First things first: I have never (and have no plans at present) to follow a performer around the world to see every single concert on their tour. I don’t have that kind of money. However, I will absolutely plan trips around being able to attend concerts.
At the age of eight, my mom won tickets for us to see the All That Music & More Festival and I have been hooked on concerts ever since. I will completely change my plans if it means I can attend one. SO much of my money has and will be spent on this hobby.
Why do I equate concerts with travel? Well, sometimes it means driving hundreds of miles away and having to stay in a hotel (if you can afford to) because you know you can’t make the drive back that same night. Safety first. Other times you’re just going right around the corner, yet it can feel like you’re in another world. No matter where it is, one thing always remains the same: weekday concerts are the biggest bitch to plan around.
Driving, bonding, the best of memories
One of my best friends is planning a trip to visit myself and then her family around a concert – driving up to see me (I’m the halfway point) for the concert and then continuing on to see them. With this same friend, we did an overnight in Tampa for Beyonce (always worth it when Beyonce is involved). I’ve driven from Bowling Green, Ohio to South Bend and then Indianapolis, Indiana just to go with my cousin to see Train and The Script. There is no limit of miles to me when it comes to sharing the concert experience with friends and family.
Many times when I travel, I stay at hostels because usually you’ll meet people I have a lot in common with. Concerts give me that same opportunity. You’re surrounded by people with a shared interest, so there’s no shortage of talking points. As a shy introvert, that is a big deal – it helps minimize the small talk.
For example, Country Concert (yes, I did go through a college country phase… mostly over it now) is a three day music festival in Fort Loramie, Ohio. Most people camp out right, but I’m very lucky in that I have a family member with a condo in that very town. The best part? My friends and I always had access to a legitimate shower and didn’t have to sit in the back of a truck to go through a car wash. Yes, that does happen. Every year. I did give in and ride the bull once. But seriously, it is always such a great atmosphere to potentially make many new friends. Sure you’ll probably get sunburn, but there is always something to talk about. Drinks are FLOWING, food everywhere and good music to bond over.
Concerts will always call me home
Since moving away from Ohio, there is always something that will bring me back. Usually by way of an 80s/90s band that my mom and I both love. Going to concerts is something my mom and I have always shared, ever since that wonderful day back in 2000. Together we’ve seen Poison, Motley Crue, Ratt, Bon Jovi, The Goo Goo Dolls and more. Even Creed (because who turns down free concert tickets?).
When I was still living in Florida, I made the journey back home for the triple threat of Night Ranger, Foreigner and Def Leppard (…and for a wedding I was in). My mom and I had a great time! Foreigner was, by far, the best of the three acts. Guys, I cried when they played Hot Blooded (I guess that’s how you know what one of your all-time favorite songs is?).
A couple months ago, I went home for Train and Hall & Oates. I also have two more trips home planned (one this weekend), you guessed it, around concerts. It’s a sickness. I think moving to Atlanta increased this frequency of how much I am able to go home for concerts. Yes, that was a factor when I chose this city.
Finally a native?
When was the moment I truly felt like I was a true Atlanta resident? When I found out there was a free weekend of concerts for the College Football Championship. Tourists were flooding in for the game and the activities that went along with it – and we know I’m all about being a tourist. But that’s not why I finally felt at home. I felt at home because I was able to go with two friends. As an introvert, it’s difficult to force myself to get out and socialize. Thankfully I met friend through work and we actually made the effort to hang out off the clock.
Honestly, it was pure luck I even heard about the concert series, as they did not do very much by way of advertising… Except for Kendrick Lamar being the halftime show during the game itself. But the concert I was focused on featured LIZZO, Charlie Puth and Jason DeRulo. Conditions were not ideal. I know I don’t have it bad with Georgia winters, but it was freezing outside. Was I tempted to leave? Yes. Was there any chance I’d willingly miss out on seeing a free performance from Jason DeRulo? No. The best part was that we were right up by the stage, so I had a flawless view of Jason’s flawless face.
So yes, I love concerts.
Traveling to concerts, staying close to home for concerts, going with friends, going with family, I would even go by myself if I had to. But I think we all know I would drop each and every one of you in favor of seeing a concert with my mom. So thanks, mom, for passing your love of music and concerts down to me.