If you’ve read this blog at any point in time, or you’ve stumbled upon my Twitter feed, or you actually know me, then you know it’s no secret that I’m a U2 superfan. So far on the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour, I’ve traveled over 1,600 miles to Montreal and Toronto to see six concerts — all solo. (Well, 5 and 1/2 were solo, but that’s neither here nor there). I’ll be going to all four shows in Boston and all eight in New York City as well. Excessive? Sure. But I might as well smell the flowers while I can.
The point of this post isn’t to illustrate that I’ll gladly travel to have a good time and see my favorite band, but rather, to provide tips for going to concerts by yourself. Concerts are very much a social thing, but what’s truly cool about concerts is that everyone in the building is automatically you’re friend. Well, until they spill their beer on you or something, but you get the point — everybody is there because you have a common interest: you paid money to see an artist perform live. Even if you go alone, you aren’t totally alone.
Here are five tips to help you get off your keester and head to a show you really want to see… even if your friends don’t want to go, or think it’s crazy to keep going.
One: Stop caring what people think
We all remember what it was like to be in high school. It sucked. You’re worried about the three pimples on your face and you’re worried about what everybody in the world thinks about you. Then we all grew up and realized that we shouldn’t care what people think about us; we should just be ourselves and do what we want to do.
If you really want to go to a game or to a concert by yourself, don’t worry about what people around you think. It’s sort of like going to the movies by yourself to a degree — you’re not talking to the person next to you throughout the movie, are you? Movies are very much an anti-social event, but we’ve somehow made it a social thing. At a concert, are you really going to spend more than 45 seconds here and there talking to the person next to you? No.
Two: Be friendly to the people around you
When you get to your seat or spot on the floor, smile, say hi to the people around you, introduce yourself. You automatically have a common interest. People like to talk about the show they’re about to see. A lot. Don’t sit there glued to your cell phone. Be social, and you’ll make a lot of friends.
Your best friend was once a stranger, right?
Three: Ditch the nerves
The first time you do something by yourself can be a nerve racking experience. Don’t let doing something you want to do and you’re excited to do be nerve racking. Enjoy the day, night or whatever time of day your show is at. Be excited, be happy, look forward to it. It sounds dumb, because it’s so obvious, but let’s admit it: the first time you went to do anything by yourself, even if just driving to school for the first time, you were a little bit nervous.
Four: Don’t get excessively inebriated
If it’s legal for you to pop a cold one, two or four back, then you probably like to do so before a concert. However, you should be sure to limit yourself if you’re going alone. Nobody wants to be friends with the sloppy drunk next to them, and you’ve got no backup if you’re looking a little too ratchet. Don’t get yourself kicked out because Captain Morgan took you aboard the Hot Mess Express instead of S.S. Seven Seas.
Five: Be yourself
Nobody around you is going to judge you if you’re playing the air drums or singing along to songs. Enjoy the day, enjoy the night and enjoy the music that compelled you to buy a ticket to begin with. Everybody in the venue is a fan, and as a superfan myself, I like to see other fans at shows having a blast, singing along and getting lost in the music for a few hours.
The TL;DR version of this? Go to shows you want to see, stop caring what people think about you (but don’t be a dick), don’t get too drunk and have a blast.
It’s your life after all, not Stu, Sue and Sallie’s life down the street you’re living.