What Only My Concert Buddies Understand

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If you’re a diehard music fan, you’ve likely been hit with the question “You’re going to ANOTHER concert”? Yes, the answer is always yes. Why the same people in your life feel the need to continually ask (as if they don’t know the answer), we aren’t quite sure, but we get it. And you know that your concert buddies get it. One of the things we’ve come to realize over the years and after getting to know so many of you is just how many people music & artists bring together. Friends all over the US, friends in the same town you wouldn’t have met otherwise, friends in other countries that you may never actually meet in person. Music is universal, it’s powerful, and it is responsible for friends that turned into family.

Consider this an open letter to all those people in your life who don’t “get it”. While you may never change their mind, maybe this will help them understand a little more what drives you to go to show after show. And even if it doesn’t, do your thing. We all get one life and the best part of it is that we can choose to do with it what we want. Be responsible, of course – don’t neglect responsibilities, go into debt, or abandon your family (seriously, please don’t do those things) – but enjoy the hell out of the time you’re given on this earth! Feel free to share this post on your social media to let people know why you’re so passionate about live music. If you have anything to add that we may have missed, leave us a comment below!

Dear World,

Here’s the things that only my concert buddies understand:

  1. Yes, I could choose to spend my money on something other than concerts. But I don’t WANT to. Some people spend money on countless handbags, shoes, designer clothes, fancy cars, expensive dinners – concerts are no different. To me, a concert (and the memories that go along with it) are just as valuable as jewelry or the latest electronic. I don’t regret or second guess the money I spend on concert tickets. Concerts make me happy and that’s priceless.
  2. There is SO much more to a concert than the concert itself. For so many of us, concerts are the only time we get to see distant friends and that alone is worth it. Everything from waiting in line to sprinting to the pit to singing along the entire night is a part of the experience and it doesn’t get old. Ever.
  3. Going to a concert with someone who’s as passionate about the artist & their music as I am is a completely different experience than going with someone who isn’t. We know the little ad-libs, the mannerisms, even what the band is going to do next. And even though it may the 2nd (or 5th or 12th) show I’ve seen during the same tour, it doesn’t matter. I can’t wait to catch the next one. And you don’t have to understand that…because I’m still going to go either way!
  4. For many of us, a certain artist & their music has come into our lives at just the right moment. Whether it’s when we graduated, landed our dream job, lost someone we loved, whatever the situation, music has been there for us. And so while you may not get it, my friends know exactly how it feels to hear the first few chords of a song that seems like the soundtrack to our lives.
  5. If you love a local business or a certain designer, you support them by giving them your money and spreading the word. That’s exactly what I’m doing with my favorite artists. I love their music, I buy it. I love their live shows, I purchase tickets. I want more people to know how amazing they are, I shout it from the rooftops (well, post on social media, but you know). I am proud of my favorite artists, I’m passionate about them and going to shows is just one of the ways I show my support.
  6. Concerts are addicting, plain & simple. Some people have addictions that are bad for them, I choose concerts as mine. There are a lot worse things I could be doing with my time and money than going to see live music. But, yes, I am addicted. I’m addicted to the friends this lifestyle has brought me, to the adrenaline rush I get as the lights dim, to the artist and the band and the sets, but most importantly, to the music. The music is at the center of it all.
  7. The friends I’ve made going to show after show allow me to feel like MYSELF. I don’t have to explain anything, leave details out or justify myself because they know. They just know because I do the same for them.
  8. We all have different priorities in our life and that’s ok. If you are always posting about your kids, your job, your car, or anything else you choose on social media, great! I support you. But, allow me to do the same. Leave the comments about what I should or shouldn’t be doing, whether or not I’m violating stalking laws, and your personal opinions out of it. If you don’t want to see it, there’s many ways to make that happen, most of them are as simple as the click of a button. I don’t question how you live your life and as my friend/family member/loved one, I’d hope you would show me the same respect. This is who I am and if I haven’t changed by now, you can bet that I won’t!

Sincerely,

Me

Comments

  1. Darlene Dye Reply

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This explains it so well why I see Chris Young over and over!!

