nathaniel rateliff + the night sweats

March 24 // University of Wyoming // Canon 6D 

Since the age of five, I've lived in various college towns--five different ones, to be exact. Some, like Bridgewater and Mannheim, are hardly changed by the presence of a couple of thousand extra kids running around--others are shaped by the knowledge, the faculty and programs and buildings occupying neighborhoods and pastures.

Laramie is one of those towns, a little jewel in the plains of southeastern Wyoming, full of university students and the things they bring with them--bikes, bars, free cultural programs, and, yes, concerts. And while the local music scene is bumping, here, sometimes it'd be nice to see someone I listen to on spotify, you know? Growing up near Boston, I was downright spoiled--now, the artists I want to see are always in Denver, two hours away.

So when Nathaniel Rateliff  + The Night Sweats was announced as the UWyo spring concert, I was so excited. My roommate bought me a ticket as a early birthday present, I made sure I wouldn't have to work, and after some delicious mandarin orange cauliflower at Sweet Melissa's, well, we were ready

The concert was honestly one of the best acts I've seen live--rollicking tunes, incredible vocals, and just.....all around excellence. My friends and I  stood at the front of the auditorium, by the orchestra pit, taking turns standing up front and swaying to the music, and one piece of lyric seemed oh so appropriate--

can we be there // oh just think of the time 

life in laramie iv.

We danced for the plants on a Saturday night, in an old railroad depot next to the tracks. Bluegrass music is playing, and I dance with strangers, and Claire, and who knew? But I am a good dancer, so it seems. We see old friends and make new ones, slipping out with pretzels in our purse after for drinks at another bar. I drop a glass. It's a good night--one that reminds me how lucky I am to live in a place nicknamed "Laradise," this cozy little town at 7220 feet.

There's a warm spell, and the snow melts. It's 50 degrees, every day, and the winter coat + boots go back in the closet. My car needs work, I finish War and Peace--the weeks fly by so quickly, a blur, and I'm not sure I mind. My college years were spent bargaining with time, imploring it to slow down, so I could stop, for one second, and process everything that was happening--but the days are so much quieter now, full of routine, and there's no use for that, anymore.

There's a song, by Sigrid, where she sings "I throw myself off of heights that used to scare me." That's me. Because the girl who was scared to ride a bike, learn to ski, drive, talk to people, now does stuff that would have scared her less than a year ago.

People are more religious out here, and I understand why--because it's impossible [my opinion, anyways] not to see God in this great wide expanse, rolling hills and open spaces and breathtaking landscapes. When I'm driving outside, sometimes I just say thankyouthankyouthankyou. I'm not sure who I'm even talking to--God, Allah, Jesus, Rumi, the Saints, the Universe--but it doesn't matter. Faith and religion--even my own religion, which sees me in a church pew, semi-regularly--don't seem to matter in the great, wide expanse. It all melds together, and I'm just happy to be here, thanking whoever is listening.

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