This is Day 15 in my 30-day blogging journey.
If you’re just now reading these, check out Day 1.
I used to love going to concerts.
I saw my first show when I was around 10 or 11 years old with my parents.
It was Mr. Mister headlining with The Bangles as openers.
Do you feel old yet?
Over three decades later, I know I’ve logged hundred of concerts since.
When my wife and I started dating we saw a lot of shows, too.
And, then, life starts to get in the way as does the prioritization of finances.
COVID aside, we see very few concerts now.
That being said, I’m a strange type of music fan.
Most (not all) of the bands I listen to are either not popular or are no longer popular (if we’re gauging against sell-out tours by artists like Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, Chris Stapleton or the Dave Matthews Band).
Which means, many of the shows I’d like to see or have seen are at smaller venues where the only option is standing room only so that you can push and jostle your way to the front (or simply be pushed and jostled back by a more aggressive fan).
And as I get older (or more selective), I just don’t want to fight those crowds much longer.
Never mind the fact that when I was younger or even in those early dating days with Marissa, we’d be up close & personal with bands like Bayside and I Am The Avalanche or watching up & comers like Father John Misty pull off an opening acoustic set for a larger band at the time.
Now, on the few times that we strike out to see a show, you opt to be seated and possibly closer to the stage, all at a higher cost because as I write this in 2023, EVERY THING is more expensive.
So, it leads into the question I started this article with: What will you pay for an experience?
How do you justify the expense?
With concerts, it’s the cost of the tickets, any associated (and outlandish) fees for those tickets, it’s looking to see where you’ll be seated, if you’ll have a good view, if the sound will be good enough based on the venue, how long the commute is to the venue, whether or not you’ll need lodging the night of the show, parking fees, snagging a babysitter for the kids, and whether or not you’ll be dining ahead of time or stomaching the expense of food and drinks at the show.
There’s also consideration of: how often does this artist tour, how often do they come close to where you live, how much longer do you think they’ll be putting on shows before retirement, and can they still pull it off like they used to?
All that to say, the Mrs and I will be heading to Cincinnati in July to see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds co-headline with Garbage and opening act Metric.
I was fortunate to see Noel when he was part of Oasis a total of four times before they disbanded. This show will mark my fourth time seeing him and my first time to see the other two bands. Our seats will be close but not quite as close as we were when Noel toured for his first album outside of Oasis.
It’s a lot of time and money to spend over 8 concerts total, all memorable in their own rights for completely different reasons.
And I know I don’t hold a candle to those who follow bands like Dave Matthews, Phish or what used to be The Grateful Dead.
Like a lot of things in life, you pay a price for an experience.
Make the experience a good one.