A concert: a place where soundscape becomes a reality. Invoking feelings that make people want to listen to music fills the room. Something so pure about the human experience makes concert culture so special. Music is a universal language that transcends boundaries. At the heart of this powerful art form lies the storyteller musician, an artist who doesn't just play notes and melodies but weaves narratives that resonate with their audience. Briston Maroney, a Nashville-based artist, understands how to create such a space for artists and fans. With his dense story-telling capabilities, the night would be filled with emotion. As he did last year, Maroney did it once again and created his 3-day festival called ‘Paradise’. With opening performances from hey, nothing, Jack Van Cleaf, and Samia, the night was filled with endless opportunities for sweet nothings.
Upon entering the Brooklyn Bowl, it instantly felt like one big party. From the decorations to the tattoos upstairs, there were so many reasons to celebrate. It was a place where everyone felt welcome, fostering a profound sense of connection between performers and fans, a timeless bond. Music heals, and that is what made this night “paradise” on Earth.
There cannot be paradise on Earth without a little magic and that is what Briston Maroney brought to that stage. Opening with the anthemic song “Body”, the crowd ignited. A quick glance revealed there was not a single face that was not smiling. Looking around at everyone, there was not one dull face in the crowd. Couples were dancing and singing to each other like no one else was watching. Long-term fans to newer fans were living life in the most pure form. Everyone was moving in some way or another. Briston was performing for AND with the fans. Couples danced and sang to each other as if they were the only ones in the room, while long-term fans and newcomers alike embraced life in its purest form. People were happy, and they felt free. Fans were not afraid to scream the lyrics or sing them quietly to themselves while taking every moment in. Every person in the crowd found themselves moving in some way, and it was evident that Briston Maroney was not just performing for the fans but performing with them, creating an extraordinary experience.
During the set, you could see Briston Maroney’s personal friends shout at him and look at him proudly. One of his friends (and biggest supporters), Elliot got on stage and showed us his tattoos that he goes for Briston. He even has Briston’s signature tattooed on him! Briston jokingly begged the crowd not to steal his identity- while cheering for Elliot. With friends, came lovers, and the beautiful and talented Samia came back on the stage. They both covered the classic “Archie, Marry Me”. Even at one point, Maroney’s dad came down and opened up a pit! We can attest that a little mosh pit never hurt anyone- beer did go everywhere and in my eye. After everyone was a bit displaced from the moshpit, our teenage year’s anthem came on, “Freakin Out on the Interstate”. As popular as this song is, it knocks a wave of nostalgia in you and makes you want to scream it with your best friend -which we did. Experiencing and seeing all this makes me know that Briston’s goal was accomplished. What else can we ask for than friends, music, beer and mosh pits? Now we know we have mosh pits in paradise now!
- Gabrielle Sanchez
Photos courtesy of Lillie Hollabaugh (For Bell Music Magazine)