I’ve never attended a concert. I mean, not a real one, anyway. I’ve been to live shows that were standing room only, but that was mostly because they were being held in a venue so small that one could fit three in Kim Kardashian’s closet. As far as jumping around in a mosh pit while a recognizable band plays its songs from the radio, I have only my friends’ fuzzy Instagram videos and Snapchat stories to cite as experience.
It’s not like I’m not trying. I’ve bought tickets for a number of shows, but something always happens to thwart my being there or everyone’s being there. I’ve had a string of bad luck, and I’m beginning to think that the bad luck might be me, considering I am the common denominator, and that, right when I purchase a ticket, the band’s bassist usually gets a blood clot in his brain that forces the cancellation of the tour or something. And that’s not just an outlandish example I pulled out of my imagination–it actually happened. Here’s a list of my almost concert experiences:
Disclaimer for concert enthusiasts: I know that most (probably all) of these bands play at concerts with names other than their band names, but I don’t pay attention to that stuff, so I’ll just identify the concerts by the band I remember best that played there.
Fun: My dad and I were going to go see Fun in Kansas City somewhere, but then my friend did a random drawing for whom she would take on her family vacation with her, and my name got pulled out of the hat. Going to the Outer Banks with one of my best friends trumped whatever fun I would have had watching Fun, I’m sure. My dad ended up going with my uncle and some of my uncle’s friends, so he wasn’t lonely. Partway into the main event, it began pouring. The concertgoers in the outdoor venue scrambled for cover. My uncle and his friends took refuge in a string of port-a-potties. My dad did not. He saw a white tent in the distance and ran toward it like a moth to the light. When he arrived, he noticed a table, laden plates of barbeque, with several guys sitting around it. He did not notice that these several guys were the band members of Fun. He had a 15 minute conversation with the lead singer, Nate Ruess, before he put the pieces together. That has nothing to do with this post, but I like to mention that my dad had a one-on-one conversation with Nate Ruess whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Imagine Dragons: I was deadset on attending this concert, but up until two weeks before, I didn’t realize that the date of the concert coincided with a day I would be in a different state on the other side of the country. Missing that one wasn’t as much bad luck as just poor planning on my end. Even though I wasn’t there physically, I still saw most of the concert on Snapchat from the comfort of a hotel room. And, for the record, my hotel room was much cooler temperature-wise than Starlight Theatre.
Mumford and Sons: Mumford and Sons’ music was my jam for the longest time. If one were to ask me in June 2013 what band I wished to see at my first concert, Mumford and Sons would be the instant, borderline-shouting response. Unfortunately, a few weeks before the concert, doctors found a blood clot in the bassist’s brain that required immediate attention and the subsequent cancellation of the tour.
The Jonas Brothers: The Jonas Brothers were going to have a reunion tour last year, and they were going to be in Kansas City on Halloween night. My friends and I decided that this would be the best option for me as far as first concerts go because most of them had attended their first concert when the band had been touring the first time around, so I would have the opportunity to relive the childhood I almost had with those who actually had it. We had Disney-themed costumes coordinated, tickets purchased and expectations set sky-high. Then, due to a “deep rift within the band,” the brothers canceled the tour and (thankfully) refunded our money. But they could not refund our crushed dreams and deflated spirits.
Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend is my band. Usually, when I decide I like a band, I listen to its albums on repeat for a couple weeks and then move on. I’ve been listening to Vampire Weekend on repeat since January. My good friends had an extra ticket, which they were willing to sell me at the original price, even though the concert was about two weeks away. Since it was too late for me to put in a formal request off work, I waited until Thursday afternoon to see if my work schedule would ruin everything. For the first time, I was scheduled to work until midnight. On the day of the concert. I went in and talked to my supervisor. I said the reason I needed off was “very important,” but I didn’t let on that I just really wanted to go to a concert. My supervisor straight-up told me that “no one is going to take your shift.” But I did not give up hope. I left a note by the time clock with my contact info, Facebook messaged some friendly coworkers, spent some time in prayer–the whole nine yards. My friends even started a Twitter campaign.
— Karen Campbell (@karen_soup) May 30, 2014
— Kyra Haas (@kc_haas) May 30, 2014
— Karen Campbell (@karen_soup) May 30, 2014
But, despite our best efforts, I ended up spending the night standing in a nearly empty grocery store, watching people walk past my line to the self-checkout to pay for their late night donut runs. On the bright side, I not only saved $50 bucks, but also made about that much more.
Ed Sheeran: I wanted to experience for myself the angelic voice that silenced a sold-out Madison Square Gardens. But, on the day tickets went on sale, my friend faced a small delimma. Tickets could only be purchased in groups of four, and my group had six. I honestly could say that I wouldn’t know what I was missing out on, so I conceded my spot, out of the goodness of my heart. Also, maybe it’s because I’m not a fan of spending my hard-earned cash on anything besides food, but I was already slightly reluctant to part with the $70 needed to secure my spot. So, there’s that, too.