts playing.  And nothing else matters.  I am totally mesmerized.  The crowd is freaking out; jumping, moshing, drinking, sweating and I am just a small part of the scene.  I'm taking it all in; listening, feeling the music, really.  We're three, maybe four songs in and I know this is easily the best show I've ever seen in my entire life.  Maybe it's because I'm by myself and I'm just here for the music. Maybe it's because I'm older and I'm hearing each song with a totally new perspective and appreciation for what it is.  Maybe it's because I haven't done anything like this in a really long time.  Maybe it's all of these things.  But, whatever it is, I am moved beyond words.  Every song sends chills down my spine and I feel like I'm having an out of body experience.  When the show is over, the band members walk past us to get back stage.  I thank them and tell them they were incredible.
My 1st shirt (I have 4) signed
by Assassin
Kenny Carkeet, who also goes by Assassin, makes a point to say you're welcome and tells me I should come see them in NY the next night.  I laugh as I tell him I wish I could.  What I don't tell him is that I'm a mom and I have to get back to reality tomorrow.  Because that would be weird.  I do, however, buy a shirt and ask him to sign it because that's awesome and I know my kids will think it's awesome, too.  Maybe not now, but some day.  I hop back in my car and head home around midnight.  I am buzzing with energy and I know I will be forever changed by this experience.  I realize that music can move me in the same way that running does and in that moment the seed is planted for this blog.  It's not just because of AWOLNATION that I created RUNNINGWITHMUSIC.  But, they definitely had a lot to do with it.  On Monday, nearly 4 years later, they released the first new single, Hollow Moon, off of their soon to be released sophomore album, RUN.  No joke.....RUN.  How cool is that?  I am beyond thrilled for these guys.  And I will be forever grateful.

Listen to this:
Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) - AWOLNATION   

* Pre-order AWOL's new album 'RUN' on iTunes here.


  1. Your last post and this really resonate with me! Thank you. I have been to a show or two by myself, but am really starting to feel odd going. I turn 40 this year, have two kids, and am starting to wonder where the line is that I'm not supposed to cross. Then I realize, it's only in my head! So thank you for giving me the extra push next time my favorite band comes to town. Live music, nothing beats it really. Well, running on a beautiful morning when a good song shows up on shuffle is a close second!

  2. I definitely felt odd that first time, too. The second time I felt kind of cool. Now, I don't even think about it. I'm turning 40 next month. Lucky for me, I've got an outlet, beyond my job and my family, that still puts butterflies in my gut. I plan to take advantage of that for as long as it lasts! Live music first, yes. A good run on a beautiful day with music that makes me smile, that's a close second! Rock on....both of us.

  3. I am 43 - although I have not ventured a show myself, I went to the Firefly Music Festival and saw different bands myself, as my daughters went on their own way. I don't know if that counts, but I do feel like the old lady at concerts, but I don't care once the music starts.
    It is awesome you did this, by yourself and got to see the band and talk to them! My girls are moved out now, it was my promise to keep doing cool stuff, by myself if I have to!