A few months ago I wrote about doing things by yourself as opposed to doing things in a group.  My position was that it is perfectly fine to want to be alone sometimes and you really didn’t need anyone to accompany you anywhere. Some people really didn’t want to do certain things by themselves, dinner and travel being the most popular “group” activities. As I’ve both traveled and eaten alone, I felt pretty confident in saying that I would be comfortable being by myself at any event if I so chose.

And then I went to a museum exhibit with a friend.

Oddly, I had gotten a ticket for this exhibit solo. Then my friend S texted- “want to hang on Wednesday” and I said “You know- going to The Shed at 11- come with?” And a solo outing became an afternoon for two.

As we stared at this very bizarre exhibit that neither of us really understood what we were looking at or what the artist was thinking, my friend S remarked: “I found your blog about being by yourself very interesting.” S is a great person in a group, but she truly values her alone time. She is independent and really just does what she wants when she wants and is as content by herself as she is with her Husband. She is fearless in just doing what she wants, whether or not she has someone to go with.

So imagine my surprise when she said: “I don’t think I could go to a big concert by myself. There’s just something about that experience that I think you need to be with someone.”

I couldn’t believe there was something she wouldn’t do by herself.

And then I thought about myself.

I’ve been to plays alone: both on and off Broadway. Movies, obviously- I probably go to as many alone as I do with others. I’ve been to classical and jazz and ethnic music concerts by myself: at libraries and parks for free as well as paid venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. But what about something at Madison Square Garden?

Would I see U2 by myself?

Doubtful.

Highly doubtful.

And there it was- the chink in my armor. I am probably never going to see Beyoncé dance live without someone by my side. I will not be screaming BRUUUCE when “Born to Run” is played if I’m by myself.

No lone rock concerts for me.

So what is it about this form of music that makes me want to be with friends?

Obviously I listen to this music by myself. I shower sing to them. I put them on when I’m working out. So what is it about the live rock concert experience that makes me want to share?

What marks an experience that makes it better when shared with a friend?  Why are there certain things that are just “better” when done as a group?

47 thoughts on “Ticket For One please

  1. Great read!
    I know what you mean… I suppose maybe where it’s a concert, anything can happens so it’s a unique experience everytime, as you don’t know what the artist might surprise you with. Where as, in a play, art gallery etc, theres a certain order or script to be followed? Maybe it’s because it’s an experience that you don’t know what to expect that you may want to share with someone? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oooh….that’s good. A rock concert is different because even though it has a “set playlist” literally anything can happen to shake things up. I was at a Bruce concert where a couple was getting engaged and it changed a certain dynamic. Good point

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  2. I’m wired differently than most. I am probably the last person to ask about attending music concerts – or galleries or movies, alone or with others. These ventures hold little appeal for me.

    But I have witnessed scenes of jaw-dropping natural beauty when I was by myself and felt a pang of need for someone else to share it with me.

    I think that we creatures yearn for connection in different ways. For you it’s the stimulation of music – for me, it’s engaging with a spectacular sunset.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m one of those that wants/needs someone with me for pretty much anything. I haven’t always been that way. After my divorce, there was something really empowering about doing things by myself, that confirmation that I could, but it was never a go to a movie or dinner kind of thing. But, the older I get, the less I want to do anything alone unless it is sitting and reading or the rare photography hike, which is still often shared with BG. I think mine is more of a… not a phobia exactly, but something similar. An extreme aversion, so much so that I’m the queen of procrastination when it comes to getting basic errands run so I can have someone go with me. That said, I’ve always been in awe of people that felt comfortable enough to do things on their own.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry. Hit reply by accident. Everyone has to come up with their own comfort level of what works for them. My husband prefers being around people. We have to try to find a balance

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I honestly think part of mine is that I’m alone for a huge portion of every day as I don’t work. The kids are at school and Hubby is at work. While I have the time during the day to do all the things I need to do, I much prefer having company to do those things. And yes, being a raging introvert plays a huge part of that.

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      2. See.i think that’s an extroverted trait. I’m home most of the day alone doing things, but I prefer it. I can’t get anything done when my family is home. They distract me and m6 husband is needy

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  4. I’m actually going to a concert alone next month and might buy a ticket to go to another one solo in August. I would rather have people there with me, but no one else I know likes my bands enough to attend. If I have the option to see my favorite bands live alone or miss out, I will go alone.

