Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • My first show was a No Doubt gig in a too-hot ballroom in San Diego. It smelled of pot and sweat and cold recycled air. Someone spilled beer on my chuck taylors and there were far to many frat boys. Then the band came out. I didn’t even like No Doubt that much. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be there.

    The music started up.

    The bass vibrated in my bones, the electric guitar howled, drums forced my unwilling limbs to move. It was an explosion of light in my mind, a torrent of sound flooding long silent corridors, blowing out the dust and dark and quiet. I stood dumbstruck, knowing I’d never be able to live without live music again.

    The picture above is from the 2010 Virgin Freefest, which took place 11 year after my first show--almost to the day. It was 10 hours of straight music and one of the better festivals I've been to.

    Twelve years and hundreds of shows after No Doubt, I’d still rather buy tickets to a gig than clothes or shoes or makeup or pretty much anything else. Because when the lights drop and the first note sings out, I leave my body. I leave this world. I close my eyes and let go, spinning on a highway of sound that takes me to another place altogether.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.