The Next Musical Step (REVERB) – February 2023

As I’ve mentioned in the past (see 18 Years Later), music has played a huge role in how I’ve gotten to this point. This past year, volunteering with REVERB became the next chapter in that journey forward.

Over the last 25 years, I’ve looked at going to Lollapalooza. Even when there have been bands that I’ve really wanted to see, I’ve opted out. I just didn’t want to deal with the insanity of tens of thousands of people. But in 2022, wanting to see Metallica without having to give up a body part to afford the tickets won out over those crowd concerns. So I decided to give volunteering with REVERB a chance. And I’m glad I did…

The volunteering part at Lolla was a lot of fun, and Metallica delivered. Go and find the video of One that’s on YouTube. As good as that is, IMO it was 10x better in person.

With those successes, I decided to try my first truly solo trip in almost 20 years to volunteer at the My Morning Jacket shows at Red Rocks. The last time I did one truly solo led to roadies having to help me out of Camden when I had gotten lost in the dark…

The cocerts in CO went well, and I was hooked. I ended up doing a couple more shows in the Chicago area before the end of 2022.

While I enjoyed helping to support REVERB’s mission and getting to see a lot of great music, I also gained a lot of stability and personal growth because of these opportunities. I can confidently say that if I hadn’t volunteered at Lolla, the Naperville race would have been a mess. I also ended up finding out a lot of useful things as I went through the ‘Rubix Cube’ of planning a solo trip.

During the 2022 volunteering, I stayed at the REVERB table instead of trying to rove. For 2023 (and beyond), I wanted to give myself the opportunity to rove.

So I had the shirt/vest shown in the header image created by RUseeN Reflective Apparel, and I plan to start using it this year. One thing that I want to make clear is that this is simply for safety so that others can see me. I look at myself as a REVERB volunteer that just happens to be visually impaired.

Hopefully, things will go well as I start to use it. 20 years of going to concerts has taught me that there is a small percentage of people that will be jerks (either natually or because of intoxicants). But I’m not going to let that stop me from trying.

I am extremely grateful to REVERB for providing all of these opportunities to this point. If you’d like to volunteer with them, check out their site.

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