Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Life Changes: Why I Dislike Music Festivals & Arena Rock Concerts

It is no secret to anyone how much I love some kinds of music. Music makes everything in my life except sleeping that much more enjoyable. I am therefore always drawn to places that have live music as I appreciate being surrounded by such kinds of talent.
However, one thing I never really talk about...and it may come as a huge surprise to many people who know me... is how much I dread attending large arena-style rock concerts. I'm convinced there's a vile place in hell for outdoor concert festivals as well. Of course, there are the traffic jams both in and out, plus the parking nightmares. (hello Woodstock!) Then there is the never ending challenge of being able to see the stage due to the people around and in front me who are either tall or moving around too much. It takes some social adeptness to be able to assess the obnoxiousness level of those around you at general admission shows and I've gotten pretty good at it, but inevitably some asshole always elbows his way in. I have forever despised the people who think concerts are just a big party for getting shit-faced wasted and don't even bother watching or listening to the band. On top of avoiding obnoxious drunks, I then aim to avoid inconsiderate smokers since I like to breathe while I'm trying to enjoy a show! And by the way, the reality is that all smokers are technically inconsiderate if they're lighting up in a public place because their smoke is going into everyone else's lungs regardless of where they hold their hand. Then there are the really big guys who push everyone out of their way and the aggressive assholes who throw drinks at people. All this to deal with while trying to appreciate talented artists playing their passions out on a stage!! It's just not worth it!!

There was once a time when I knew a lot of "important" people. I was always part of the inner circle and I was protected from the aforementioned experiences. I never had to mingle with the peons, so to speak, unless I wanted to. But over the last 6 years or so, that all began to change. Some people moved on and either forget about or no longer have room for me in their lives (or guest lists!) Most devastatingly of all, one of my closest friends who had all the connections and always looked out for me, died suddenly and unexpectedly. I woke up one day having to get concert tickets the normal way, I had no guest list pass and had to fend for myself in the crowd. "Oh poor spoiled snobby girl!" you might say. Say what you will. I don't fit in here. This is not where I belong.
I've tolerated this shit for way too many years. Especially now that the average ticket price for any large arena show in my city is around $100+, rock concerts and the mean, trashy heathens that attend them can kiss my music appreciating ass. I can count on less than 2 hands the musical acts I would still pay that price to see. (Robert Plant, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, The Black Crowes, Foo Fighters, Guns N Roses) I even boycotted Collective Soul the last time they played at the Hard Rock Hotel pool for the main reason that the last time they played there, maybe 400 people attended specifically to enjoy the music while another 1200 people were there just to "party" and act obnoxious. It's not fun. You're fooling yourself if you say it is.

I'm sorry my concert-going friends, I always appreciate your invites but I'm going to be a lot more choosy about where I spend my time and money. If it's not a small cozy venue or side stage as a guest of the band, you won't be seeing me struggling to defend my air and space at these miserable concert experiences anymore. To make my resolve loud and clear, next weekend I'm sadly choosing to pass up a band I've always wanted to see (NIN) to instead hang out at one of the greatest blues bars in the country listening to the son of a southern rock legend while lounging in a comfortable environment with good food and drinks and mostly nice people.  My aim is to surround myself with others that have class and maturity and I can no longer allow myself to be dragged down by the God-less energy that I feel in these places. THIS my friends, from now on, is how I am gonna roll. You're either along for the ride or left in my dust. Onward and upward...