By Haleigh Missildine, Guest Writer

This past week has been a very musical one for me. From playing at the open-mic night at Northern Pacific Coffee Company and going to Lute Air Student Radio’s live in-studio performance, to going to see a local band and a Finnish band play, I’ve realized how music can really improve my mood and overall life enjoyment.

The first show I went to was for Broken Water, an alternative rock and grunge band from Olympia, Wash. Per usual, the band showed up after I had already arrived at the venue. I was early, though, and I didn’t really mind.

Broken Water set up in the corner of Old School Pizzeria. It’s the first show I’ve been to of theirs with their new bass player — he goes by the name Doctor Sleep and was pretty good.

The band members played one of my favorites, “Heart Strings,” as well as a couple songs off of their newest album, “Tempest,” including “Paranoid.” Sadly, their set was only thirty minutes long, and the band that played afterward was not nearly as good.

Despite not playing nearly long enough, I’m glad I went to this show. I’ve been following Broken Water for the past couple of years and have supported them throughout their career, and it’s really cool to hear the new songs and improvements.

Next, I went to see Finntroll, a folk metal band from Finland, play in Seattle. The venue was small enough that I had an excellent view of the band from where I sat, even though I was toward the back.

This was my first “big” metal show. I had been to see various local rock bands and bigger pop acts, but never something this heavy, despite it being one of the main genres I’ve been listening to lately.

Finntroll played several songs off its new album, “Blodsvept,” and several older well-known songs, too. Finntroll mixes black metal with folk music, creating folk metal. Most folk metal comes from Scandinavia, as Scandinavians have very strong folk roots.

Their songs are composed of folk melodies on guitar or keyboard, with heavy guitar and harsh vocals, and although these concepts seem so different, they mesh together well to create high energy music.

For my first real show, it was great.One of my favorites Finntroll played was “När Jätter Marschera” (“When Giants March”), but nearly every song from this band is pretty enjoyable.

Going to an energetic, upbeat show with a group of friends is so much fun. There’s a sense of belonging and a certain type of energy one gets from going to see a band play live.

At NPCC, I played some original songs on guitar. It was the first time I’ve ever played them in front of people, and everyone was so supportive. I even met some new people, which gave me more of an immediate sense of community.

So, next time you get a chance, whatever type of music it is you enjoy most, listen to it.

Go to live shows, play it on an instrument, sing along or dance — whatever makes you happy. Being surrounded by all of these musical events has given me energy and even some inner peace. With the stress of finals and the darkening days, music can make a gloomy day much better.

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