The Wannabe Goes To A Concert For The First Time

This is going to be a short post. Or so I believe. I always think I’m just going to write something short but it usually ends up almost like an essay of some sort. I guess what I lack in speech – I make up for it by writing astoundingly long posts that might not even make sense.

Anyway, in case you’re interested (but chances are I would be more interested in finding out why anyone would even be interested), here’s what’s been up with my life.

UPDATE #1: Yes, I am still alive.

UPDATE #2: I found another job. Two years fresh out of school and I’ve already written two resignation letters. I hereby hang my head in shame for five seconds.

UPDATE #3: I spent last Saturday night doing something that most people actually do on Saturday nights. I went to a concert. My very first concert. I am still so excited so I thought I should write a post about it. Oh come on. People always make a big deal out of their first times, don’t they? Besides, what better way to convince you to believe that Update #1 is indeed true?

FangirlsI have always wondered how in the world can some people be capable of such a degree of excitement for another human being(s).

I guess you wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that I am someone with a fear of crowds. To be more precise, I am terrified of the idea of being stuck in the middle of a sweaty mob of screaming humans. I might actually lose my cool and start screaming too but we would be doing it for completely different reasons. I also lose my way all the time and I believe that if the arena was big enough, I might actually get lost inside a concert. Which explains why I’ve never been to a single concert my entire life.

But now that I’m getting older, I am starting to run out of things that I should do before I leave this world. I’m talking about the easy stuff, because I find it much easier to do the easy stuff first (duh) so that’s pretty much all I’ve been up to. See, I’ve already checked fly on a plane without having a nervous breakdown, share an umbrella with a stranger, get a ride on a motorcycle, and sing alone on stage off the list. Heck, I can always skydive and milk a cow in Switzerland with my bare hands in another life – or perhaps I would already have done so in an alternate universe where I actually do real things.

But right here where I am now, it is time for me to check go to a real concert before I get that someone asking me why the hell have I not yet done so while looking incredibly incredulous. You know – we all have at least one such individual in our lives who always manages to make us feel as if we had sinned just for not having done a particular something. Big deal, you would roll your eyes when they turn away, then spend the rest of the day interrogating other people about whether or not it was really that big of a deal.

Anyway, one of my favourite singers happened to be on tour in town last week, so I got myself a ticket some time back so that I could go see him for the first time. Now, I just have to wait, I told myself gleefully and congratulated myself for having completed the only thing I had to do to give myself something awesome to look forward to. No procrastination. But it was only then that I realised what I had really done. I had just placed myself at risk of being stuck in the middle of a sweaty mob of screaming humans in a few months’ time.

I panicked for a second. The next thing I knew, I was scrolling through the terms and conditions on the website where I just booked the ticket (in case I chickened out and didn’t want to go or something). I thought I heard alternate universe me scoffing at me.

The Neon Bikini Prep

Before I knew it, November came around and it hit me that I had no idea what to wear to a concert. I mean, what do you even do at a concert? Do I sit? Do I stand? Where do I put my hands? Must I really wave them around like I just don’t care? Do I reach them out like a hysterical fangirl even though I’m seated all the way up at the back because it wasn’t payday yet when I booked the ticket? Can I just clap, sing along and wave randomly? Will I irk the fan crowd around me with my inability to display enthusiasm like them? Will they take it as a sign of non-conformance?

Hell, I can already picture it. The singer would be all like, get up and dance, people and I would be one of the few still seated because I am just physically unable to comply with such spontaneous instructions. One, I can’t dance for my life. In the safety of my own room, I can have Single Ladies on repeat and pretend to be Beyoncé all I want, but I would be the only one who knows how much I suck. In the safety of my own room, I wouldn’t have to subject anyone else to the torture of knowing how much I suck.

Two, I over-think things to the point that I sometimes forget what I was originally thinking about because I have already branched way out to the thousandth thought and I have no idea how to go back. Which explains why I am simply unable to just get up and dance. See, it’s not that simple for me. What if I stand up and turn out to be one of the few who does? Do I shake a little and then sit back down bashfully after a few beats? Then what’s the point in that? Or should I just clap along with the song until I get so tired that I go out of time and start wondering when the hell can I sit down again? How about I just wiggle around carelessly, hoping to infect everyone with every spirited twitch? But that brings me back to my first problem because I can’t dance for my life. So I say leave the dancing to the brave and the talented. Let me clap, sing along and wave randomly for you.

I’m guessing I won’t make the cut as a good Ellen audience member, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you, Queen of Random Booty Shaking. 

I know, I know. I’m so full of myself that I believe people are actually going to notice what the hell I’m doing, when everybody else would be busy oogling at the stage. What do you expect? So why do I still worry so much such that I become too self-conscious for my own good? Why can’t I just let go and have some fun? And who in the world gives a fuck about what a fan wears to a concert, for crying out loud?

But I am a weird person.

So anyway, back to what to wear (haha). At first, I thought about wearing a dress or a skirt, but that didn’t seem cool enough and I wanted to have some fun even though I would be looking so calm I could fall asleep any minute. In contrast, my insides would definitely be having one hell of a party (don’t ask me why – I’m just like that). So perhaps a cute top and shorts then? Easy and breezy to match my internal partay mood. Though shorts did seem a little too casual. What about jeans? Then I remembered that I had already given up on jeans a long time ago, since I saw a pregnant pear walking down the street and I found out later that it was actually my own reflection.