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    1. Ill go to many concerts alone. There’s something daunting about goin* to a big venue like Madison square garden or Barclays or meadowlands. I. D.o.n.t know why either

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  5. Something that size can be intimidating in general. Leave your seat and you never find your way back and you have no one to text for help! Unless you like to be among those down front, getting trampled… 😉
    Crowds are harder and harder for me to deal with so a small venue is fine. Stadiums, arenas, crazy loud noise, tripping over things in the dark… I had my days doing that and now I have the memories. Now if someone I knew had a private seating section, even if I didn’t know anyone right there, or I could be backstage for the concert, I might consider it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I never went to an event as a vip of sorts till I was working. Occasionally though my husband has been able to take my daughter to things. I said we don’t want her to get to used to that…..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I like taking places like museums or walks or shopping whatnot at my own pace. When I go with another, I find myself constantly worrying about whether I’ve gone here or there as the other person wishes.

    A concert is a set event; all the variables are taken care of. I want to go and I find myself wanting to share the feelings I experience at one with another person.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That was most interesting to read. I’m not likely to go to any entertainment by myself, so I never thought about it. I was always comfortable driving to work or church, but going somewhere with parking a problem? No way!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When we lived in Queens, we didn’t have a car. I was terrified about meeting John in Manhattan, but I did it. I learned to get around by myself. That was in marked contrast to my growing up in rural West Tennessee. I had my driver’s license a week after my 16th birthday and knew how to get anywhere I needed to go. These days, I’m back to being wary of going any distance by myself. I’m convinced all the roads in the mountains are circular. Nothing is ever straightforward here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They are to me. I was confused about getting around when we first moved to NC. It was because every time we went to town, John looped around to go by the railroad tracks. There were easier ways, but we took the scenic route for him. I’ve learned how to get from home to stores and doctors’ offices, but sometimes I can’t get from one place in town to another without going back to square one. Yes, the roads are circular, but I am loopy, too.

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  8. I don’t mind my own company however if I go out for the day a feeling of intense loneliness will hit me at one point. (That’s the first time I can remember you telling us someone you know reads your Blog! I’m unsure how I’d feel about that 🙂 )

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    1. Actually, five of the people closest to me in the world read me pretty regularly. My family doesn’t, but they hear first hand most of my rants, and my closest nyc friend gets the recap on our weekly coffee dates

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  9. Enjoyed this post. I think the sheer exhilaration of everything going on at an enjoyable concert just begs to have another person to experience it with. It’s just too much excitement to try to reiterate the sheer joy of it to a friend or family member after the fact. Just my humble opinion. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I used to go to all that stuff alone and moved overseas alone etc., but now it seems like physically my body might not hold up to something like a giant event–football game, concert–plus I don’t drive, so…it might be fun to go with others, and even then the bigger events might be too much. It’s health though for me, and not preference or personal wimpiness more on one subject than another–

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  11. I have never thought about it but yeah, I’ve never been to a rock concert alone. It’s always been with a date or with friends. A couple years ago a guy I was seeing bought tickets to go to a Joan Jett concert because he knew I’m a fan . (she plays the same style guitar I played when I was in a band in the 60’s). He got sick and I was going to go by myself but luckily I found a friend to go with me. Since I was a rock band in my youth, I love rock music and most of my friends aren’t into the same music as I’m into. But yeah, it’s more fun with a friend. However, I would have enjoyed myself if I had gone alone too. I’ve gone to the theatre by myself but I do prefer going with friends but don’t need to.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I probably would hesitate too depending on where they were held. But JJ performs at the Hardrock in Ft Lauderdale frequently, and it’s a lovely indoor arena. If it were an outdoor field where there were no assigned seats I doubt I’d attend alone.

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  12. When I was a stagehand, I had the opportunity to see many concerts. There were some that I wanted to have someone there by my side, and others that i definitely wandered off alone to listen because the music was so meaningful to me in a very private way. I might have never been like that if not for the spiritual experience I had at a music festival way back in the 90s.

    I get it, though. BFD is coming up soon (an all day concert thing in the metroplex), and I’m going with a group. Some bands I definitely want the shared experience😁

    Liked by 2 people

  13. After writing about my solo concert experiences and truly thinking on this matter some more…
    I think it’s the energy of these shows like Beyonce that makes us want to share it with someone we know. We have that bond with our friends and family, and it makes the energy of such a show more powerful and intimate, while still being one of those experiences that also connects us with a bunch of strangers for a brief moment in time.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post! I’ve been single now for the past 4+ years, and while I do enjoy alone time, there are many times when I think sharing the experience would be so much more fun. It’s not always easy conveying an experience to someone else. They have to be there next to you to see, hear, and feel it too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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