We all have something our passion will never stray from. For me, I’ve been inspired by a particular artist named Patty Walters. I discovered him in 2012 while looking for covers of some of my favorite pop-punk songs. When I first heard him sing, I fell in love with his voice, emotion, and passion. In fact, he was a major reason why I decided to pursue music and began creating my own songs.
In 2015, my mom got me a VIP Pass for Warped Tour. I was so excited, especially because of the lineup, which my friends and I waited for with excruciating anticipation. When my best friend Alex called and told me that Patty Walters’ band, As It Is, would be on tour this year. I remember being so ecstatic. I had been following them for many many years, and their music inspired me to be who I am today. On the day of the show, I asked to go backstage, but there was some sort of problem, so they had us wait for a moment. That moment slowly became a little longer, and I realized I was cutting it dangerously close to missing As It Is’ set. I was almost crying because I thought I’d miss their monumental performance. Then As It Is came out and performed on a stage where I didn’t think they were supposed to perform that day; a stage I could view them at! About halfway through their set, my mom took me by the arm because we were directed backstage to watch their set. It was one of the best moments of my entire life. I was in tears and had never been happier. After the concert, I had the opportunity to meet Patty. Seeing him in person for the first time made my heart leap out of my chest, and hugging him brought me to tears. I told him that his music meant the world to me.
Since then, I’ve met and seen As It Is five times. Their most recent concert was in Berkeley, at the beginning of November. I took BART hours before the venue opened, just so I could save my friends and I a good spot. The concert was phenomenal and left me speechless yet again. When the show was over, my friends and I waited awhile for the bands to come out and meet the people who were left. I greeted for the fifth time now, wearing the same shirt I’d worn to their past four shows. He asked me how performing on Warped Tour was, and how I’ve been since I last saw him in May. I told him how my mother passed away on the way up there. Each time I met Patty, my mom was with me and always polite to him when greeting him, and so he was outwardly very saddened by the news. We talked for a while about how music can be healing, and how he was glad to see me again.
People like Patty Walters and bands like As It Is makes the world a better place and lifts me up when I’m struggling. To create something so much larger than just yourself can be so difficult and taxing, so emotionally draining, and can be the most vulnerable positions to be in. People like Patty and the rest of the band are inspirations to other people out there who lack the means to articulate what it’s like to go through something traumatic, or how to live with a mental illness, but show how there can always be hope if you search for passion over pain.