Sunday, February 14, 2016

Going to A Concert Alone: My Experiences (so far...)

Admittedly, before I was legal, I've never been to a legit stand-up-jump-and-dance concert (been to Yuna's and other music showcases). Music-driven shows, yes, but not concerts. My Umi is a little strict on those aspects - 'Tunggu lah awak dah besar nanti,' is what she always told me. Trivia: I have never watched any Bond movie until recently, and I'm gonna be 23 this year, yeah laugh at me. I had a little leeway here and there thanks to my older sisters who were into the indie scene when I was in high school so there were some odd gigs/shows that I managed to go.

So then I got into Uni, and I don't really have the time and the excess fund to indulge for concerts. Also, most of the ones that I wanna go is held in Singapore and I don't see me being allowed to travel there alone at that point in time (Fall Out Boy *cries*). Then, somehow, I was almost done with degree with a major anxiety and stress issue, and I just think 'Welp that was stressful. I need to do stuffs that I want and like for a change,' and out of all artists, Ed Sheeran was coming to town. I grabbed the ticket the night it started selling, no second thought. Well I did consider that the concert will be held on a weekday night and I'm doing my internship but oh screw that.

Ed Sheeran's concert was a pretty safe choice to be frank. Most of the fans are young girls. Some are accompanied by guardians and parents. I came in my baju kurung to collect my ticket (hey I did my intern in a semi-gov body give me a break) and changed into tshirt and jeans in the KLCC toilet, and came out to find a verrrrrryyyyyyyyyyy longggggggg line. And I'm just like 'Well that's great dah lah aku sorang tak ada orang boleh cop tempat dalam line,'. I almost didn't want to go because I'm all alone. Well I'm glad I didn't skip out because missing that concert just because I'm afraid to go alone would be stupid.

Let me just establish that Ed's voice is phenomenal. AND DUDE CAN RAP FORREAL. It's just him, the mic, his guitar and his loop pedal and it was friggin' awesome. When the show properly started, I sincerely enjoyed it and sang along until I lost my voice. Best part is even if I cry (hypothetically) nobody knows me to make fun of me. It's pretty nice because you don't have to worry about you being separated from a friend and you can stand wherever you want (as you able lah kan) and nobody will whine about it.

So, now that I know Umi is okay with me going alone (albeit worriedly), I wanna go to more shows (yes I'm greedy like that). And I found out that The Script is coming! AND THEY NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR THE SHOW.

Here's the thing, I am not the luckiest person in terms of lucky draw stuffs. 98% of the time, I never get anything. AND I GOT PICKED TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE SCRIPT'S SHOW. I literally screamed when I got the email of confirmation for my participation. Because being a flag bearer means that we get into the stadium pre-show and get to meet the band and see them doing the sound check. I couldn't believe my luck (this was reaffirmed when a random guy yelled 'You lucky bitches!!!' over and over again when we walked out with the band - that made me laugh).

When I got to the stadium, I was pretty nervous, like, afraid that I will mess up or that I don't know where to find Johnny (the one who's supposed to meet us).  And started talking to this girl, Steph, who is in the volunteer group too. So yay me I found a friend for this concert! The whole volunteer bunch are nice tho so we kinda accompany each other for the concert.

The experience is kind of bizarre and surreal I still am amazed that I kept my cool (the girl with me started crying when the band came to hug and shook our hands). I declined hugs because I don't feel comfortable to it but it's okay. But Mark was so nice and polite he actually asked me first if he can hug me and when I declined we decided to just bow to each other out and that made me laugh (the situation was really funny now that I think about it). They performed a song just for us in an empty stadium (I still wanna cry now). And I know I kept saying this but Danny is really tall like wow how is that possible. I should also note that they smell good and not in a creepy way. Their perfume just smell nice. Johnny was a champ, managing a bunch of excited girls and giving extra comfort to Steph and the girls who was having trouble to stop crying after meeting the guys. It's amazing how some band and music can affect people's life so that they'll keep holding on you know, and when you meet them, it's like all the floodgate is opened so I completely understand that. I'm not the most publicly affectionate person and cringe when I see PDA so yes, I tend to not do that but I completely understand why she cried.

Bless the person who gifted them those songkok.

Honestly, eventhough I was anticipating to be alone at this concert too, I made friends and enjoyed it with them. We don't keep in touch afterwards but like I said, they are an awesome bunch. Plus, I'm not the best person in keeping in touch with people. But yeah, try to make friends at concerts especially if you see that they're alone too. Unless, of course, you really want an alone concert experience to which I'd say, you do you.

I went to other shows and concerts before and after these two concerts but these two are the ones that none of my friends went with me. Hujan is another story altogether like have you been to their gig back then? It's kind of like that but just a little bit sombre and by a little bit, I really mean jussstttttt a little bit. That show made me think about stopping from going to a concert. Maybe I'll still go but I'll just hang around at the back, enjoying the show from afar.

Well, really though, I think every experience is different and it is okay to go to concert alone BUT, ensure your safety and that you secure all your needed items with you.

My short advice when you go to a big concert alone or not;

1) be nice to the people you meet there - they are also hoping to enjoy the show as much as you do;
2) suppress from whining to your boyfriend (encountered this numerous time it's annoying, kalau nak selesa lapang boleh baring baring baik duduk rumah lah cik kak) and people - total strangers really - will just lowkey hate you;
3) tell someone where you are going, what time it starts and what time it ends.

I'd suggest a buddy system with someone that didn't go to the concert: your friend or sister or brother or whoever that stays up late and cares about you didn't go with you, promise them that you'd text them once it's over and then when you got home and gave them the green light that if somehow you went AWOL to contact your parents/guardian/relatives or authorities (depending on the situation). I know I sound paranoid but have you seen the news lately? It's a cray world. Better be safe than sorry. Also, load up your touch n go card or carry enough money (but don't go flashing them around). I, being unfamiliar with the roads in and around KL, got lost on my way home from the Ed Sheeran concert. Don't blame me, I prefer public transport if I ever need to roam KL rather than driving through the traffic jams yo.

But really though, be it you're going to a concert or a show alone or with a bunch of friends, be safe and just have fun.

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