Concerts: a fun way to enjoy music, a chance to spend time with your friends, and if you're sort of a loser like me, the worst possible thing ever that a person could do.
First, you pay a buttload of money, setting yourself up to feel guilty if you don't have an amaaaazing time. Then you get there and it's crowded and too loud and you don't know any of the songs the band is playing because they're all from their new album that hasn't been released yet. The songs you do know, you're sick of, since you don't know very much music because you don't have the money to spend on iTunes and you're afraid of going to jail for downloading music illegally and you can't figure out how to sync your Spotify account properly to your phone when it's offline and the whole thing is a nightmare so you just listen to podcasts. And worst of all, everyone there can tell that you're the weirdo who doesn't know how to have fun at concerts.
Because you don't. What blows everyone's minds about live music anyway? Yeah, it was cool in the olden days before we had the technological capability to record sound. But now we do, so why do we insist on repeating this unpleasant and antiquated ritual? Oh, you like to "share the experience" with other people? Cool, invite a friend over and click one button to listen to any music ever instantly.
Even though I am obviously right, your friends will most likely still insist on inviting you to concerts this summer, and you will go and have a mediocre-to-awful time. But just because you're not having fun doesn't mean you have to LOOK like you're not having fun. This helpful guide will teach you to blend seamlessly into the crowd and possibly even make your concert experience slightly less agonizing. (No guarantees on that second part.)
The obvious worst part about concerts is that once you get there, there's nothing to do but stand around in a crowd of people feeling like an idiotic member of a herd of cattle. You have very few activity options. It's too loud for conversation, and you're too debilitatingly self-conscious for dancing. Also, no one wants to dance with you, so what are you gonna do, be one of those weird girls who closes her eyes and puts her hands up and sways by herself like she's "really feeling the music"? God no.
Instead, simply choose one of these concert mini-games and enjoy minutes of un-embarrassing entertainment:
1. The Excuse Me Game
2. The Twitter Game
3. The Tickling Strangers Game
4. The Screaming Nonsense Game
Here's another undeniable fact about concerts: everyone there is a monster. Don't get me wrong, if you were to meet them one-on-one to enjoy a cold beer and some recorded music played at a reasonable volume, you could probably have a lovely conversation with any one of them. After all, they're just people. Until they enter the dehumanizing breeding ground for despair that is a concert venue. Then they become the worst.
Of course, some people are more the worst than others. Avoid the following groups to limit the amount you feel ashamed of your generation and alienated from humanity as a whole:
1. Everyone you came to the concert with
2. Anyone who looks like an American Eagle married an Urban Outfitters and consummated the marriage in their closet
3. Guys doing that thing where they hug their girlfriend from behind
Phew. You made it to the end of this guide, and hopefully the end of the concert, with no one the wiser about how much of a dork you are. And next time one of your friends suggests a concert, remember: you can always propose going to the movies instead. There'll be plenty to be anxious about there too.
Photographers: Faraways, Christian Bertrand, Aija Lehtonen, Dziurek. All via Shutterstock.com.