A few disability protocols can’t stop the music — or fans like us
My husband with hemophilia and I take in a Fall Out Boy show
My husband, Jared, and I attended our first international concert together this month when we saw the American rock band Fall Out Boy at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.
This concert was a milestone for both of us and truly one for the books. I’ve dreamed of seeing Fall Out Boy for 16 years, but I’d missed all of the band’s concerts in the area. Jared knew this, so when the opportunity presented itself, he insisted we go this time.
In Cza and Jared fashion, we came in T-shirts that displayed misheard Fall Out Boy lyrics, which is a running gag within the band’s fan base because its lead singer, Patrick Stump, used to mispronounce his words frequently, especially on early albums. We also wanted to share our sense of humor with others, so we made several of the shirts and sold them.
Why I love Fall Out Boy
I’ve always been drawn to Fall Out Boy’s trademark poetic lyrics and equally catchy tunes. As someone who took comfort in books and literature as a young child, I found the band’s songs soothing to my soul.
Back when I was stuck in the depths of my then-undiagnosed depression, feeling friendless and lonely, Fall Out Boy’s songs spoke to me, helping me feel less alone.
Some of Fall Out Boy’s messages are still relevant to me today, such as this song lyric: “The best way to make it through with hearts and wrists intact/ is to realize two out of three ain’t bad.”
When Jared and I were dating, we bonded over Fall Out Boy songs. He knew of the band because it was popular at the time, but between the two of us, I’m the die-hard fan.
While taking in the concert, we also followed some tips for people with disabilities so we’d have a memorable experience with fewer worries, which I’ll list with the help of Fall Out Boy lyrics.
‘I’d shoot the sunshine into my veins’
Forget the dark reference within that song line. For people with hemophilia, factor infusions are sunshine.
Jared has severe hemophilia B, so he needs factor IX infusions for his blood to clot normally. Otherwise, he may suffer from surprise bleeds or injuries. These happen to him at least once monthly, partly because we don’t have access to prophylactic doses of factor here in the Philippines.
Those who can should infuse factor before attending concerts, especially if they’ll be in a standing section. Locally, that spot at the front where people stand is great for getting up close and personal with performers, but not so great for backs and knees!
‘Soon as we hit the hospital I know we’re gonna leave this town’
At this concert, people with disabilities were required to register, get checked by an on-site doctor, and sign a waiver before joining the crowd. While that process may sound scary, it doesn’t mean that concerts are dangerous for the disabled.
The risks may vary depending on the person’s condition, triggers, and seat. Other concerns come into play, too, including how physically involved the concertgoer will get. Do they stand up and dance? Do they cheer loudly? Or do they remain quietly seated?
Some venues, I’ve learned, won’t allow people with disabilities in their standing section, though that wasn’t the case at this concert.
In Jared’s case, even though he has seizures, he knows they’re not kicked off by lights or loud noises, as they are for some. As he told the on-site doctor, his episodes are usually brought on by extreme emotions. Still, he brought his seizure medication, taking it immediately before the event.
‘Light ’em up up up, I’m on fire’
Jared and I opted for the cheapest tickets in the general admission area, which is way back, because as parents of a school-age kid, we’re saving money these days.
Our location was decent, though, as we got to enjoy most of the concert seated. A few times people near us stood up to dance, and we happily followed suit. The crowd was loud throughout the entire performance, singing to the anthems of our youth. It was practically live karaoke!
From our distant vantage point, we had a fantastic view of the entire arena, which glowed pink thanks to an engaged audience that lit the place up with seashell-shaped paper cutouts placed over the flashlights on phones.
Jared enjoyed this concert a lot and left a much bigger fan of Fall Out Boy than he’d been. Even though we didn’t meet the band members, the show was worthwhile enough.
We’ll definitely attend the next Fall Out Boy concert, whenever that may be. And then we’ll will get a much closer seat!
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.