Monday, September 17, 2012

Love Me Some Maroon 5

I have now been to a grand total of three concerts that did not involve classical music: Muse (in Chicago), Elton John (Grand Rapids), and now Maroon 5 (Busan). And last night Maroon 5 knocked even some of my favorite Beethoven performances out of the water.

The energy was more than palpable—it was like sustenance. Koreans, I might add, are crazy about glowsticks. I’m not sure if it was the tomahawk motion with which they used them to cheer or the flashing Minnie Mouse ears everyone was wearing, but the auditorium visually pulsated with the beat of the music. The glowstick-carriers were, however, baffled when Adam sang She Will Be Loved with James accompanying on acoustic.

Anyway, as soon as Maroon 5 hit the stage, the place was a madhouse.

Or rather, as soon as the shockingly sexy Mr. Levine took the stage, the Busan-ites in the auditorium transformed from subway-riding automatons into screaming maniacs. He was our oxygen for two hours and we used it to scream ourselves hoarse, to dance and sing through every one of his songs. He, in all his slim-hipped dramatic-cheek-boned glory, was the drum major of it all, using the mic stand as his baton, half-dancing half-charging across the stage with trademark Adam-swagger. His charisma failed oozed from the stage and we lapped it up. And it was glorious.

So glorious that all of sudden I realized: this is what worship is supposed to be like.

So, why isn’t it? Does this worship cost us less? Or do we worship charisma more than actual authority? Jesus had authority, but “he had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” So, Adam Levine is the Antichrist.

I’m totally kidding! I still enjoyed every minute of the concert, but it confused me a lot about the roots of worship. We are so good at worshipping. Look at concertgoers, or sports fans, or at Pinterest for heaven’s sake! Worship comes more naturally to us than almost anything else. We love to worship, to obsess, to throw ourselves into a maniacal crowd of people and get lost in the meaning for the crowd. We pay money to worship, spend time worshipping; it’s practically the human hobby.

So why is it so hard to worship the right Person?

1 comment:

  1. Annie Dillard: Crash-Helmet Christians

    Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute? . . . On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.

    — Annie Dillard, “An Expedition to the Pole,” in Teaching a Stone to Talk