It’s Wednesday of 3rd week. I’m on the I-25, crawling through rush hour traffic foggily towards Denver. The Cranberries ask me over the stereo if I have to let it linger. A little anxious pit in my stomach starts to open again; I push it down. My day, up to this point, has been a sort of tug-of-war between feeling really excited about the Tyler, The Creator show I’m currently on the way to see and the weird, soul-sucking feeling people’s responses have prompted in me when I told them I was going to the show alone.
The first show I went to alone was an Alex G show in the summer after my senior year of high school. None of my friends had really started to like him yet, but I’d been listening to DSU non-stop since it came out, so I told myself I’d go. “I’m a big girl now,” I thought, “I can go to shows alone.”
The hour-long train ride there consisted of me pushing down anxiety-nausea with big gulps of water. I would spend time obsessively thinking about what the people at the show might think when they see me alone. Then I’d tell myself that nobody would be paying enough attention to anybody else to notice that kinda thing. Then I’d get sad. You get the picture.
That show was probably one of the best I’ve seen to date, slightly ruined by the fact that this girl (another alone-attender, though she had a “Press” badge to deflect the blame onto) would not stop following me around until my subway station on the way home. A part from her mild clinginess, there was nothing wrong with this girl––if anything, she seemed pretty sweet. Having experienced a small part of the show alone, though, I didn’t wanna turn back. Being in this small, 100-year-old basement, listening to Alex play guitar, his face covered in cake (don’t ask), felt really intimate. I wasn’t distracted; or, rather, nobody was distracting me. I was completely there, and it was really fucking wonderful. (Until Lindsay tapped me on the shoulder and asked what my name was. Bitch.)
Go to shows alone! Or, rather, don’t let a lack of company stop you from seeing any bands live. CC is a more socially-focused environment than most, but even here, shows don’t exist for you to be seen. Shows exist for you to see, listen and pay attention to who’s on stage.
The Tyler show was amazing. I took the empty spots by the stairs of the Ogden, left behind by a crowd of five k-holing teenagers that were being escorted out by the cops, as I walked in. For the next hour and a half, I just listened. It was the best night I’d had in a long time (maybe I really am a big girl now).