  2. Tricia Clendaniel Reply

    TRUTH!! All Of It.. TRUE!! 💘🎸🎶🌟🎤 #BGNATION #BRANTLEYGILBERT 💞 Thank YOU For This Open Letter!!

  3. Danielle Reply

    Woah are you in my brain?!? That’s spot on!! I’ve been to 155 Hunter Hayes shows, 43 Dan and Shay shows, 55 Rascal Flatts and countless other shows and people will never understand.. but that’s the beauty 🙂 Thanks for posting this 😍😍

  4. Erin Evans Reply

    And the social media likes and favorites! Don’t forget how excited we are when we get these back from our artists! (Let alone an actual follow, HOLY SMOKES!!). We can go on and on about them, even if no one else even gets it or knows what a tweet is!!!

  5. Christine Reply

    Thank you for putting my exact thought into words!!!!! Home Free is my addiction!

  6. Jennifer Reply

    Thank you cause they just do not get this !!!!

  7. Sandy in MA Reply

    Love this. Describes me to a “t”. Although I have to say most of my friend do get it now since I have been doing it so long, so I rarely have to explain anymore. 🙂

  8. Erin Reply

    1000% truth! Thank you! You nailed it!

  9. sheridan Reply

    This pretty much sums up how I feel. I love concerts. I love getting to meet artists and to see them in person rather than just in pictures. I love how different the atmosphere is when you here them love rather than just from the radio or CD. I love the messages the artists share and the surprises that happen occasionally on stage. Maybe it’s bringing a fan up to sing or bringing another artist out to sing with them. All of it together is what draws me to keep going to concerts.

  10. Linda Bradley Reply

    Wow, thank you so much!! This totally explains why I’ve gone to see John Lloyd Young so many times! It’s the artist himself, the music, the friends! I couldn’t have explained it any better!

  11. PENNY Reply

    I can’t begin to tell you, that, this is so totally me.

    I’m lucky enough that my friends that don’t like the same groups as I do, they do understand why I choose to see STYX as often as I can.

    In high school there was a band, JOURNEY with STEVE PERRY, a bunch of us went.

    Again, thank you for this AWESOME letter which describes a lot of my FACEBOOK friends who we all have about 3 groups we feel strongly about.

  12. Deb Reply

    You could not have said it any better! Thank you for putting words to things I had not been able to express!!!

  13. Ronna Reply

    Thank you! Nailed it! Been to 65 Dierks shows and wouldn’t change the experiences and friends I’ve made for anything!

  14. Debbie Reply

    My same thoughts. I love going to concerts. The adrenaline rush you get when those lights go down is what it’s all about. Well…..the artist too.

  15. devon Reply

    i’m not crying, you’re crying! this is PERFECT.

  16. Ricky Glover Reply

    136 McCartney concerts. It doesn’t get old. Ever.

  17. Sue Weisenhaus Reply

    So Right On Sista!!! Paul McCartney is my dig! He is 73 yrs old this year and my latest gig puts me at 73 times!! I am 65 yrs old…..till the wheels fall off baby!!!! Paul has a faithful following, FOTR aka Fans On The Run, led by Ricky Glover…..from all over the world, we Come Together to Live and Love…..one more time!!! Rock On Baby!!

  18. Cathy Redd Reply

    Sooo true!!!! I have travelled to east coast, mid west ,the south and west coast to see the Grateful Dead this year, friends think I’m a little crazy ,BUT the friends I’ve made this year,that I see Show after Show, we look out for each other ,we make sure we all get tix’s and always have a place to stay and meetup before and after every show, wow What a long strange trip it’s been but I am Grateful for all my new friends!!!!

  19. Wendy Reply

    My concert buddy (and now LIFE long friend) posted this on her Twitter page. It is like you are inside my head. Everything you wrote is spot on. Love it!!! And you keep enjoying your concerts and I will do the same.

  20. Sharon Reply

    You have said this so very much better than I ever could, and I’ve been doing this for almost 40 years. Eleven years ago I found the band I’d been looking for since I was 12 and have seen them 167 times in those years – and I’ve no intention of stopping as long as the health hangs on. The music is the number 1 reason I go, but the rest of what you’ve written makes it perfect. Thank you.

