My friends, I think I have a problem. They always say the first step is admitting you have a problem– “they” being psychologists and my parents and leaders of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings if the movies are accurate– and I think it’s time to address this head-on.
I am a concert junkie.
When I was four years old, I saw the Barenaked Ladies in their underwear. It was at an outdoor concert– yes, my parents brought me to an outdoor BNL concert when I was four– but I don’t remember a whole lot about the music. (I mean I’m sure it was awesome, it was the freaking Barenaked Ladies, but I’ve been told I was too busy napping to notice.) All I remember is waking up on a blanket in the grass to find four grown men in their underwear staring at me from a huge-ass 90’s Jumbotron. And then– try to contain your giggles– these four grown-up people walked out on stage, in their underwear, and started playing saxophones. One of my fondest memories to this day.
With a first concert experience like that, how could I not get hooked?
BNL was a tough act to follow, but elementary school brought in some big names. I saw Britney Spears (like, I’m not a girl, not yet a wooooman Britney Spears), Kelly Clarkson (I HAVE HAZEL EYES TOO! I resisted shouting from the balcony), and the Cheetah Girls (minus Raven Symone, but they still brought down the house).
Middle school was the KISS 108 Concert phase, the stand-in-the-rain-for-six-hours-to-see-Flo-Rida-years. If you don’t live in the Boston area, our “today’s greatest hits” radio station has a pop concert bonanza every spring. My cousin Kristina and her dad somehow managed to score cheap tickets for three years in a row, so we saw a lot of artists who hit the twelve-year-old-girl demographic square in the braces: Rihanna, the Jonas Brothers, Dashboard Confessional, Boys Like Girls. Out of all of those, I actually think the Jonas Brothers were the best performers. (They cartwheeled better than they sang, but damn, could they cartwheel.)
High school brought Mat Kearney and Coldplay, and more importantly, my first real experience with the rush. Because that’s what a good concert is– a rush. The song you’ve listened to for years, the one with the lyrics you wish you had written or the refrain that makes your head spin, the band is playing it right now, and you can feel it in your forehead and your chest and your fingertips. You are the music. You’re not thinking about anything but your feet on the ground and your hands in the air and the bass that feels like it’s beating your heart.
(I didn’t take the video, but the concert I went to looked a lot like this. The wristband lights are genius. You go, Coldplay.)
And since I got to college, I’ve been chasing that rush like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve never met a $26 concert ticket I didn’t like. (For some reason they’re always $26.) In the last year I’ve seen Ingrid Michaelson, Into It. Over It., Macklemore, Passenger, and Kendrick Lamar. Last Friday my friend Sean and I saw Macklemore, again. (He rocked it, again.) This Friday some wonderful lady friends and I are going to see The Mowgli’s. And Julie just bought us tickets to see Kodaline in February. (We’ve bought so many tickets lately that Ticketmaster has started sending us emails just to say hi.)
Like I said, I might have a problem.
But you know what? This might be the best problem I’ve ever had. Sure, I might not be able to buy new clothes for the next ten years because all my money is going to concerts, but my doctor told me I stopped growing when I was fifteen so that totally shouldn’t be a problem. Bottom line: if your favorite band is coming to your city, go. The rush is worth it every time.
Author’s Note: This post was indeed an excuse to gush about my music wrapped in a story about my addiction to concerts. Click on the links and dance around in your underwear, I promise you won’t be sorry.