After being at a concert all day and then heading home, the Post-Concert Depression is too real.
This article was originally published for The Odyssey on September 19, 2016.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a passion for music. Not playing it, though I did have quite a few adventures attempting to learn the guitar and piano; no, I was more interested in listening. As I sat in my car seat as a baby, my mom and dad would play their latest mixtape filled with music from the 1970s all the way up through 1990s. I grew up listening to all the classics: rock, pop, new wave, rap, grunge and disco. It all began with a mixtape and an overly enthusiastic baby. Now my concert addiction has been amplified, and as I grow older, it just keeps getting better.
I don’t remember the first concert I ever went to. That’s a question for my mom, she remembers everything. I can barely remember the last concert I went to. That’s how many concerts I have attended. I’ll go see just about anyone I possibly can live; I keep a running list of all the artists and bands I’ve seen, from local schmucks to famous sell-outs like Billy Joel. There are over a hundred people on my list.
Due to the fact that my parents raised me on so many different types of music, my taste isn’t limited to just one genre. I’ve seen many people from The Oakridge Boys to Ed Sheeran to Rise Against to Hall and Oates. My list is pretty vast.
I used to think that concerts were a pivotal moment in every teen’s life, but the more I meet people at college, I am realizing a lot of people still haven’t experienced the amazing feeling that concerts give me. You may have heard other people mention that concerts are their happy place. I’m pretty serious when I say that concerts are my life. I am purely a music enthusiast; someone who appreciates listening to music so much that they practically depend on it and so concerts truly are my happy place.
The rush of happiness and thankfulness I feel before, during and after a concert is unreal. It’s like everything I’ve ever done has led up to this moment and every moment after it. I know some people don’t enjoy crowds, but being in the center of a crowd is a rush of excitement for me. I am instantly overcome with adrenaline. There’s so much energy in a concert crowd, it’s almost impossible to miss. Being squished like a sardine is such a cool concept to me. I love knowing that even if I fell for some reason, I couldn’t, because that’s how tightly packed it is.
During a concert, I am full of smiles. What’s more thrilling than knowing that time is fleeting? What’s more astonishing knowing that nothing will ever be the same as it was at that exact moment? Sure the band will play the same songs in another city, but there won’t be a couple next to you swaying, there won’t be a girl to the left of you tying her shoe and more importantly, you won’t be there. Being at any concert is a pivotal moment in time, simply because you are present.
Concerts and live music are so important to me. They are essential aspects of my life, my well-being and coincidentally enough, my sanity. Just being in a crowd with so many people allows me to feel so free. Think about it: you’re in a crowd with hundreds or thousands of people, and there’s nothing separating you or dividing you, because you’re all there for one reason, to listen to music you all enjoy. You’re all there to let the music bless your ears, to see the people you listen to on a device usually and most of all, to sing those lyrics as loud as you possibly can. Though I truly believe that concerts are for seeing not hearing, I do indulge in taking a video here or there solely for the purpose of being able to relive the amazing concert-sensation again later. We all want to relive the electrifying moments we experience at these shows. Concerts are a place where we can all come together, share and equally enjoy a sacred space, simply because the performers sound good to our ears.
I probably overthink the whole nature of concerts, but they truly mean so much more to me than just some people playing some tunes. It’s not that simple; it’s never been that simple. When the singer(s) get on stage and ask how everyone is doing, it doesn’t matter if you’re having the worst day ever, you’re going to shout and hoot. The music revving up as you jump up and down to your favorite songs is enough to lift your spirits, even if only for the duration of the song. The amazing feelings you can obtain from attending a concert thrill me. The feeling you receive from the extremely loud, pumping bass, like you don’t know if you’re listening to music or your own heartbeat; it’s exhilarating. I adore feeling everything shake and tremble as the music begins, like, you never knew collarbones could vibrate until that exact moment. When the singer points the microphone at the audience and all you hear are your collective voices singing the lyrics, I swear time comes to a standstill. I swear that in that moment, there is nothing more astonishing, more breathtaking, more impressive than knowing that this music isn’t just a band or a song, it’s a movement. In that moment, as all the hairs on your body stand on end, you realize you are not small, you are not just one person. You become part of something bigger, more exciting and of course, more important.
I’ve been to Warped Tour, I’ve been in mosh pits and I’ve experienced all the dangerous elements concerts have to offer, yet my opinion still stands. There is no place I’d rather be than standing in a large crowd of a band or artist I enjoy. Last weekend, I went home to attend Rock Allegiance, happening in Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday. I was super sick, with a head cold, an unbearable stuffy nose and a sore throat but I pushed through. I blew my nose in approximately 100 napkins. I took cold medicine with me to the show. That is how much concerts mean to me.
At the end of the day, music is what moves us. I’ve been to a hundred concerts and I’ll go to a hundred more, a hundred after that and so on. I will go and see just about anyone I possibly can, cost depending. (Despite being an avid concert-goer, money does not, unfortunately, grow on trees, and as a broke college student, I definitely feel that Post-Concert Depression when I can’t afford a ticket to a certain gig.)
Music is my life, and I don’t say that lightly. Concerts are and forever will be my happy place. If you haven’t been to a concert before, I honestly feel as though you are missing out on a part of your life that could be so amazing. If you feel even a sixteenth of what I experience while at concerts, I promise you it will be so fulfilling to attend more. I am living proof that concerts and live music are the most amazing environments on Earth. If concerts aren’t your tempo, what is? Where’s your happy place?