When I was in Chicago this past weekend, She and Him were playing at the Aragon Ballroom downtown. I am a HUGE Zooey fan, so I really wanted to go to see them. They were supposed to come to Kansas City a few weeks ago, but the concert got cancelled, so this would be my best bet. The only problem was--who would go with me?
Wade couldn't get away, so didn't make the trek up to Chicago with me. He's usually my go to guy for all these fun escapades. I know my sister would have loved to go, but she's about 8 months pregnant and forcing her to weave her bulbous belly through the crowd didn't seem like the best idea.
So I debated whether or not I really wanted to see them play. I was leaning towards not going when my sister and brother-in-law generously told me that they would drive me to the concert and go out for a date night while my mom watched my niece. I did a happy dance and thought how lucky I am to have these awesome people as my family.
As I sat in the backseat of my sister's car dressed in my peter pan collar top and high waisted shorts on the way downtown the night of the concert, though, I began to have second thoughts. What if my mom's biggest fear came true, and I got into some sort of ruckus and there was no one there to protect me? It seemed ridiculous given my pleasant demeanor until faced with the reality of getting out of the car alone among all these strangers. I couldn't chicken out then, though, so I took a deep breath and got out of the car where I almost got run over trying to cross the street by myself.
After that close call, I actually made it into the venue. Naturally the first thing I did was find the bathroom. My mom, sister, and I are terrible about having to pee all the time. So I always feel more comfortable when I get acclimated with the bathroom situation. (One of those crazy ideas floating around in my head has been to write a book based on the bathrooms in cities--where the best ones are, where to stay away from ,etc. I bet that would be a best seller:) After assuring myself that I wouldn't have to pee my pants (what I am most afraid of), I scoped out the place.
What I had failed to recognize prior to my speedy retreat into the bathroom was that I had stumbled onto a hipster mecca. I have never seen so many peter pan collars and dresses with unicorns on them in one place before, and I LOVED IT! I was not as impressed with the new trend for guys who are growing thick mustaches and then curling up the edges like some 1920s circus ring leader. I wish I would have gotten a picture, but it looked something like this:
Next, I decided I needed a little liquid courage. So I bought my overpriced $7 beer and went to check out the souvenir station to buy a t-shirt. One of the biggest drawbacks of not being with anyone was that I couldn't ask someone else's opinion as to which size I should get. I don't know if any of you have noticed, but t-shirt sizes have really changed over the years. Everything seems like it's so much smaller now. I debated whether to get a men's medium or small (women's shirts always seem too narrow in the shoulders and too short) and ultimately decided on the medium. I always get the smaller size and then it shrinks in the wash. I prided myself on my ability to make a sound decision all by myself and thought that deserved another beer.
I hit the bathroom again and then headed to where my prime location was going to be since She and Him were about to come on. I maneuvered my way into the crowd a bit and found a comfortable spot that wasn't too crowded with a decent view. I felt like people were leaving an extra space beside me since they assumed someone would be joining me, but that quickly filled in once Zooey came on stage. After that, I was just so mesmerized by the concert that I didn't feel weird about being there alone. I enjoyed this experience WAY more than I thought I would. I liked the band before, but after seeing them play live, I appreciate them on a whole other level. Since they were sticklers about taking photos and videos, mine turned out terrible. I did find a few around the internet of that night, though, here.
|photos found here|
|Top/shorts: TJ Maxx. Purse: Target|
The moral of the story is that while I felt a bit uncomfortable at times, I'm so happy that I went to the concert alone. It was one of those things that I know I would have regretted if I hadn't gone. I left the concert feeling so inspired and excited. It was the best.
A couple of things to think about if you find yourself in a similar situation:
1. Keep the drinking to a minimum. Two beers made me feel on top of the world and not so shy, but I didn't want to push it much beyond that since I didn't have anyone else there to watch out for me. You have to keep your wits about you, so stay somewhat coherent.
2. Go to the bathroom before the show. Since you don't have anyone to hold your place in the crowd (if it's standing room only), you won't want to leave during the concert.
3. Buy a souvenir. Or keep your ticket stub. Anything to remind you of how brave you are, and the awesome night you had.
Have you ever gone to a concert or event alone? Any other tips or tricks you learned?