I recently purchased two tickets to John Legend. I was pretty excited considering the last concert I remember buying tickets for was the Goo Goo Dolls back when Iris defined every sad thing mankind has ever experienced. I think the music landscape has since changed. I saw Miley Cyrus on the ole television recently and felt old. I didn’t even feel creepy–wow, she’s hot old. It was the kind of old that makes you never want to have a daughter.
So I went with the safest possible bet when I chose John Legend. But not long after the purchase an awkward anxiety crept in. What does one do at a John Legend concert? I’ve never seen someone who primarily plays the piano before. Do I sit the whole time? This wouldn’t be so bad I thought. With each passing year, I spend less and less time standing at concerts. Before, it was a sign of how much you liked the band. The longer you stood the more die-hard you were. It was like Catholics who kneel. The more uncomfortable the posture at the pew, the better the chance you go to heaven.
But I think I’m done proving myself at concerts. Concerts are wonderful for people-watching. I remember going to some concerts and feeling so proud and arrogant when I knew all the songs and all the words. I’d make sure the person next to me knew I knew all the words. It was your way of saying you were better than them and more fan-worthy. What a pretentious move that is. I will say, in my defense, that I was never that asshole (usually a girl) who screamed at the top of her lungs when the most obscure song came on. It was the song everybody took a break from (sitting down or to get a drink) but this chick would be the only person standing, swaying side-to-side, letting everybody in the stadium know, that this forgotten song defined her existence. Good for you. You’re uniqueness is refreshingly awful.
But what do I do, John Legend? Do I bring a lighter to hold up? Or are all the kids using their iPhones these days? I can promise you I will not hold up an iPhone lighter, ever. Ah! I mean it can’t be any more awkward than the Blink182 concert I went to in 1996 when I thought it was going to be all these teeny-boppers and my 110 pound body got mangled by fat girls crowd surfing. Didn’t see that coming. And who knew all the kids who got bullied took out their angst in mosh pits? I sure didn’t.
Part of why I like Mumford and Sons so much is the experience I had at their concert on the Eastern Promenade in Portland, Maine last summer. It’s a white person’s dream that concert! For just about EVERY single song, you can tap your foot and clap. That’s the go-to white person move. We’re born with that gene and it feels so natural. It’s the most popular move at family weddings and Mumford and Sons concerts. I felt so at home. If you were a good dancer you’d probably feel pretty confined and contained at such a show. Sorry, save that shit for Coachella you flower-people. Here, we just tap and clap. Tap and clap. All day long.
I’m not quite at the age where I resent the people in front of me for standing. The way I look at it is very practical. If you can sit, and see the stage, then sit if you want to. But if the people are standing, well, you’re hand has been forced and you’re standing too.
Probably the best people-watching I’ve ever experienced was the Jay-Z/Kayne concert at Foxwoods. You had the yuppie white women dressed real nice. Tight clothes, borderline skanky. But then they were COMPLETELY shown up by some of the women who looked liked they came bused in from Jersey. They just had a Jersey feel to them, whatever that is. Fur coats for the men. I mean it was pretty outrageous and I think my polo shirt was the wrong choice that night. Then again Kayne was wearing a kilt and solidified my preconceived notion that he is the worst person on the planet.
So I’m looking forward to this John Legend show. I’ll be sure to snap some pictures to fill you in on the ambiance that for right now, remains a mystery to me. I kind of want to buy up the six seats around my girlfriend and I and just put candles on them. Real sexy-like. It’ll be like I purchased the right to have Mr. Legend serenade us for 2 hours. The only problem will be the thousands of other people crashing our date. But if I politely tell them to keep their voices down, maybe they’ll respect our privacy.
Oh. And by the way…my first concert ever. Cohasset Music Circus…
Weird Al. FOR THE WIN.