I have been a fan of Lights for many, many years. She has always been a source of inspiration for me, but even more so over the past year with her latest endeavor, Skin&Earth. After years of simply wishing she could create her own comic, she decided to stop wishing and start doing, and so she drew an entire comic series herself and made an album to go alongside it. It is my favorite album by her to date and has been an album I have played over and over. I listened to it while driving to and from my first few dives after being SCUBA certified, I listened to it to and from university, I listened to it late at night to keep me awake while studying. I have looked up to Lights a lot: she is an artist, a musician, a storyteller, and a mom, and I am constantly impressed by her. I'm honestly really proud of what she has accomplished, and I truly do admire her spirit and drive.
Unfortunately, I had not seen Lights in three years. The last time I saw her was just a few days before I left the country for the first time in my life. Actually, it was also my first show that I ever shot. I didn't know what I was doing, I don't even know how I got the photo pass, but I figured I should start somewhere and so I went out on a limb and sent a request for a pass that I was so thankful to have received. That night, Lights was meeting the first few people to purchase her most recent album at the show, and I jumped at the opportunity. When my turn to meet her came, I was nervous and shaking but Lights was warm and friendly. I told her I was so happy she came that day because I was leaving the country for the first time in a few days and she was immediately interested in what I was doing and asked where I was going. I told her I was going to Chile for preliminary marine biology research and she responded enthusiastically, "WOW! Well you do lots of research while you are there, ok!" and gave me a big hug.
Three years later, I've been to Chile three times, performed a lot research, and have shot several more shows and greatly developed myself as a photographer. However, I still had not seen Lights again. Every time she came back to Nashville, I wasn't able to make it to the show. By the time the most recent tour rolled around, I assumed it would be the same outcome as always: she would come on a day I couldn't go and I would be out of luck again. But this time, I got lucky.
It is so fulfilling to see and photograph an artist you deeply admire after years of not seeing them. The Nashville show was everything I could have hoped for and more, and I had the biggest smile on my face the whole show. Lights was electric, with her vibrant red hair flashing in the incredible light display and overall girl power vibe. The audience felt it, too, and both fed off each other. She played old songs and new ones, and there was a glimmer in her eyes the entire time that never ever left. She put on an even better show than I had seen those three years ago and I left feeling so fulfilled and happy. Everything was moving full circle for me and it reminded me of how far I have come in the past three years. I think both of us have changed, for the better.
I gush every time I think about the show. I probably will never stop. After such a long time, I finally had a second go (pun intended), and it was everything I hoped for and more. And I just have to say: Lights, I am so, so very proud of you. You are so powerful, so inspiring, and so incredibly talented. Thank you for the encouragement so many years ago, and thank you for living up to your name and being kindness and energy to so many people. Thank you for everything you do and I can't wait to see you again.