Since moving to San Francisco, I’ve become more comfortable doing things alone. If you go out to eat alone in the country or in the suburbs, you tend to get stared at, but in the city, people go out to eat, get coffee, ride the bus, etc. alone all the time, so it’s not that big of a deal.
When I decided to go to a concert alone for the first time, though, it felt like a big deal. I wanted to see a band that none of my friends were into. Music can be a very social thing and it’s always fun to share the experience with another fan, but I didn’t think it would be fun worrying about whether my friend was having a good time or not. Not going wasn’t an option, so I decided to go alone and see how it felt.
I left work early to go stand in line. I just listened to my iPod and chilled out. I didn’t feel lonely or like I was a total loser, but I was definitely the only person there alone. It’s hard not to feel a little self conscious, but the older I get, the less I care about what people think, so I was determined to focus on my own experience and not worry about what others thought.
When the doors opened, I made it to the front and stood exactly where I wanted and was kind of relieved not to have to worry about making sure someone else was okay with elbowing her way to the front. Also, the last time I saw a show with a friend, he texted his wife the whole time, so I was glad that wasn’t happening again.
The show started and then I really started to appreciate my decision. Music is very social, but being a musician, it’s also a very personal experience to me. Sure, there were times when I wished I could point something out to a buddy, but mostly I enjoyed just paying attention to the musicians and appreciated the nuances and little moments. I actually paid more attention and have stronger memories than I do from other concerts where I went with friends and drank.
So, would I do it again? Actually, yes … and soon. I’m going to another show this summer by myself and am very much looking forward to it. I like the opening band better, so I’m stoked that I can leave when I want and not have to stay and watch something I might not enjoy. I like the freedom of coming and going when I want, so this really works for me.
And the best part? The seats are reserved, and since I was only buying one ticket, I got a seat front and center. If I had been trying to buy two tickets sitting next to each other, my seat would have been much further back. I’m very much looking forward to the internal experience, especially since it’s a band I loved when I was growing up and haven’t seen in twenty years.
I like heavy metal bands that no one has even heard of, so I have a feeling this will be a common occurrence in the future—and I have absolutely no problem with it. I’m just glad I had the guts to try it in the first place!
Now, if I could just have a beer in a bar alone …
Read more stories from our The Power of One series:
A Table of My Own (Eating alone)
There’s a Tear in My … Zin? (Having a drink alone)
The Great Mistake (Traveling alone)
All Alone in the Woods (Backpacking alone)
Hello, My Name Is … Solo (Going to a party alone)