As a rock, metal, and punk lover, you would think that you wouldn’t catch me dead at a pop or rap concert. But why? Why can’t we all just get along and love each other’s genres? Why can’t country music lovers listen to some metal once in awhile, or a ska fan indulge in a little bubblegum pop? There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of when exploring any genre of music; no one is less than another, no matter what some people might say.
I know, all the kumbaya stuff is great in theory, but how do we put it into practice? Well, for starters, try going to a concert you would normally avoid like the plague. Maybe you’ll even learn something, or, God forbid, enjoy it.
Over the summer, I saw a total of thirteen concerts at one specific venue (this number doesn’t include non-musical performances or other venues, just the one, which will remain unnamed). This number includes bands like Panic! at the Disco, Sublime, and Blink-182, but also artists like Josh Groban, Calvin Harris, and Ariana Grande. I even went to a festival that was dedicated to country music, the former bane of my existence. And you know what? I had fun at all thirteen shows.
You’re probably still skeptical, so here’s some tips and tricks for enjoying a concert that you’re convinced you’re going to hate.
Open Your Mind
My challenge to you is this: put everything you think you know about an artist or genre to the side. Ignore the fact that you don’t usually enjoy rap music, and let yourself get lost in the beat. Accept the yelling and moshing at a metal concert; it makes the scene unique. Put up with the annoying teenagers at a pop show. Just focus on the artist and the art they’re trying to share with you.
Arrive Early, Stay Late
Don’t skip the openers!!! These people are actually more important than the main act; they set the tone for the night, and they’re the ones who can make or break a show. Stay afterwards to meet any that you found yourself enjoying. Just because they aren’t as recognized as the headliners doesn’t mean that they’re any less, and they probably appreciate your support even more.
Talk to People
Different types of people gravitate towards different styles of music, so speaking with the people around you should take priority after enjoying the music. Seeing the world from a different perspective is an important part of growing individually, and you might be able to teach others something about your way of thinking, too. Just remember to be respectful, even if you don’t necessarily agree with someone’s ideas or values.
Make sure to take some time after the show to think about what it was like. Ask yourself what your favorite parts were, and maybe what you didn’t enjoy as much. Chances are, you had a better time than you expected!
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