Why going to concerts alone is actually the best
Has your favorite band ever come to town, but you miss out on the show because you don’t have someone to go with? Going to concerts with friends is not just a great activity to make lasting memories, but it’s extremely comforting to be with someone you know at a crowded event. We tend to get extremely self-aware when we are alone while everyone else seems to be buddied up — being alone at a concert can leave you wondering if people are staring at you, feeling too uncomfortable to enjoy the music, and overall not allowing yourself to have a good time.
I love to show my support for small bands who are still getting their name out on a national scale. So, when I heard that a band I’ve been listening to called Twins Peaks was coming to Philadelphia, I made sure that I was going to be there. However, a small problem arose — I had literally nobody to go with. I decided not to let this stand in my way of seeing these guys live. I went to the concert solo, and I’m so glad I did! Here are some reasons why going alone to a show can be a great experience:
1. You’ll be more observant.
A huge perk of going to the show by myself was that I was more observant of everything around me. I noticed all of the little things people tend to miss out on (like the writing on the posters hung up around the venue, and the quirky details you notice while people-watching). But, I’ll admit, it took me a little while to see the good in the situation. Coming into the small venue and seeing everyone with at least one friend made me want to run into the bathroom and hide until the band came on (I won’t lie, I did hide in the bathroom for approximately 10 minutes).
Then my inner optimist took over; I decided to venture on out and be an onlooker. I became so observant of what was happening around me that I forgot all about my urge to hide. So, outsider, here’s how you look in: Listen to peoples’ conversations and read the posters. When the band finally does come on, try to notice things you wouldn’t usually notice if you were caught up in a conversation or focused on your phone. Watch the drummer and scan the crowd. You’ll be present enough to catch all the small moments that pass most people by. Whatever happens at the show, you’ll be all eyes and ears to absorb it.
2. You’re more likely to meet people who share the same interests as you.
Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you can’t be social. Concerts are one of the greatest places to make new friends; you obviously dig the same music, so ther’es a good chance end up having other similar interests, too! If you see someone that you want to talk to, give them a compliment or ask them about the band. When I was by myself at the show, a girl complimented me on my backpack. We ended up exchanging numbers and chatting with the band together after the show.
3. You’ll kick self-consciousness to the curb.
Showing up to a concert alone can be super nerve-racking at first. Go in with the right mindset — keep your chin up and get pumped to see a good show. Even if you feel uncomfortable, act like you’re as confident as can be. At the first show I went to alone, I was worried that people would be looking at me like I was a loser, or I wouldn’t know what to do with myself while waiting for the band to come on (see above: #1 running into the bathroom). I eventually faked my confidence and ended up feeling cool as hell; there’s probably some scientific data behind this because it totally works. I kept reminding myself that I was there for the music, not to impress total strangers. Also, it turns out that literally nobody cares if you’re alone. If you catch people staring at you, it’s definitely them admiring how cool and confident you look (they might also be looking at your cute backpack).
4. You don’t have to worry about if your friends are enjoying the show.
I always want to show my support for smaller bands who are still establishing themselves on a national scale. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s hard to find a friend who is even familiar with them. If you bring a friend who doesn’t know the band or any of their songs, they probably won’t have a great time. They might bop their head every now and then, but is it a sincere head bop? Do they really mean it? Are they even moving at all, or are they constantly checking their phone and crossing their arms over their chest?
If you’re like me, you want the people around you to be having as much fun as you — and this could lead to you not having a great time either, due to your buddy’s lack of sincere dance moves. The company can be great, but going solo surrounded by strangers who are fans of the band can be just as, or even more, comforting. I went to a Third Eye Blind show this past summer with a couple of my friends, and I was the only one who was really into the band. As I was screaming along to the lyrics, I would look over to my friends who didn’t seem to be enjoying the show. They would be on their phones and not getting into the music. As weird as it sounds, it made me feel like I couldn’t show how much fun I was having.
5. You can move your spot as much as you want (without bothering other people).
I went to a Foo Fighters show this past summer, and my friends thought it would be a great idea for us to start from the very back of thousands of people and bust our way through to the front via an actual chain of girls; I was on the end of this chain of five people, and could hear the annoyed comments from the people we were pushing through. I quickly got uncomfortable being a weasel, and let go of my friend’s hand leaving me lost and alone in a sea of sweaty, tall people. The beauty of going to a show by yourself, is if you want to start at the back, and maybe post up by the back wall — totally cool! If you want to move closer mid-set, also super cool. No need to be a part of a human chain.
6. YOU CAN DANCE, SING, AND ACT HOW YOU WANT.
It’s ideal to have that “not caring what other people think” mindset all the time, but as humans we all kind of care at various levels. If you’re going to liberate yourself from a bad day, week, month, or year, do it at a concert. Do what makes you happy in the moment without second guessing yourself. Want to crowd surf? Do it! Want to talk to the band? Go ahead. Want to pretend you’re an Australian table tennis champ named Jolene who has a love for garage-rock? Go for it! Lose yourself in the music, sing so hard your voice cracks, head bang your head so hard that you get whiplash — LITERALLY NO ONE CARES! Concerts are so magical because if you look around, everyone gets lost in the music, and could care less if you look like you’re having too good of a time! So HAVE A GOOD TIME!
I didn’t think going to my first show alone would make me a braver person, but it did. I’m proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone, and attending something I had missed out on many times before due to me not having a friend to go with. I now rarely skip out when my favorite bands are in town; accompanied or not, I’m there! You don’t have to miss out on things you want to do because you’ll feel weird alone. Feeling weird is an unimportant portion of the event that comes packed with positive experiences — life is short, so go to the show and have a rockin’ time!