When the phone rang, I looked at the ID, checked the clock, and smiled as I let it go to voicemail.

I know that there are a lot of anti-concertcall people out there, and I understand the very commonsensical points they raise about the pointlessness of such an action. Unless you’re right by the stage, it’s not like the person on the other end can actually HEAR anything. It’s just three minutes of garble, not the actual experience of BEING there. What’s the good in being that person, standing there with the phone pointed in the general direction of a speaker?

But I look at it in a different way.

You’re at a show. There are lights flashing, chords being played, favorite lyrics being sung. So much dazzling eye candy, so many sonic treats.

The concertcall isn’t an attempt to capture that. You can’t — and I certainly couldn’t transplant myself from my apartment living room to the Orpheum in Boston, taking in tonight’s Ray LaMontagne show.

When you concertcall someone, or when someone concertcalls you, it’s a way to show that with all that going on, the person who isn’t there is still on the caller’s mind. It’s a gesture, and considering the spectacle presented onstage, it is a glowing kind of compliment.

That’s why I call — and that’s why I am so pleased when someone calls me.

A few years ago, I was traveling along a darkened country roadway when my phone rang. I was surprised I had service, so I answered and heard my then-favorite musician on the other end, singing one of my favorite songs. And as I sang along with the music, smiling into the night ahead of me, I was more delighted by the act than the song.

The next day, I learned that he’d listened not necessarily to the song being sung onstage, but my (rather unfortunate in comparison) rendition being performed about 10 hours away.

That testament to a friendship, dear friends, is the point of the concertcall. I’m here. You’re not. But I’ll briefly pretend that you are.

It had been awhile since I’d been concertcalled, and I was able to remember how good it feels to be thought of in that musical moment. Thank you, Nicole.

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