A co-worker of mine knows I’m a musician. This morning, she asked me if I heard about the Lollapalooza lineup that was just announced. She seemed surprised when I mentioned that I generally don’t go to concerts.
Giving you an accurate and well-rounded answer deserves a long conversation but here’s a bunch of thoughts. Basically, the biggest reason is… I don’t enjoy them. I love live performances (theater, obviously) but the concert format rarely pays off for me. I’m not the only one, either. A guitar teacher of mine quoted a famous musician (whose name I forget) that goes, “Concerts? I wouldn’t cross the street to see myself play [a concert].”
There are a myriad of reasons why I don’t enjoy them as an audience member (correlation with drinking and smoking, lots of standing, crowds, waiting in lines, not being able to talk, not being the center of attention, subjecting myself to OPC (other people’s cleverness)).
The polite and true answer is I genuinely prefer to be a part of music making. The impolite answer is, in most cases, you end up judging the band for their shortcomings in skill/style/approach/equipment. If the act does somehow exceed the impossibly awesome vision a musician has of themselves, it would no doubt be a depressing experience. Of course, I wouldn’t know. It’s never happened to me.
Either way, once you’ve been the one up there, it’s kind of ruined from the other side.
I tried to deny the reality of how I felt about going to concerts for years. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts. I’ve seen big name festivals and artists I admire, even musical heroes. Spent thousands of dollars, collected ticket stubs and road tour t-shirts. My feelings about who I really am were just confirmed with every attempt. Of course, not everyone is supportive. People assume I’m agoraphobic or a cranky old man. As I’ve said though, it’s not all events. Just concerts.
I do make rare exceptions though. The size of the venue or crowd is inversely proportional to the likelihood that I would willingly attend. In other words, the smaller the better. Second, if I personally know someone in the band. I will try to support people I know within reason (and reasonable distance).
So, I’ll close this post the same way I closed the email wrote to my co-worker. I’m glad she asked and I hope my readers can enjoy an honest answer.
This totally jives with my new trend of documenting and explaining process visually. 5 tools for visual storytelling here, all on the web.
I had to look this up to confirm the actual lyric.
Just ran across this neat creative exercise. Especially like the Reservoir Dogs and Iron Man 3.
Ever wonder what progress you could make trying to learn something in a week? Here’s me spending a week trying to learn the tin whistle.
It’s a satisfying moment when you encounter a new word, look it up, immediately recognize the phenomenon and become glad someone came up with a term for it.
Anti-pattern: a common response to a recurring problem that is usually ineffective and risks being highly counterproductive.