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.