At a recent show, my friend commented that she really didn't enjoy going to shows anymore. A couple weeks ago, my mother said something to me to the effect of, I "won't be wanting to go to 'cool shows' much longer." Both of these got me thinking.
I started going to club/bar shows when I was 15. Obviously, those were all-ages shows, but back then I and whoever I went with were really the only ones of our age there. Even at 19, I was one of few in the under-21 crowd.
Fast-forward the present. At almost 23, I'm one of the few wristband-tagged 21+ people there. Plus, not being a trendy-looking teeneybopper, I 'fit in' even less. The people I go with are the same way. I don't know when this vast change in show-going folks occurred, but it seems no one in my age bracket (estimate currently 21-24) has ever really been interested in shows.
I'm not sure what my mother is expecting me to do, if I'm not going to shows. Barhopping holds no interest to me, nor does hanging out at some coffeeshop (consider I drink neither alcohol nor coffee), or at some diner-type place. Is enjoying (live) music and supporting the scene something you 'outgrow'?
At a show last year, I was sitting on the stage as a band (that was younger than me) played, and an audience (also younger than me) went wild all around me. I felt detached and edged out, like since I wasn't in a band or a friend of the band, I didn't belong there, which is something else I see a lot in the 'scene' today. Maybe it's because in those other years, I was the one who knew all the guys in the band, who had all the merchandise, who knew all the songs, went to all the shows.
I saw someone complaining on a message board about how no one comes to shows to support the bands, and how there were like 5 people there who weren't friends or family of the band at some show. I was going to post that, as an outsider, you get treated as such, and it does make the show less enjoyable. There are some bands I go to see a number of times, but I still don't know them personally. Does this mean I'm not a real fan or shouldn't be at the show? Something like that; I'm losing my train of thought.
I guess the whole point here is, enjoy your youth and your shows, and be happy you know people who want to have fun and see bands too. Be more happy if you know someone who's willing to drive to the shows. For me though, it looks like I'm gonna buy a car come spring and just go solo. If kids my age want to 'grow up,' who am I to stop them? And if kids younger or folks older want to shut me out, that's their issue. I'm just there to hear the music.
I've asked the staff to write about their show experiences and views on shows, for a broad perspective. If you're interested in writing for this topic, drop a line for details.
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