A Guide to Seeing a Show by Yourself
The hardest part is getting yourself there. So what if your friends bailed on you? So what if you’re the only person you’ve ever met who actually likes this band? So what if you couldn’t get up the courage to ask anyone to go with you? So what? Spend the entire journey to the venue psyching yourself up - you deserve to see live music just as much as anyone else, even if you’re on your own.
Adrenaline will come bouncing out of your every step as you approach the venue (the Rocky theme song is optional). But when you get in line, you’ll falter. You’ll slump to your place behind groups of excited friends chattering away about their days, their lives, their whatevers and you’ll start to think that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all- but that’s okay. Look up the setlist if you can and read through it to get some of that anticipation back. If the laughter of the people in front of you starts to make you feel lonely, use the time to reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. The line will move quicker than you realize.
You’ll step into the venue and start to understand the best part about being alone- following your own rules. If you want to get your fan merch now, you can get it now. If you want to forgo a bathroom trip in favor of keeping your sweet spot in the crowd, that (albeit, risky) choice is yours. If you want to get as close to the barricade as possible, you have the freedom to maneuver your way through bunches of other bodies without dragging an un-enthused partner-in-crime behind you. The rest of the night will unfold according to your plan and your plan alone.
Unfortunately, the opening act won’t get this memo, as they’ll undoubtedly start later than expected. And truthfully, this lull in activity would be better experienced complaining with another impatient person. If you’re feeling particularly outgoing, make small talk with those beside you. But if you’re lost for words, take the time to absorb everything that characterizes your surroundings. Notice every sight, sound, and smell; become acquainted with being alone in such a way that you'll never forget how it feels. By the time the music kicks in, you’ll start to wonder why there’s such a stigma against going out by yourself.
And when that last band comes on, you’ll lose all need for distraction, too caught up in the music to worry about what being alone looks like. After all, it’ll feel like a chance to dance and scream along as unapologetically as possible without having to justify yourself to a friend. And maybe the band will play that amazing song that they haven’t played in years, and maybe the singer will sound particularly stellar that night, and maybe you’ll catch a drumstick or a pick. And maybe if you hadn’t gone, you would’ve missed out on one of the best shows you’ve ever seen.
So buy the ticket. Pick yourself up and walk out the door – remember, the hardest part is getting yourself there.