On 10.04.2014, fade announced their upcoming hiatus.
I will not deny that there were signs, it was somewhat predictable but I still cannot come to terms with it and it makes me sad. Incredibly sad. I am slowly accepting that I will not be able to see them play anymore as a band, but I am still half in denial.
But I am lucky – I have seen them live, talked to them, have photos with them…I am incredibly lucky. I am extremely blessed to have been a part of the fade family, and there is so much I have to be thankful to them for.
fade is the reason I came to love attending concerts/lives, that I have grown to appreciate and listen to music so much more. There are at least 6 bands I can think of off the top of my head that I would never have listened to or seen live had it not been for fade. There are so many precious, wonderful people I have met, friends I have made thanks to them. Even more so than any other fandom I’d ever been in, they’ve impacted me so much more than I would’ve thought.
I don’t have a “XXX band saved my life with their music” but I can say they have changed my life. Many bands/artists have changed my life in big ways over the years, but maybe because I was finally old enough to do something on my own, finally old enough to make decisions for myself, and that I was actually in this country I had grown to love from afar that things really did change for me. I’ve experienced so many things that my 11 year old self would never have imagined.
On 18 April, I saw them live in Kyoto. It was my 3rd last time, and I was still in denial. It would be any other live, I thought, but it wasn’t. I was nervous. There was so much going on in my head, things I wanted to say and do, things I thought would happen. And then the lights went down, the curtains drew apart, the music came on and the 5 guys I have grown to love, admire and respect took to the stage. When the white light exploded and Jon took to the mic it could only be described as euphoria.
Jon, you’ve lost weight! was the first thing that popped into my mind as I watched him on stage. I had chuckled when he bounded out in a loose white button up shirt – so preppy, so different. But the energy that radiated off him and them was the same dynamism that I was used to, that I’d come to love so much. It was, no, is, my drug.
You can leave everything behind at a live, all your insecurities, your fears, your anxiety, your sadness – just leave it behind, break away from the chains of reality and dissolve into the music. I can scream, I can jump, I can throw my hair all over the place. I don’t need to be the girl who worries about her grades, money, self-esteem…I don’t have to think – just enjoy.
And I did. It had been about 3 months since I’d last seen them live, and it pained me to think it would be the last time. After their show I was still tripping on the adrenaline, and it carried on to the other bands who were playing that night. It was thanks to fade after all that I’d come to know about ALL OFF and THE Hitch Lowke and I’d come to love their music and the different experience they provided at lives. fade is all dynamite fist pumping, jumping and screaming along, but the other two, all I can think of to say is they are dance explosion. You make circles and run around, do the two step, have fans crowd surfing, diving, doing all sorts of crazy things. It is different and I would have never experienced it if not for fade.
So Thank You. There really is nothing else I can say but Thank You. And I wish I could have had the chance to say it in person that night but the band left early, and I had stayed for the rest of the live. It’s alright though, some things don’t need to be said. I did not want to be filled with sadness or guilt, I did not want to have to say goodbye yet. I was running away from the fact that I would eventually have to say goodbye but I know it won’t be forever.
I tweeted to Jon, incoherently with nothing but ‘Thank You’s over and over, surprised by the tears in my eyes. I am not used to such overwhelming emotion regarding music, or something not as personal as family, which made me realise that it had become personal. Music had become like a family to me, a precious gem to store and keep deep in my heart and cherish.
I realised that it had been better that I decided not to leave early to see the band off. It was uncertain if we could even do so, and ultimately my heart had told me to stay for the rest of the live. I’m glad I did, it made it less of a goodbye. It made the upcoming separation seem less difficult, it made things more ideal. Does it sound selfish to want to preserve things in their ideal image?
I have already been blessed. “Talking to them is a luxury, Bernie”, Shannon, who I’d met through fade, had told me earlier that night after all my frantic messages, and she’s right.
So I typed this post instead. How does one convey emotions with characters, these words on paper (or screen) that can be nothing but black and white, that struggle to articulate the swell you feel in your chest, the sting of water clouding your vision, the indescribable joy that wants to burst out of you, the calming numbness, the engulfing strangulating despair, the darkness closing around you, or the nervous tightening of your stomach, the ache in your limbs…I could go on forever.
How do you write about something that pains you, or how it is a good sort of pain, the kind of pain you don’t need to be a masochist to enjoy? How do you describe something that is bittersweet – what is bittersweet, anyway?
But I digress. fade, there is no better way for me to convey all these jumble of feelings but by saying Thank You (again). On the 7th of June when I see you for the final time, I hope it will be without tears; I hope to say goodbye with a smile. Because you have been one of the best things that have happened to me and you deserve a cheerful farewell, a lighthearted bowing out.
Goodbye is not a sad word. (I am quoting Ikimonogakari’s ‘YELL’, my go to song for such situations)
It’s a yell that connects us to our respective dreams.
So, until the day I find my way out, I live to dream cause that’s all I’ve got.
サヨナラを誰かに告げるたびに 僕らまた変われる 強くなれるかな
たとえ違う空へ飛び立とうとも 途絶えはしない想いよ 今も胸に
Goodbye, fade. You were loved, you are loved, and you will be loved.