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The Loop

Going to a Concert Alone

I didn’t know how deep my insecurities ran until I attended a concert alone. I was informed the night before the show that the super-group Them Crooked Vultures was playing at an intimate club out in Los Angeles where I live and that tix were available.

I debated buying two tickets in the hopes that one of my friends might join me. However I reconsidered due to the expensive ticket price, and the unreliable friends who I consort with.

There’s of course the option to scalp the ticket but I’m not really a scalper-guy. I don’t know what the etiquette is, and I don’t have a long, leather, trench coat.

On an impulse I bought a ticket and decided that I was going solo. I psyched myself up by saying to myself, “It’s just like going to a movie alone.” I like going to movies by myself. No distractions. I do however bring a notebook in case I run into someone I know. That way I can say that I’m doing research for my hugely, unsuccessful career in screenwriting.

I got to the show a bit early and walked around checking out the scene as I didn’t want to sit down in my seat alone and feel like a schmuck. After about five minutes of aimlessly meandering around I remembered that I’m not one to strike up a conversation with a stranger and I don’t like when a stranger strikes up a conversation with me. Therefore, I decided to suck it up and go to my seat.

On the way to my seat, I walked by the merchandising stand and observed people buying the TCV t-shirts and then putting them on over their existing t-shirts. I judgmentally said to myself, “What a bunch of losers. Wearing the t-shirt of the band you are going to see.” Like I was one to talk. Just last week I bought a Phish t-shirt online from a concert that I wasn’t at. After buying the t-shirt I memorized the setlist to prepare myself for an accurate lie if someone should come up to me and reference the t-shirt.

I got up to my seat doing my best to avoid the usher. I like to think that I can handle the whole finding your own seat thing on my own. I’m perplexed, and by perplexed I mean disgusted by concertgoers meager attempt to find their seat using their ticket. It’s not some complex algorithm to find your seat. The rows go in ascending order with letters and the number on your ticket is your seat number.

When I sat down it was still a bit early so the seat to my left was empty. I started getting excited imagining the possibilities of having a free seat next to me but decided not to jinx it and changed the subject in my head. To my right was a nice looking couple drinking water. So far, my environment seemed friendly. I hesitantly glanced around behind me to see if anyone was laughing and pointing at me because I was alone. Obviously no one was. Because no on cares and I bet there’s other people that regularly go to concerts alone and could care less of what other people think of them…I am not one of those people.

I even took out my Blackberry to kill time and pretend to look busy. I quickly came to the realization that I don’t have enough applications on my Blackberry to even pretend to look busy so I put it away.

Them Crooked Vultures took the stage and immediately I was blown away. Everyone stood up and began to head nod. My self-obsessed, insecure head said something like, “You better be bobbing your head in unison with the music. You don’t want to look stupid.”

I then had a moment of clarity where I said to myself, “Maybe, just maybe, people are paying attention to this power trio of rock icons onstage and not looking at how I’m bobbing my head.”

TCV put on a strong ninety-plus set delivering every song off of their debut with tremendous success. After the third song I was able to get out of my head and appreciate what this night is all about. Watching a band perform live. At the end of the show I looked to my left and no one did ever show up. I didn’t even notice.

I’m still a self-obsessed, insecure person. That hasn’t changed. What has changed after going to see this show by myself is that the next time I want to see a show and can’t find anyone to go with me, I’m going to go alone. Maybe it might even be more entertaining. And maybe one day I’ll be outgoing and actually take the effort to talk to a total stranger…I’ll lie and say I’m a music journalist.


There are 9 comments associated with this post

jbf September 2, 2010, 16:44:03

maybe you just skip the hit of acid before the next show!

zhuzhu September 3, 2010, 03:27:54

I’m still a self-obsessed, insecure person. That hasn’t changed. What has changed after going to see this show by myself is that the next time I want to see a show and can’t find anyone to go with me

row jimmy September 3, 2010, 08:37:16

Been going to shows alone for years and to be honest, I like it that way. I don’t have to take of anyone, make sure they are having a good time, and have a conversation during a song. I am there for the music and music only cause thats what I paid for! Not to say I don’t have my group of tour buddies, but alone works very well for me!

bobby rockstar September 3, 2010, 13:41:29


The Sloth September 4, 2010, 13:44:30

I went to 6/27 at Merriweather by myself. Didn’t have a ticket, but had been to Camden and the previous night at Merriweather with friends. I live in Baltimore, I woke up Sunday, and thought, “Damn, I’ve just seen two nights of great music, tonight isn’t sold out, the show will be over early enough for me to work on Monday, might as well head on down.” It was without a doubt one of the most fun times I’ve had at a show.

fletcher September 5, 2010, 22:04:00

done a number of solo shows, even a 4-show mini Panic NC/VA run on my own…was a blast. Knew enough people at each show to kick it with, then just bolted whenever I felt like it… can relate to the awkwardness of pre-show and set break, but you’re right…nobody gives a shit. Nice article. Write another one. Later.

Moncler Jackets January 4, 2011, 04:28:34

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Kari*soLoRocKstAr* March 22, 2012, 12:15:56

So good to read of guys being shy going to shows alone! I’ve been to many shows alone, in fact, a Coachella weekend was my first solo experience and by circumstance went to Bonnaroo alone(i’m from California), Flaming Lips at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and the latest a last minute Primus show! after my pre-show jitters- getting parked and into the venue-i have an amazing time! I make friends of strangers, I get to dance my crazy ass off and FEEL the MuSic(the whole freakin’ reason for going!) Something I’ve found just about impossible when I go with someone else! And believe me it’s not from lack of effort(i’ve been to over 200 shows…) Going alone to me really drives home the whole ‘be here now’ philosophy which got me hooked on live shows in the first place! Rock on SoLo duDE!!

The Dude August 16, 2012, 17:43:47

I’ve gone to shows alone on some occasions. My first experience was Lollapalooza ’06, I went to all 3 days 100% alone and that was a big deal to me, at the time I was so nervous about it but I just tried to stop thinking about it and just went, Fuck it. To this day I’m still proud that I did it. Being alone at a show has its perks, like being able to navigate close to the stage easily and enjoying the show uninterrupted. The reason I have went to shows alone is just the fact that I don’t know any people that like the same bands that I do. I’ll admit that it does get a little depressing when you see other people there with their little group of buddies but I’m there just so I can look back years from now and say, I saw this band live, I was there, sure I didn’t find anyone to go with but that didn’t stop me.

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