A&E: Outdoor Concert Venues and Spirituality

By The Beacon | September 2, 2014 7:22pm

By Cassie Sheridan

There’s something inherently holy about music and nature blending, blurring and becoming one. United, these two things captivate something essential within us. Guitars, violins and silky vocals bouncing off towering trees, rolling across grassy fields and floating in the wind: This is a perfect prayer.

Spending dusk at the outdoor Edgefield concert venue, wrapped in the folky wisdom of the Seattle-grown band The Head and the Heart, was a religious experience.

Laying in the grassy amphitheater, surrounded by a thousand similar souls all deeply moved by a holy blend of soft guitar and green leafs, made for a perfect church. We sipped beers and listened to lyrics seemly whispered for our ears alone, even as our eyes saw everyone was hearing the same sweet music.

The performance was simultaneously intimate and egalitarian, personal and communal. It was the sort of show that stays with you, and moves you, and feels deeply exclusive.

It was a prayer filled with longing and desire and love. It was full of nature and wind and stars. It was full of beer and barbeque chicken and burgers. It was a prayer that belongs to the everyman.

And as we all left that perfect grassy knoll, our head and our hearts trying to make sense of what had happened to us and to everyone, the final pleas of the band reverberated through the crowd: “Lord have mercy on our rough and rowdy ways.”