I realise this whole pre-concert experience might have been a lot easier if I had someone to go with me. But then again, I’m weird, so naturally, I can’t expect my friends to be into the same singers. Though I did get some pretty rad fashion suggestions from them. In the end, some of us somehow came up with the idea of the neon bikini: an awesome bikini lit with flashing neon lights sewn in strategic places. The best possible way to attract anyone’s attention.

Yeah, that will get him.

Types of Concert-Goers

The day has finally come. I successfully manoeuvre my way up at least ten floors to my seat (if you’re actually wondering – no – I was not dressed in a neon bikini). The thing about concert seating is that where you sit tells a lot about the kind of concert-goer you probably are. Here are some personal observations that I’d advise you not to take seriously.

Obviously, if you are seated all the way at the front in the first few rows, you are a legit crazy fan who is just rich, or your family is rich, or you don’t give a damn about how bankrupt you might become. You will most definitely be a member of a certain fan club, and you will be armed with one of those piercing, tireless screams that serve as a very good signal to let the rest of us know when the singer is back on stage after a costume change. Or when he or she is done blabbering and the next song is about to start. Or when the song ends. Or when the singer breathes. Basically anything the singer does or says – you will be there professing your eternal love.

As a legit crazy fan, you will also have complicated displays of glow sticks that probably spell out the singer’s name, or the fan club’s name, or both with a flashing heart in between. As annoying as you might be sometimes, I have nothing against legit crazy fans because you do the work for everybody else by being so hyped up all the time. So my imaginary hat off to you and thank you. You deserve every opportunity to touch the singer’s hands or catch whatever it is that they throw off stage.

Next, we have the lucky ones. This is the chunk of audience in the middle behind the legit crazy fans, where the level of support on display will not lose out to the first row. The only difference is that the lucky ones will at least take a break. You know, drink some water, rest their voices, sit down and stop blocking the view. What makes them lucky is that when singers do get off stage, they will usually pass through the legit crazy fans and make some of them pass out, before walking at least up to the first few rows of lucky ones to smile at them or even better, give them a hug.

And they wouldn’t even have to scream that much. Plus, their glow sticks do not even need to be fancy.

Then we have the neutrals. These are people who kind of like the singer, but they are not hardcore fans so they would rather lurk in the background to enjoy the music from a safe distance away from the crazies and luckies without having to respond when prompted. The neutrals can make do with the tiny little speck of human being that is the singer from where they are seated – though it would be nice if there was a giant screen on which they can get to see him or her up close all the time. But that’s never going to happen because they want you to buy the DVD.

Omigod, he’s pointing at me!

Surprisingly, I turned out to be one of the most enthusiastic neutrals at first. The others were all so calm that my prior concerns about not being participative enough were dismissed instantly when the lights went out and the hardcore fans began screaming. There I was, clapping eagerly to the singer’s entrance and doing a barely audible woo. It was all very thrilling indeed to be lost in a sea of neon, with the sounds of the band and the singer’s voice exploding in your chest as you realise in awe that that this is the closest you have ever been to him or her.

But most of the neutrals around me were practically dead silent. As I started banging my head to the music because that is how I react to all kinds of music (don’t ask me why – I’m just like that), the other neutrals were still as still as statues. As if they didn’t care to be there. Or perhaps they do but like me, they just don’t know how to show it the stereotypical way. I’m guessing this is not something new here in Singapore. After all, we have been ruthlessly pronounced the most emotionless society in the world.

Fortunately though, I was seated next to a couple of girls who liked to sing along and clap like I did, so I didn’t feel so out of place. In the end, I didn’t even use the plain glow sticks that I bought because I would probably stick out from where I was like a neon bikini. The thing was: there were a lot of us crowded up in the neutral area. Yes, the crazies and luckies were doing their thing, but it made me wonder if the singer could sense the lack of excitement from the back. That wouldn’t be very nice, would it? If I could, I wanted to shake his hand (out of gratitude, not craziness) to thank him and his crew for writing rare songs that I as a weird person, can relate to. But that’s just not how you show support at a concert.

Then, it happened. He pointed at us.

Thank you 9GAG for making poorly hand-drawn illustrations socially acceptable on the Internet. To be honest, this could be the best thing I’ve ever drawn.

All of a sudden, the entire chunk of neutrals sat up and started screaming as if they had been lit on fire. All I did was wave back at him (as if he could see me), but that was just about the maximum amount of external excitement I could muster. Though it was completely nothing compared to the boys and girls around me. They were now shrieking, standing up, jumping, swaying dreamily from side to side to the music, following the singer as he walked about the arena like ants to sugar, and screaming for him to walk up to where we were.

How funny. So all it takes is a finger to show some love.

Encore

I had no idea how much I had to say about this. But the point of this latest astoundingly long post of mine is: you can do whatever the hell you want. Nobody’s really looking – except for me. But who cares, right?

Except for me.

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