Anytime you drift away from a scene, a circle, a situation, it’s going to feel at least a little strange when you find yourself back there, in some capacity.

Back in the days where I had spare time and ready access to my car, I was often found traveling anywhere within a reasonable radius to see any of The Boys who happened to be playing a show. It was important for me to be able to follow the progression of their careers. It was important for me to have them know that I supported them. And there was the fact that I always genuinely enjoyed experiencing their performances.

Situations change and, in my case, I felt less of an immediate pull to that scene. I don’t go out of my way anymore, but when I have a chance to easily make it back to a show, I’ll definitely do so. Which is why I was at Johnny D’s last night to see Patrick and Tim play. Show right up the street from my apartment, featuring two of my favorites from that circle? No-brainer.

It is strange, though. The crowd is different. The songs are still familiar, a security blanket, but there are new albums and things and whatnot to remind me of how much time has passed. I’m acutely aware of my shift in place, but it feels good, in an odd sort of way.

What makes it feel right, however, is knowing that I’m not forgotten. Because when my favorite song is being performed and I look up at the stage with the happy little grin that song always prompts, I’m met with my old friend’s traditional happy little return smile.

Some things won’t change.