Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.


Posted at — Oct 27, 2022

AP Dhillon Concert

A few weeks ago, I went to the AP Dhillon concert in Toronto. It was the first concert I’ve been to and it was quite enjoyable. Before the experience, I didn’t quite understand the appeal of concerts. With the technology we have at our disposal, I can experience hundreds of 1-on-1 performances in my ears everyday; Spotify and Bluetooth headphones offer a sonic experience that concert goers of the 1980s would dream of. Why would I pay to go to a concert to listen to the same, if not worse, thing?

Obviously, this is naive because it fails to neglect what a concert is really about: the most intriguing element of the night was this shared sense of community—the ring and the reverb of thousands of voices in unison, echoing the same lyrics.

It’s captivating, but also an opportunity to be present. For a few hours, you’re in harmony with a thousand other people sharing a non-individualized goal: singing the artists' songs. It’s not unreasonable to compare this experience to one you might find at a Gurdwara, a Mandir, or a Mosque: a communal chant of Gurbani, singing of a Bhajan, or recital of an Adhan.

These are quite different from singing “Saada Pyaar” (a personal favourite), but in my experience they all produce a similar effect. They’re capable of moving my focus from the internal to the external. For those moments, I’m living presently—outside of my own consciousness. My focus is on a construct outside of my ego and this is in part due to the shared responsibility I hold as a member of the group, the audience or the sangat.

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