Before 2019 started, I vowed to myself that I would have the best year ever. I wasn’t planning on making any resolutions, I just really wanted to make this a year to remember. 2018 was rough, where my life seemed to change every few months and I felt very stuck for a variety of reasons. But for 2019, I said I wouldn’t let anything stand in the way of my happiness and that I would live it to the fullest. So far, I would say it’s been going rather well.
One thing that I wanted to accomplish this year was to attend as many concerts as possible. And for this new year, I already had numerous shows lined up. Most of my favorite bands were releasing new material which means a tour is right around the corner. But there’s one small problem I’ve always had when it comes to concerts: having someone to go with. I’ve always seemingly dragged people to shows, begging them to come with me and telling them they would really enjoy it. Most of my friends don’t particularly have the same music taste that I do and many of them also live a few hours away, so meeting up isn’t always the easiest thing. However, somehow up to this point I got lucky and always managed to find at least one person who was at least interested in attending.
Until I got a notification that Third Eye Blind (one of my favorite bands ever, I might add) was coming to my city with Jimmy Eat World. I was ecstatic. Actually, “ecstatic” is an understatement. I was familiar with the venue and tickets were affordable, and I could finally add a Third Eye Blind t shirt to my band tee collection! I was bouncing off the walls. But as soon as that excitement settled down a bit and I went to buy tickets, I thought who I would invite to come with me. I couldn’t pin point anyone I specifically wanted to join me, because among my indie rock listening friends, I highly doubted any of them even know who this band was. Sure, they might know a few of their most popular songs but who really wants to spend money on a show they have to pretend to enjoy to please a friend? I wouldn’t want any of my friends to do that for me anyway. Nonetheless, I asked around, mentioning it in group chats a few times and over small conversations. Nobody was up for it.
I thought back to the last time Third Eye Blind toured a few years back and I didn’t go because I didn’t want to ask anyone, or the time I missed out on seeing numerous other bands because I was too afraid to go by myself. All of these missed opportunities came to mind of events that I had the time and money to go to but didn’t because I always had the thought that going alone is weird. And it just made me sad; not because I felt like a friendless loser but because I realized that I missed out on seeing some of my favorite artists who might never tour again. There’s always that possibility, you never really know. So I decided to log back into the ticket website and purchase one general admission ticket just for me. I decided that no matter what, I was going to go, I was going to have fun, and I might even meet new people or make new friends. The thought made me nervous but like I told myself at the beginning of the year, I wanted to have a happy year and I wasn’t going to let this stop me.
I bought my ticket around a month and a half in advance, so there was plenty of time for me to push away my thoughts about it and not worry. But the day of the show came around and boy was I having mixed feelings. I was nervous, mostly because of safety concerns but considering I new the area and the venue, I assured myself I would be okay. I was also nervous of looking like a complete loner or even looking lost, but then again there are people who work at the venue that I can ask questions. Of course the worry train never ends so I was also nervous that I would get stuck around people who would give me weird looks or harass me for whatever reason. And yet, all of those nerves slowly subsided when I thought about the moment Third Eye Blind would hit the stage. I ate dinner, put on a comfy outfit and some makeup and made my way to the venue. I paid fifteen dollars for parking (ugh) and expected an awkward wait in line before the doors open. To my surprise, the doors were already open when I got there. Lucky for me I didn’t have to pretend I didn’t come there by myself around a bunch of strangers who already had companions. The first thing I did was rush up to the merch table and buy a t shirt and then slowly made my way to the general admission seating section. I wanted to pick a spot that wouldn’t get in the way of other people, and I considered taking the edge seat in the row all the way in the back. But I didn’t want to be all the way in the back so I took an edge seat on the first row available. The venue was still rather empty so a person sitting by themselves didn’t appear to be the craziest thing in the world.
The opening band soon started playing and the seats around me slowly started filling up. Families, boyfriends and girlfriends, and groups of three or four kept passing me by. Despite all of that, I paid no attention to them. The opening group was fun and lively and all I cared about in that moment was enjoying the music. After a quick ten song set, time came for the in between stage set up. After doing some research on how to attend concerts alone, I figured out that that time in between groups was the worst part. But even then, I really wasn’t too bad. I figured I had a half hour to kill so I checked some messages, researched the opening band and watched as they set up the stage (which was surprisingly very interesting). In no time, Jimmy Eat World started their set and my minimal worries of being alone went away. In all honesty, I didn’t even know most of the songs and I had a blast anyway; I completely even forgot that I didn’t have a friend jamming out next to me. Afterwards, the same supposedly awkward interlude commences yet again but just like the first set change, this one didn’t carry a strange alone feeling. I felt a-okay, excitedly waiting for the band I came to see to start. Again in no time, the background music abruptly stopped and Third Eye Blind began.
At this point, I knew every word to every song, as did the crowd around me. During parts where vocals would drop out so the crowd can chime in, I felt like I was a piece of a bigger puzzle instead of a misplaced jagged edge. They went through some of my absolute favorite songs, one of them including “Motorcycle Drive By”. There’s a line in that song that goes “I’ve never been so alone/ And I’ve never been so alive” and in that moment I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks. Everything seemed to fall into place and I started tearing up (I usually cry at at lest one point in every concert) but this time it felt so different. That moment made all the nerves and worrying completely worth it and reassured me that you’re never as alone as you may feel. It’s actually pretty difficult to feel lonely when everyone around you is singing the same songs that mean just as much to them as they do to you. The show continued and after about an hour and a half, it was all over. I made my way with the crowd into the parking lot, surrounded by drunk people who needed friends to hold them up and security guards lined up in pairs. I got to my car and tossed my new t shirt on my empty passenger seat with a feeling of relief. I was bummed the show was over and undeniably had a great time. But I was relieved that I finally faced my fears after all that time and stopped worrying about being alone. If you’re ever thinking of going to a concert by yourself, don’t hesitate. Because as long as you’re safe and prepared, the only thing left to worry about when you’re going to get another chance to see your favorite artists in concert again.