Ever since my first concert in 2016, there was never a large period of time where I didn’t have tickets for an upcoming concert. Concerts have always been there for me – whenever I have a bad day, I just think about the next concert I’m going to and let the anticipation erase the negative emotions. I never, ever thought that there would be a period of time where I wouldn’t be able to go to concerts – not just my parents saying “no, you can’t go to that show,” but the government saying “no, no one can go to shows for an indefinite amount of time.” As someone whose passion is live music, this is really unsettling for me.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – “it’s just concerts, it’s not that serious, you’ll live.” But the thing is, for me, it’s not “just concerts.” Concerts are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and no matter how many times you see a certain band, it will never be the same show. Concerts are a space where I can just let loose and celebrate seeing my favorite bands with other people who love them as much as I do. There is no better feeling than singing along to your favorite song live, not caring how badly you sound and dancing like you don’t care what anyone thinks because at a concert, people don’t care how bad your singing and dancing is. Everyone is there for the same reason – to see their favorite band and hear their favorite songs. The only place where I’ve felt truly unjudged is at shows, and that is one of the best feelings in the world.
The uncertainty of the whole situation is the most disturbing and unnerving part. I was supposed to see Halsey with PVRIS opening this summer, and instead of thinking, “wow, I can’t wait to see two of my favorite artists that I’ve been a huge fan of for five years live for the first time,” I’m now thinking “with the massive scale of this tour, there’s no way it’s happening; guess it’s gonna be at least six years until I see Halsey live.” The concerts that I’ve been looking forward to since the winter, including my 18th birthday present (pit tickets for Sad Summer Festival), are most likely going to be ripped out of my grasp soon with nothing I can do about it. That anticipation and excitement that I normally feel when concerts approach has been replaced with dread as I await the inevitable cancellation messages.
If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has taught everyone, it’s to not take things for granted. During this time, I’ve discovered just how much I took concerts for granted. I know now that they aren’t a constant in my life, and I will cherish the first show I go to when given the go-ahead that it is safe. But, for now, rewatching the concert videos I have on my phone will make do.