The opportunity to experience live music has been taken away from us for almost 18 months. I have certainly missed the feeling of the bass crawling from the speakers to my chest and the sound of simultaneous singing. Fortunately, after being moved several times due to what felt like a continuous stream of lockdowns, my first in-person concert since 2019 finally arrived. I enjoyed the angelic melodies of Lianne La Havas at Hackney Church. Being at this concert made me reflect on the forgotten joys of witnessing live music (that wasn’t via YouTube and IG Live) alongside the many benefits of being in what often feels like a sacred community – which is an especially precious experience for black women.
Prior to Lianne, my last concert was Ari Lennox at Brixton Academy. I had bought a ticket with the intention of taking myself on a solo date night to listen to an album that made me feel radiant and sultry. On the eve of the gig, I met a random black woman in the bathroom of a party (as you do) who ended up inviting me to go with her and a friend. So off we went to see Ari Lennox where we sang loudly and danced enthusiastically; an instant connection stemming from a mutual appreciation for an artist who adores and uplifts black women.