Cool by Way of Claustrophobic

Wes is going to a concert tonight with a friend of his. They will be seeing the Black Crowes playing at the Paramount Theatre. This is a big deal for them because they have been friends for a very long time and the Black Crowes are one of their favorite bands. I have elected not to join them for a variety of small reasons and one big reason: I don’t really enjoy going to concerts.

Yep, that whistling sound you just heard? It was the last shred of my street cred flying out the window. It’s true though, I’m just not that into the whole concert scene. I have been to quite a few concerts by now, in venues ranging from tiny holes-in-the-wall to large arenas and I have yet to fall in love with watching bands play live. Important side note: going to classical concerts doesn’t count. I have yet to be drenched in another person’s sweat at a classical concert, but more on that in a bit.

I have seen Cake, Muse (4 times!), Better Than Ezra, and U2 in concert and had a small bit of fun at each concert but really nothing life-altering. Wes and I have discussed this and tried to dissect why it is that I should enjoy concerts. His explanation is along the lines of the music becoming an experience as opposed to a sound. He derives a lot of meaning and enjoyment from the sensation of being surrounded by a sea of people all going through the same experience at the same time.

I have to admit, he has a point there. I have experienced this sensation (particularly during the U2 concert) and it was pretty cool. This pro, however, is definitely outweighed by the many cons of the concert experience. Cons like:

  • Marijuana smoke. I hate hate hate the smell of weed. I cannot stand it and for some reason people have an overpowering need to light up during concerts and it makes me want to never breathe again (not die, just develop gills or something). Supposedly it helps some people enjoy the concert more. To which I say, if you need help enjoying the concert then why come in the first place?
  • People touching me. I am not, nor have ever been, a touchy-feely person. Especially not when people are sweaty. I don’t even like it when I sweat (hence the lack of exercise) so the idea of being crammed into a small space with a bunch of people sweating and touching me makes me want to run screaming for the door (though that could be a turn-on for other people. Who knows?). For example, while I was at the last Muse concert I attended the guy next to me flicked his hand through his hair and literally showered me in his sweat. He almost went home with a black eye. Seriously, eww.
  • Sore feet. Even if I were wearing shoes made of the hopes and dreams of newborn kittens my feet and back would still be in agony after standing for 4 hours.

So, this all leaves me wondering: at what point does it make sense to relinquish your personal comfort (and cleanliness) to enjoy an experience? Maybe for some people all the cons are vastly outweighed by the pros. To those people I say: Go! Enjoy your concert! As for myself, however, I think that I shall remain at home with my Sponge-Bob slippers and a good book. Add to this a cup of peppermint and that is something I would wait in line for.

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