In 2015, I saw The Airborne Toxic Event six times – five of those shows in just a four-month time span. To come up with that number, I had to take count the “TATE” albums on my Facebook profile. They all kind of lump together into some kind of hazy dream… a blur of planes and trains, venues and faces… and I wasn’t even the one on tour.
Thinking back on it can be a bit exhausting, which is why when I saw my last TATE show (also TATE’s last live show to date), I should not have been surprised by the performance. I should not have been surprised by the weariness on the band’s faces as we met with them before the show. Yet somehow, I was.
I am not proud to say I counted myself as one of the many skeptics who heard the word “hiatus” and instead thought “breakup.” I worried I had just seen the last of my favorite band and wondered how I would adjust to a life with no new songs to devour and no shows on the horizon.
During the first couple of months of the break, I would skip their songs on my iPod as a kind of coping strategy. The band’s potential demise had me so worried, I couldn’t even enjoy them. After some time, I couldn’t help but to laugh at myself and my ridiculousness. “Life is better with a TATE ticket in hand,” I would say, and while I still think that holds some truth, this break has also taught me that even without one, things can still be okay.
In the 15 months since I stood in that arena in Denver, I have faced one of the most difficult years of my personal life. Of course, it wasn’t easy but I am still standing, even if just barely, and I did just fine without TATE. I never needed this band; not really. They helped me, for sure, but only to discover my untapped potential.
I’m not sure I realized that in the midst of it all. All the lessons that the songs and experiences had taught me were still there, but I hadn’t really had time to analyze them and appreciate them until the dust had settled and the noise softened and I was left with no distractions. Confronting myself is what I did in this hiatus. As it turned out, I needed a break too.
In March, I fly to LA with no expectations. I will celebrate life and everything awful and wonderful in it, and I will do it with some of the best people I have ever met. I will support this band that I love so much and I will not be left wanting. I have everything I need.
Jamie can be found most days attempting to maintain her sanity and raise her 4 children to be decent human beings. She spends her free time, you guessed it, obsessively listening to music and going to concerts.