Music: My Lifeline

Music is so special because it can have a different meaning to every single different person in a room. Really, it’s one of the most beautiful things on earth. On a discussion board post designed to introduce ourselves in one of my first classes when coming to Drake, nearly all of the 20 people in said class mentioned some sort of music. For some, it’s entertainment and others it’s background noise, but for me, it’s my lifeline.

The Beginning of Something Special

The years 2020 and 2021 were hard for a lot of people for various reasons, mostly due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For me, it was graduating high school but feeling like I was remaining stagnant because all of my close friends went off to their four-year colleges and became independent while I lived in my parents’ basement and went to Zoom Community College. I was left with my family and my record player, and thus began a relationship with music that hasn’t stopped growing since. I was listening to records all the time and having little dance parties in my room to Black Pumas as a way of letting loose. I would meditate and listen to the soothing voice of James Taylor to bring me into a peaceful and content mindset. My records got me through those months of semi-lockdown.

The New Age of ’21

Fast forward to spring semester, and the non-family I was closest to at the time also moved onto their four-year campus, so it really was just me and my records this time. But towards the end of the semester live, local, $10 shows started to make a comeback at music clubs in Omaha. I attended my first show back from Covid in May of 2021, but it meant so much more this time. Despite not knowing any songs from any of the three bands, it was still one of the most memorable nights of my life. That night was the beginning of a new obsession with live shows (apologies to my wallet) and that has only added onto the meaning of music in my life. That night was the first three of 61 sets I saw that year. I’ve left a list of the sets I’ve seen since that one at the bottom of this post in the case you’re looking for something new to listen to, or are just interested in what type of music I’m writing about.

Frank Turner and I after his acoustic set in the Christy Creme parking lot in Council Bluffs, IA. July 2022.

The Great Frank Adventure

In the summer of 2022, one of my favorite artists of all-time (and my most streamed all-time on Spotify) played a show in each of the 50 states, but the kicker was that he only had 50 days to do it. If you don’t believe me, here’s Frank’s list of every show he’s ever played and the dates they were played on. The original plan was to go to the Nebraska show in my hometown of Omaha, but the dates lined up perfectly with my work schedule that I was able to attend three shows in two days (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska), which turned out to be the best Tuesday and Wednesday of my life. I drove to Minneapolis for my second time seeing Frank with this show coming at The Fillmore, a block down from the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field. The show happened to fall on the same night as a home game, so that was fun to navigate but well worth it. I got home that night at about 3:30 a.m. and got on the road by noon the next day. In order to schedule a day off every once in awhile but still be able to make the space of 50 states in 50 days, Frank played a solo, acoustic set in one state and then made the drive to the night’s venue, which included the Sleeping Souls, his full band. The Minnesota and Nebraska shows both included the Souls, but the Iowa show was special. I mentioned the acoustic shows he played on this tour, but those were usually at a small bar or somewhere indoors with a stage. The Iowa show, however, was in a tiny parking lot in Council Bluffs. Here’s a link to the full recording someone put on YouTube. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been apart of.

Here’s that list I promised above:



The Zooeys 



Jack McGlaughlin (Spector Poetics)

Waxing the Gibbon

Cheesy Bandito

The Zooeys

Mr. E and the Stringless Kite

3 Son Green

Doom Lagoon

Bad Self Portraits


The Real Zebos

Drive-By Truckers

Japanese Breakfast



The Zooeys


Steady Wells

J. Crum

Bach Mai

Neal Francis 

Black Pumas


Bokr Tov


Infinite Video

Anna Taylor/Safe Space

The Zooeys

Specter Poetics

Wave Cage


Jesse Ahern

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Dropkick Murphys 


Alter Within

Tommy Gibbons

Sunflower Dead

Smile Empty Soul 

Specter Poetics


Little Brazil


Jackson Browne

James Taylor 

Distressed Damsels

Infinite Video

The Real Zebos

Wave Cage

Specter Poetics 

Anthony Worden + The Illiterati


Bad Bad Men

Pagan Athletes




Jordan Suthergren

Charles Wesley Godwin

Reid Haughton

Aaron Watson

Beach House

Sarah and the Sundays

Happy fits

Ginger Root

Hippo Campus

Eli Alger

Tyler Booth



Asleep at the Wheel

George Strait

Happy returns

Bryce vine


Jay Psaros

Gordon Lightfoot 

Jake Simon

Chayce Beckham

Jade Bird

Head and the Heart

Phoebe Bridgers


Post Animal

The Skints

Tiger Army

Flogging Molly



Jeff Rosenstock

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Bright Eyes

Anthony Worden


Pet Needs

The Bronx

Frank turner + Sleeping Souls

Frank in a parking lot

Pet Needs

The Bronx

Frank turner + Sleeping Souls

Travis Linville

Hayes Carll


Nick Shoulders

Riddy Arman

Texas Gentlemen

Sierra Ferrell

Billy Strings

Joe Pera

Yoke Lore


Goth Babe

Briston Maroney

The Aces


Glass Animals


Miko Marks

Jesse Daniel

Tk + holy know-nothings

Mat Kearney

Durand Jones + Indications

Jenny Lewis

Trampled by Turtles

Lake Street Dive

Nathaniel Rateliff + Nightsweats

Hayden Pedigo

The Kernal

Tre Burt

Liz Cooper


Lucy Dacus

Kurt Vile




Sam Morrow

Charles Wesley Godwin

Robert Finley


Greta van Fleet

The Haunt

The Struts

Johnny Deleware



Hippo Campus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

JD Snover


There’s no content to show here yet.