The punk rocker with the microphone shouted to a sea of people, “Are you glad to be alive?” and after a long pause he shouted once more, “Come on are you glad to be alive?”


In our fast-paced age of technology and social media it is harder and harder to have these moments.


Most people will keep you at Facebook length, and keep in touch through a text message. Back in the days of concerts, festivals, and anti-technology you had to reach out and touch one another.


It was good of “The Maine” to help us remember how important it is to feel truly alive. When you are standing in a field with a bunch of fellow human beings, and the twilight of the night is forming a blanket around you it is good to be alive.


When a great band is up on stage singing their hearts out to a crowd of concert goers it is good to be alive.


When you can close your eyes, take in everything that is happening around you, while the moonlight battles the stage lights for attention it is good to be alive.


“The Social Animals,” “The Maine,” “The All-American Rejects”, and “Dashboard Confessional” had an epic concert at Tags in Big Flatts on July 29.


Due to a summer employee fun contest I won free tickets, and took my little brother, Liam, to the first concert I have been to in ages.


I don’t know when we forgot this.


I think we miss that human experience so much that we are willing to stand five hours straight in a field listening to great music, and embracing the ebb and flow of everything around us just to feel it again.


Nothing comes close to the beat of the human heart, and how if you are quiet enough you can feel all of that love and compassion.


For me it wasn’t just going to listen to some great bands of my youth, but it was about that human connection, and how somewhere along the way we forgot what it means to truly be alive.


I think it is amazing that “The Maine,” “The All-American Rejects,” “Dashboard Confessional,” and “The Social Animals” reminded us of that.


Music is a universal thing that connects every living soul.


It is always remarkable to hear it as it is meant to be heard … live and on stage … in front of complete strangers … and the realization that we are all glad to be alive.


I will never forget singing along to some of my favorite songs with the bands I have always loved, discovering new bands with great music, and the feeling that we are not alone.


(Jasmine Willis is a reporter for Genesee Country Express)