April 21st, 2018

Rock Ramblings: Manchester fights back with love

By Medicine Hat News on June 15, 2017.

We’re living in scary times; armed gunmen shooting up the Bataclan in Paris at an Eagles of Death Metal concert in 2015, more recently; a bombing at an Ariana Grande performance in Manchester. Thankfully in Canada, we are more isolated than most when it comes to attacks of this nature. As a music fan though, it’s hard not to get angry at these senseless displays of violence. Is ‘anger’ really the right response though? I think for many of us, that’s our first impulse — to be angry, to be hurt, to be vengeful.

On May 25, just three days after the attack, something magical happened. A turning point. There was a memorial being held in the centre of St Ann’s square, during which there was a moment of silence for the 23 who died and 119 injured in the attack. As the moment drew to a close, one single, solitary observer, Lydia Bernsmeier-Rullow, began to sing the Oasis song “Don’t Look Back In Anger.”

While the band’s 1995 hit only peaked in North America at No. 10, it was a No. 1 single in the UK, and the message from that single voice struck a chord with the crowd, who quickly joined in. Hundreds of observers and bystanders all singing along; choosing peace.

Now, Noel Gallagher has something of a reputation in the music industry. The co-founder of Oasis is notoriously outspoken and known for hating everything and everyone. In essence, he’s a spoiled child. In fact, he may very well be the world’s worst spokesman for peace. But the message in his music resonated with the crowd in a way no other song could. While Noel was unable to perform at the Manchester benefit, he did announce that royalties from the song would be going to the One Love Manchester fund. That’s right, music’s most cantankerous a–hole is donating the royalties from one of his band’s biggest songs to help victims.

Will this be the final terror attack of our lifetime? Doubtful. Sadly, this likely won’t even be the last terror attack at a concert. But when we choose not to be angry, we’re taking a step towards peace. Manchester chose love over anger and it opened the heart and purse strings of the man who hates everything, proving anything is possible. Don’t look back in anger.

Layne Mitchell is on the air 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays on 105.3 ROCK and http://www.1053rock.ca.

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