I jumped at the chance to attend a show when Beartooth announced that they were going to be performing a drive in concert in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I didn’t care how far the drive was, or how much tickets were, I just knew I was going to be able to see live music again and let everything go for a few hours.
When anything goes wrong, so many people turn to live music for an escape. With everything going on this year; the trauma, the pain, facing the unknown head on, and anything else you could imagine, it’s been hard on all of us.
Live music was one of the first things to disappear when the pandemic hit. This left me clinging to any photos or videos I had taken at previous concerts, and listening to music way more than I normally did.
The one constant in so many of our lives was taken away from us as the world took a halt.
Not knowing what to expect going to a concert in the middle of a pandemic, I’ll be the first to admit I was a little hesitant. Even though there were precautions and guidelines that were being put in place for attendees (and enforced by the venue) you never know how people are going to be.
However, there was not a single issue the entire night. Wearing a mask was highly encouraged in any area where you weren’t around your vehicle. I don’t think there was a single person that I saw that wasn’t wearing a mask when they were away from their vehicle.
Just because you can’t be surrounded hundreds of people in a crowd doesn’t mean there can’t be a show.
If you’ve ever been to a Beartooth concert, you know just how much chaos can ensue throughout the night. They took the stage at Menominee Nation Arena and the entire parking lot turned into a party just like it would at a normal concert.
I was fortunate enough to be right up in the front by the stage, and security was absolutely phenomenal. You couldn’t get too close to the barricade or crowd the stage at all due to social distancing, or the show would have to be stopped. Every single person respected that and abided by all of the rules that were set in place.
I wandered around just to see what the experience was like from other areas and there truly was not a bad place to be. Everyone was having such a great time being in their own element while enjoying some live music.
Beartooth opened their set with “The Lines,” a fan favorite. They continued to play an incredible mixture of songs off of all three of their albums. During “Bad Listener” it felt like I could hear people behind me screaming for miles. At the same time, it felt like I was the only person there.
It created a very unique and intimate experience that probably couldn’t be replicated anywhere else.
About halfway into the set, frontman Caleb Shomo mentioned that they were going to play a new song.
“No one’s ever heard this shit, and no one else is going to hear this shit for a long fucking time,” he exclaimed.
The song is called “Fed Up” and man oh man does it kick in with a tasty riff. The song seems like it could have fit in with the B-sides off of Disease but it can be an incredible transition into their next release.
Most things in life are so uncertain day by day right now. But, being able to attend a socially distant concert was incredible. Being able to have a little bit of normalcy back in life was truly a breath of fresh air.
The evening kind of served as a reminder that just because things are hectic right now doesn’t mean they will be forever and things will turn around eventually.
If concerts like this were to become the “new norm” for as long as we need it to be, I would be completely okay with that. This was a major success of a show by both Beartooth and Menominee Nation Arena for hosting an event that felt so safe and welcoming.