I used to go to a lot of shows and feel at home there but somehow I lost that at some point. Now I’m extremely self-conscious especially when everybody else seems like they’re peers running into each other and I’m there by myself. I do love live music, though, and when the band is good enough to occupy my focus, I’m okay until there’s a break or a singalong that everybody but me knows the lyrics to. (Or even if I know them - they’re always in the wrong key for me to feel comfortable singing along with.)
At some point I noticed I hadn’t been to a gig for a long time. A free show here and there that I could walk out of any time, or a seated listener-focused gig that didn’t require a lot of performative action on my side, but none of those standing room experiences I used to love so much and that started feeling so awkward later.
I had just started following gig announcements again and had just bought my first real ticket in years when the pandemic happened and all the shows got postponed. In a way, that helped. Waiting for a show for two years gave us strangers all something to bond over when that show finally happened last week. The singer made jokes about it, the crowd cheered and we all were hungry for it anyway. (In addition, I spent a lot of those two years watching live videos and feeding that hunger.)
Tonight, I’m going to Hamburg to see Larkin Poe. I’ve been aware of the gig since it was announced for last October a while back, but didn’t know if I should go because it’s in another town and I’ll need to get back somehow (mustn’t miss the last train). I’m trying to widen my activities range, so I’ll try to not let that (or the endless opportunities to feel awkward and self-conscious at such a gig) stop me. Also, they’re one of my favorite bands, so I’d be really cross with myself if I didn’t at least try to make it happen. I just hope that hickup I’ve had all day will cease until then…