Bright Before Sunrise: A Reverse Blog Tour

“One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.”

That's the tag line for the newest book from Tiffany Schmidt, and to celebrate the book's upcoming release, the publisher has put together what they're calling a reverse blog tour.  Instead of endless interviews, excerpts, special features, etc., bloggers and authors across the internet were asked to think about the book's tag line and write about one night that's changed us.

It took me a while to come up with just one night that really changed things for me.  My pick is maybe a little more light-hearted than what others have come up with, but it's one that means a lot to me.  I ultimately decided to delve into my music nerd past, though, and pick a concert that I went to that really kicked off something that I never really would have predicted.

Rewind to September 3, 2008.  Andrew Bird, a Chicago musician who I had long been a fan of but never had the opportunity to see live, was doing a free show at a large, outdoor venue downtown.  I am not one to turn down free things, so I grabbed myself some post-work snacks and then hustled over to Millennium Park to snag myself a pretty good seat.

Before the show, I don't think that I'd even seen video of Bird performing live, let alone a whole concert. I was more familiar with his albums than his live show, so I didn't exactly know what I was getting myself into.  What followed was hands down one of the best concerts I've ever seen in my life.   I'm not going to get into a concert review here (you can read that on my music blog), but it was definitely one of those mind-blowing, transformative events as far as taking me from someone who likes a think to someone who looooves a thing.

In the years since, I've seen Bird over thirty times in seven different states.  I have taken road trips with friends; schlepped into strange cities by myself; boarded trains, planes, and buses; rescheduled meetings and delayed events because of the need to buy concert tickets as soon as they go on sale; waited outside for long hours in all types of weather to get the best spots available at a general admission show... you know, the usual.

But this isn't a story just of being a slightly over-eager music fan.  See, the thing is, because of my ever-growing love of a very talented artist, I've had so many amazing experiences that I otherwise never would have.  I've seen parts of the country that I probably never would have visited.  I've been in hole-in-the-wall dive bars, opera houses, and historic landmarks.  I've sweated it out with thousands of other fans under the hot summer sun.  I've taken amazing photographs and written some surprisingly introspective fiction.  Bird's music helped me through bouts of depression, through my separation and divorce, and helped me accept aspects of my own life and personality that I'd struggled to be okay with.

More importantly, though, I've made friends -- including some of the best friends I'll ever have in this life -- just from chance encounters at a show, or striking up conversation online.  I've had unforgettable experiences over the past six-ish years, just because I decided to stay out late and go to a concert.

Andrew Bird
(photo of Andrew Bird, by me!)

What about you?  Stop by the comments and tell us about a night that changed the way you see yourself.

Here's a little about the book -- we're fans of Tiffany Schmidt's previous release and are all looking forward to reading this one!

By Tiffany Schmidt
Published on February 18th 2014
Published by Walker Childrens
When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him.

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance.

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.?

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

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