By Jenna Campbell
A giant crowd of people. Strangers. They all have their own stories, lives, tastes and styles that you will most likely never know anything about. But in that moment, you don’t care.
Yes, you probably won’t see the majority of these people ever again, but you leave knowing you have something in common with each and every one of them.
How can that be when there are hundreds of people surrounding you?
Well, when you and those hundreds of people are standing together in a giant cluster, shoulder to shoulder, body to body, jumping up and down, stepping on one another, throwing up your hands and screaming at the top of your lungs in a wave of unison, you tend to feel a sense of unity with those strangers, and somehow, in some way, everyone is connected.
Okay, well maybe not everyone, but if you have ever been to a concert, you understand what I’m talking about.
So, I guess I should explain why exactly I’m talking about this. I suppose I’m a little excited because I attended a Say Anything concert Dec. 5, and there is something thrilling about that thought.
However, when I’ve mentioned to people where I’ll be Friday night, I was surprised to hear so many people say “I’ve never been to a concert,” and that’s the true reason why I felt compelled to write about what one is like. This will be my seventh concert (I’m an amateur concert-goer) in all and my third time seeing this band (which happens to be my favorite). I saw the band I’m going to see tomorrow perform over the summer, and that’s the concert experience I’m going to focus on now, mostly because it was truly unforgettable.
I’ll begin with the buildup. There is just something thrilling about going to see your favorite band live, and to most people, it’s a big deal. You anticipate the day your concert arrives from the moment you buy the tickets, and that could be months in advanced. That was me all summer waiting for the day I’m talking about. I just wanted it to be here, and when it finally was, it was so worth the wait. So, my brother, who bought me the tickets for my birthday, and I finally made it inside the venue, which was a smaller venue than usual. Our plan from the beginning was to somehow make it to the front by the time the main act came on.
So, we listened to the opening acts and slowly worked our way toward the stage. (There weren’t any seats in this venue, all standing.) At one point, the crowd started getting really excited with anticipation and this giant gap opened up. When it did, two girls darted forward into the gap and we followed them. When the main band finally came on stage, the entire crowd surged forward and “rushed the stage,” as it’s called, and my brother and I got pushed up even more. Which is where I must give a word of warning: if it is your first time at a concert, and you decide you want to be in the front of the pit, be prepared to get pushed…a lot.
Anyway, by the time a few songs were played, I found myself in the second row behind the people up against the barrier. Being that close to the stage is exhilarating. It’s where the true concert experience began.
I forgot about all the people around me, or how I was being pushed and even how sweaty I was getting because nothing else mattered. Maybe it sounds disgusting, but trust me, if this is your favorite band, you don’t care about anything except the music.
No matter how loud it is, you have to try to yell the lyrics louder – that’s your main goal.
If you do get as lucky as I did and get to touch the hand of your favorite musician or get a mic held out right in front of your face, it will feel like it didn’t even happen until after the show when everything sinks in. All I can remember is leaving the stage in absolute awe as to what I actually just happened.
It wasn’t until my car ride home when I realized how I didn’t have a voice, or how hot I was or how much I needed a drink, and even then, it was still worth it. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
In fact, I am.
Being in a place with your favorite band on stage live, surrounded by a whole bunch of people who love that band just as much as you do is an experience like no other. Somehow, in a weird way, it’s like you’re home, but maybe that’s just me. Nevertheless, you will get concert withdrawal the day or even a few minutes after the show ends, and that isn’t just me.
So, with that said, I’m going to end this, but before I do, let me say one more thing: If the opportunity arises where you can go to a concert, go. Trust me, you will not regret it. That, and beware of crowd surfers because a kick in the head is never fun.