  21. Rachael Reply

    Thank you for this!!! I’ve seen Hanson over 25 times now and this is perfect

  22. April Lindner Reply

    Sharing! I would add that my addiction to live music has brought me to some fascinating places I would never have otherwise seen. Last summer while I was teaching in Rome I bought tickets to a town I’d never heard of called Cattolica to see MIKA, an artist I love who most Americans haven’t heard of. I can’t remember exactly how long the trip was–five hours? seven hours?–but it brought me to a part of Italy where they rarely see Americans. I met some wonderful people, saw some amazing sights, and had the best time ever at the show. Mika’s many European fans had been waiting for the gates to open all day long so I found myself at the end of the line, but I found a place to stand near the far side of the stage, and on the other side of the barricade was MIKA’s mother. I introduced myself and we had a nice little chat about how happy her son makes his fans. What if I’d talked myself out of spending money and travelling so far just to see a concert? I’d have missed a moment that became one of my favorite-ever memories.

  23. Darline Reply

    AMEN!! Young or old, it’s still the same when you’re a “Concert Goer!”

  24. Karyn Reply

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU for writing this ~ for sharing this ~ for being one of the fine people who “get it” ! This article was a breath of fresh air !

  25. Karen Reply

    Great post! I concur 100% As long as you don’t shirk your responsibilities it’s no one else’s business.

  26. Carol Reply

    Wow! This is right on. I’ve been going to shows since 1975, 40+ years and I love every moment of it. And I do get the same question “you going to another show”. They just don’t get it! I have raised a family, been responsible, worked, and traveled for shows and have had a lot of fun meeting people from all over. There is nothing better than a live concert, especially Grateful Dead! I can’t remember how many shows I have seen over the years and I wouldn’t change a thing.

  27. Krissy Shaw Reply

    #bgnation member #carrieunderwood fan club member (amongst others) and I have travelled everywhere to see these two, even Carrie at the opry. This couldn’t have said it any better. I live for and love live country music. And I don’t need approval from others to do what makes me happy. If they don’t like it, then don’t look at it. Attending a concert is a timeless hobby/event/passion for young and old. It’s one of the few places people of all ages and enteric backgrounds can come together to enjoy one another’s company and share something that bridges across all gaps to touch and effect people the same. Thank you thank you thank you for this article… I get it!

  28. Kimberly Mitchell Reply

    Perfect!!! Justin Timberlake is my favorite artist and I’ll go to as many shows across the US that I can. Thank you for this open letter! I’m sharing it!

  29. Christine Reply

    This is an incredible article and so well written, thank you. Going to concerts of live music non stop for a period of time literally has saved my life, the share joy and delight I have felt from listening and joining in sometimes with the singing has been my salvation after an extremely difficult time!! Music is food for the soul it reaches a depth into our human frailty like nothing else! I have made life long friends through the medium of music, the depth of these friendships surpasses anything else I have experienced!

  30. Sharon Mitchell Reply

    This is so me. My band helped me to find myself, when my life was being planned out for me. Through them, I have met face to face with over 300 people from all countries and all walks of life, who meet up at concerts, and other events involving the band, but also go to parties, even weddings, that would not have happened if not for “our Boys”. Long may it continue #IdiotFamily

  31. Samantha Hand Reply

    I love this!!!!! People I know just don’t get it. I feel so lucky to be able to go through life with such intense passion for music and to be able to see the band I love over and over again. I am lucky because some people go through their whole lives not knowing or experiencing such passion. I follow Suede. Suede are the soundtrack to my life – through the birth of my children, the death of my parents and through every day life. People think that all the gigs must be the same. I try to explain how every gig is different and that I will never ever be in the same room again as all those fans who attended a particular gig on a particular night. I am grateful that I have the knowledge. Love & Poison x

  32. Dan Perez Reply

    Perfect sum-up to how I feel, and a great explanation to those that tell me to “grow up”. I’ve been a PHISH fan since 1992, and I try to see them any chance I get.

