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  • Writer's pictureErin

Beautiful Soul - Showing Up to Concerts Alone

“Music doesn't get in. Music is already in. Music simply uncovers what is there, makes you feel emotions that you didn't necessarily know you had inside you, and runs around waking them all up. A rebirth of sorts.”

Matt Haig, How to Stop Time


One of the few things I do in the morning once I wake up, aside from the normal things, journal, read, and drink coffee is check my Facebook memories. Usually it's full of the simple things: old memes, photos of people I no longer talk to, or complaints about men, things, or places I don't even remember. Today, however, was one of the few memory days that are slightly different. This morning the first thing I saw was a memory of my very first concert I decided to go to on my own - completely solo. Three years ago today (technically, three years ago yesterday, but the memory is from the morning after, so I'll be using today as reference) I wrote a long, long post about going to Columbus, Ohio to meet the one and only, Jesse McCartney. This concert was one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life. It'll be one I'll cherish forever. Not only is it a good memory, it's the event that changed the way I do life.


I remember when I saw that Jesse McCartney was coming to Newport Music Hall in 2019. It was winter of 2018 and I was scrolling through Ticketmaster trying to find things to do the following year - planning ahead. When I say I spent days searching for someone to tag along, I spent DAYS, maybe even weeks trying to find someone to go with. Prior to this year I had gone to ten concerts, but all with either friends or family. At that point in my life I felt like I had to have someone go with me to do things. I wasn't as independent as I wanted to be or should have been at that point. However, I'm the type of person to do anything I set my mind to, even if it means being uncomfortable. Without thinking too hard and letting anxiety set in, I purchased one V.I.P. pack to meet Jesse.


The day of the concert, I had to work during the day and do my hair and makeup before clocking out to ensure I made it in time. You know, it's Jesse McCartney, so the line outside the venue was going to be long. All my friends at work that day were mothers and took me under their wings while I was there. They were almost as anxious as my own parents about me going to Columbus alone. Brit, one of my absolute best friends, gave me the "pre-trip mom rundown," the "text me when you're there, in line, in the venue, when you leave, and when you get home" talk. At each stop I pretty much sent those texts to my whole contact list.


It was freezing that day, being winter and all, so the line outside the venue was miserable. I stood in a block long, 21 degree line outside the music hall, with two boys (I cannot remember their names, but I''ll forever remember this moment) who told me they “love Jesse McCartney but WEREN’T gonna cry like a girl.” They let me stand in between them so they could block the wind. We lost each other once in the venue, but I hope they had a wonderful time and honestly, I hope they did cry like a girl because I sure as hell did. When I got in I squeezed my way into a little corner to the side, away from the crowd because I wasn't ready for the full experience of being in the middle yet. That's where I met this young girl and her mom. Again, I don't remember their names, but they were the sweetest people in the world. I was standing there in an awkward spot and the mom asked me if I came alone. I told her I did and she gave me a small smile. Instead of pitying me, it was more of a smile of understanding. Her and her daughter let me in closer to where they were standing so I could see better. I spent the night dancing and singing songs of my childhood with two beautiful souls.


At the end of the concert, I met Jesse (to be quite honest, it was so quick and I was so nervous I kind of blacked out and don't remember anything), got my photo taken and went home to my bed on a high.


This night was a new beginning for me. In the years leading up to it I had gone to places and events alone - Mothman Festival, dinners, movies, etc, but never live music. it showed me just how independent I can be. It showed me that I don't need other people to have a good time, in fact I enjoy going alone more than I do going with friends. I mean, when I'm alone, I don't have the anxiety of worrying if the other person is having a good time. I'm the only one I have to worry about and if I'm not I have control on how fast the night ends or how long it continues. Going to this concert was one of the best decisions I've made because it has opened so many doors for me to experience lots of things.


If I hadn't gone to meet Jesse I would have never stood so close to Julia Michaels in the same venue in 2019.


If I hadn't taken the leap I would have never discovered Kolars when they opened for Saint Motel.


If I held myself back I would have never stood a few rows back from Joan Jett & The Blackhearts this year.


If I was too scared I would have never met some amazing people in the mosh pit of Machine Gun Kelly.


If I waited for someone go somewhere with me I would have never seen my favorite artist in the entire world, Harry Styles in Cleveland (and never would have driven to Cleveland in general).


If you're thinking about going to an event, whether that be a movie, dinner, concert or whatever you want to do, but you're holding yourself back because you don't want to go alone, DO IT. It'll be the greatest feeling in the world. Remember to be safe while doing it and make sure other people know where you are in case of an emergency. Be aware of your surroundings and be mindful. Most importantly, remember that you don't need to wait for others to do the things you love. Maybe taking the leap will start something amazing for you.


Make it a goal this year to do one thing by yourself. Take the leap.


All the love,

Erin


(Meeting Jesse)

(My view from my spot)


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