I don’t know what came over me.
Okay, I love music. The music I like gives me such tremendous sensory pleasure it’s almost like a high. Unlike most of my peers, I mostly listen to new music. In my youth I was very much into rock and classic rock, but now I like electronica, indie pop, dream pop, etc. I wasn’t happy in my youth, so I’m not really into much that reminds me of it. There are some exceptions, however. Some older music stands the test of time and I can still enjoy it for what it is without being reminded of anything in particular. Some examples are INXS, U2, and of course The Beatles (although the latter were actually from well before my time, but I listened to them in my youth nonetheless).
Then there’s this other band I’m not going to name (I have my reasons). They are seriously underrated, in my opinion. Their sound has always resonated with me and touched me on a deep level, and their lyrics are pure creative genius. I have a great deal of admiration and affection for this band. So when I saw that they are going to be in my city later this month, I got excited.
“Can we go see [name of band] the last weekend of May?” I asked my husband.
“Yeah, okay,” he said, as if I had just asked if he wanted to come to the grocery store with me.
I immediately ordered two tickets.
Now I’m like, what have I done? I don’t go to concerts. Did I forget who I am and what I’m like?
It has been more than 20 years since I’ve been to a concert. And the few concerts I did go to back in the day were not great experiences for me. The worst ones were festival-style. Just a big open field with a stage. I went to two of those. Both experiences were incredibly overstimulating. The crowds were insane.
I’m short, so I couldn’t even see anything. Every once in a while I would jump up as high as I could to catch a fleeting glimpse of Joe Elliot (he was the only one I remember really wanting to see), but otherwise I might as well have been sitting at home listening to a live album. Actually, that would have been better, sensory-wise.
At one of those concerts, I actually ended up alone, because I was getting overwhelmed by the crowd while the friends I was there with wanted to get as close to the stage as possible. I didn’t want to battle my way up there with them, so I hung back. Way back. I ended up right at the outer fringe. I was surrounded by people who were so fucked up they didn’t know or care where they were. Still, that was preferable to heading for the mosh pit.
At one point, I saw an abandoned piece of carpet on the ground. I sat down on it. Then I lied down on it. Then I rolled myself up like a burrito and tried to block out all sensory input. People probably thought I was high. I wasn’t.
Concerts at smaller venues, like the one I now have tickets for (this band isn’t exactly selling out arenas these days, if they ever did), weren’t quite as bad, except that I seemed to be like a magnet for intoxicated strangers who wanted to befriend me, when I was really just there for the music.
Regardless, it’s been a very long time since I’ve attempted to go to one. I don’t know if this is going to be okay for me. Maybe I am being foolish. But part of me is excited, because I really, really like this band. And the tickets I bought are for the balcony, which might be more bearable than the floor. It’s away from the thick of things, which is good, and I have a better chance of being able to see from up there. And I’m going with my husband, who’s a tall, masculine guy with a deep voice and a confident swagger, so being with him should keep me somewhat safe from strangers. And he will be willing to leave with me if I need to; he’s great that way. The tickets were not hugely expensive, thank goodness. I wouldn’t have even considered it if they were.
I am going to wear a little black dress. Should I do black tights and boots, or bare legs and sandals? I look much younger than my age (or so I’m repeatedly told) so I can probably get away with either. But tights are uncomfortable. Bare legs would show off my tattoo. I will probably do bare legs and sandals. But I would feel cooler in tights and boots.
We will probably take the bus there and a taxi home. I will be nervous being out late at night. Whenever I read about people getting mugged or assaulted in this city I’m always comforted by the fact that it only seems to happen after 11pm. We’re never out that late, so it won’t happen to us, I think. This time we likely will be out that late. I don’t know how long the concert will last.
It’s funny how my husband didn’t even bat an eye when I asked if we could go. He was totally unfazed. We’ve been married almost twelve years. When have I ever wanted to go to a concert? We went to a comedy show once, but never a music concert. I suddenly want to do something completely out of character and he’s like yeah, okay, whatever. It’s kind of comforting in a way. Nobody’s putting me in a box or expecting me to remain a certain way all the time. I like that.