  33. Suzyfan Reply

    The fb site “ratdog tour” has printed portions of this article in a post with no credit to you. Wanted to give you a head’s up, you should get full credit for your work!

    • Vanessa Storm Reply

      Thank you for letting us know, Suzy, we appreciate it.

  34. dave Reply

    NICELY WRITTEN! Very accurate summation of how I explain to family who don’t understand traveling across the country to see a favorite band (over and over again!)

  35. Alyson Reply

    The stories and stories that I could tell going to see Widespread Panic w/ my friends are so outrageous and that’s not during the show. Concerts are my escape and I feel so cleansed after. Very very fortunate to be able to see all of my Favorite bands and artists around the country. As you put it my memories are larger than any “expensive purse”. Great open letter!

  36. Donna Reply

    You are my people! You get it! I love you all! 💟 I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen my favorite band, Better Than Ezra, in five states and on the high seas! Each show has that one moment that makes it unique! 🎸

  37. Simone Reply

    This article says it all! My husband and I are major U2 fans and have seen them many times and traveled to many places to see them! In fact I met my husband at a U2 show!! Haha! We have become friends with so many U2 fans around the world and its amazing to sing, dance and Rock out with them at shows!!! My family always makes fun of me but I don’t care!! Lol! They are the best live band ever! I can’t even describe how their music and concerts make me feel!!!

  38. Stasia Reply

    I love seeing all the different bands mentioned in the comments! For me it’s Bob Dylan, Matt Nathanson, and a couple others that change with the seasons of my life. As people who do understand have told me: “just keep going.”

  39. Melissa Hersh Reply

    Hi – Love this article. Check out our site: thefirstinline.com

    We’re about curating and collecting stories from music-lovers everywhere. We haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone about country music yet. I’d love to share this story if you don’t mind.

    Furthermore, I’d LOVE to talk to you more and feature your site on ours. We do interviews about favorite music-moments, that time you stood in line forever to meet your idol, etc etc etc.

    Wanna chat and share stories?

  40. Carrie Reply

    This is such an incredible article and I agree and can relate to everything 100%. Music is a way of life for most of us just like other things are for other people. I will keep going to concerts until I the day I die and that’s a hard promise. Love you all and our awesome music community. Happy holidays!

  41. Michael Fisher Reply

    You pretty much summed it up! The musicians, like minded freaks, festival goers, they completely understand this. These are the people I want to be around; the good souls, ones who laugh n smile, the music is such a great bonus. I have met some of the most amazing people (friends) through live music. Peace, everyone!

  42. Lady Base Reply

    Amen!

  43. David Reply

    This is from the latest issue of the Oxford American magazine (if you like MUSIC, you owe this to yourself. Get one.) Peter Guralnick’s piece about Blind Willie McTell, quoting a James Baldwin story about Blues. I think this fits most of us that have seen this. “…it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness”.

  44. Nese Reply

    yep, that pretty much sums it up!

  45. Michelle Reply

    Rock on Sista!!! You summed it up perfectly! I wish I had a group of friends to go see my favorite bands and have not found any yet! I love to let go and just take it all in. Maybe one day I will find that group! Just keep on Rockin and sharing!
    Thanx!
    Michelle

  46. Kerstin Reply

    Thank you for this and I am going to share this right away!! I would love to do a German translation of this as many of my concert friends (and also non-concert firends 😉 ) don’t speak English well enough to fully understand your letter. Please let me know 🙂

  47. Shari Reply

    Wow, this is totally spot on! I embrace my addiction wholeheartedly!! Thanks for putting into words to perfectly.

  48. Sadie Reply

    Exactly!!! My go to voice is David Cook. How about how we spend hours listening to the music and watching utube videos when we can’t get to the concerts?!!?!

  49. Missing my life Reply

    So very true! I love concerts… be careful you don’t lose someone along the way cause they go to so many more and forget how and with whom it all started. Then that “friend” is out of the loop and you feels sad and abandoned. Especially when concerts and spending time with their concert buddies meant so much to them.

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