The JLC has begun what I would call a PR campaign, referred to as the JLC Reviewer. They are giving individuals the opportunity to attend various concerts and offer fan reviews. (I’m working on another blog post regarding this so watch for it for more details if you are unfamiliar with the campaign).
This week they announced that they were looking for JLC Reviewers for the Josh Groban concert and I immediately replied with what was probably an emotional response. Not that I wouldn’t love going to see Josh Groban, I would, his voice is amazing and I am certain it would be a concert to remember, but there are probably people better suited than myself to act as a JLC Reviewer for this concert. I would probably be better suited to the NKOTBSB concert in August as their catalogues are permanently tattooed to my brain thanks to growing up during the boy band era.
I still would love to see Josh Groban, but I am likely only familiar with a couple of his songs, but the songs I am familiar with are tied to some very emotional memories, specifically You Raise Me Up.
In 2004, when I was 20, I went through the most difficult year of my life. I was a 3rd year student at Brock University, I was a Don (Resident Advisor) responsible for 75 students in my court, plus a number of other duties and just before I left for training and school, mid-way into August, my family was dealt a blow. My maternal Grandpa, who I was extremely close with, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer and given 3-6 months to live.
My Grandpa was by no means the perfect man. He smoked pretty consistently from the time he was 13, despite family members begging him to stop and his grandchildren (my sister and I) constantly hiding his cigarettes on him in an attempt to make him stop. My Grandpa also liked to drink a fair bit.
Despite his flaws though, he was the best Grandpa I could have asked for. As a man, he had one of the biggest hearts. He was willing to help absolutely anyone who needed it. That was just his nature. My Grandpa was also one of my biggest supporters, him along with my Grandma. He always believed in me and never could be more proud of me. He beamed cheek to cheek for his grandchildren. When my parents fought, he would get in the car to come and get me to take me away. In high school when I had band and choir practice 4 of 5 days a week he drove me to school and picked me up and we always stopped for a treat.
I was heart-broken when we got the news that he was dying. My Grandpa was 50 years older than me, so he was 0nly 70 at the time, way too early for us to lose him, but it was happening.
That year when I went home for Thanksgiving I knew that I was going home to say goodbye for the last time and that nearly broke me. I held it together around him, my grandmother and most of my family. But after I said goodbye, I barely made it to the hospital elevator before I broke into tears, tears that didn’t stop the entire ride back to St. Catharines.
Less than a week later, the following Saturday morning, I got the call for my parents that he had passed away. I held myself together long enough to get through the phone call, because I knew I needed to be strong for my Mom, because while this was hard for me, it had to be harder for her to have lost her Dad. As soon as I hung up the phone I collapsed onto my bedroom floor into a puddle of tears. My roommate came down to find me in a ball on my floor just sobbing.
The next week was extremely hard for my entirely family. When it came time to the arranging the minute details of the funeral and we were choosing songs, two songs immediately came to mind for my entire family.
The first song was Sarah McLachlan’s I Will Remember You and the second song was Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up. Both songs were and still are incredibly emotional for me and everyone else in my family. To this day I still cry every time I hear You Raise Me Up. It reminds me of my Grandpa and all of the really good memories I had with him over the 20 years that I got to spend with him and it reminds me of the heartbreak that came with losing him.
My Grandma would probably be a better reviewer for this concert, if I had the chance and she was up to it, I would probably take her with me. I’m not sure if she could handle a concert though, her energy isn’t quite back to normal after a back surgery that she had in January to remove a large cyst from her lower spine.
Seeing Josh Groban live would be a very emotional experience and I would be more than happy to be a JLC reviewer, but as I said before there are probably individuals out there who are more familiar with his music who would offer a more rounded review of his concert here in London. I certainly would not turn down the opportunity though.