Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?
— Avril Lavigne
As an avid concertgoer, I can vouch that there are very few things more enjoyable than hearing music you enjoy up close and personal. When at a live show, and listening to familiar music while surrounded by others who are also enjoying themselves, it’s extremely difficult to be in a bad mood.
While it’s always fun to learn new music and check out different artists, there’s no questioning how much better it is when you go to a concert in which you know all of the songs that are being played.
For that one night, you get to sing at the top of your lungs along with hundreds of other people, and bearing no shame whatsoever.
Not only that, but you get to physically see an artist that you’ve previously formed a connection with through their music. After hearing them so many times on the radio and on your iPod, they’re finally right there, standing before you.
And of course, you get to record a song on your phone and upload it to Facebook. It’s pretty mandatory.
For all of those reasons, concerts are awesome.
However, one of the problems us concertgoers experience is the stigma that comes with attending certain shows. Some of don’t attend the concerts that we want to because we’re embarrassed to, or because we feel like we “don’t belong there.”
For example, I have not been secretive about my admiration for Taylor Swift. But being at a Taylor Swift show … well, that’s just asking for trouble. First and foremost, I’d be a 26-year-old male among thousands of 15-year-old girls. Additionally, it’s not really something I could flaunt.
I have no problem telling the world I went to a Mumford & Sons show, which I did in August. Telling people I went to a Taylor Swift concert, however, would evoke a wide range of reactions — none of them positive. (Also, a giant shout out from all of us here at the Weinblog — a.k.a., just me — to Taylor on her 24th birthday!)
Yeah, I know … who cares, right? Sometimes you just have to shelve your pride and do the things you enjoy, regardless of what other people think.
And on Wednesday night, I did. No I did not attend a Taylor Swift concert, unfortunately, but I did go see another female pop star, who has a similarly large female fan base.
The self-proclaimed “M—– F—— Pop Princess” herself, Avril Lavigne.
Everyone in the world likes at least one Avril Lavigne song. Whether it’s “Complicated,” “Sk8er Boi,” “I’m With You,” “Girlfriend,” or something else. She has an entire musical library of popular, catchy tracks, and I just couldn’t resist seeing her.
I never would have seen in her in a giant arena, but, surprisingly, she performed at a smaller venue about 25 minutes away from where I live. Using connections through my job, I was able to secure two tickets for free. But believe me, it’s not like these were handed to me — I very much put forth the effort to get them, because, well, I really, really, wanted to go.
And that’s why me, and my 28-year-old male friend could be found at 9 p.m. among hundreds of teenage girls, some with colorfully dyed hair, many with tattoos, and nearly all with black eyeliner, watching Avril Lavigne perform. She played 12 songs over the course of a little over an hour, including all the hits I mentioned above, and here is a rundown my personal progression throughout the show.
Songs 1-3: “I definitely don’t want to be seen singing, but it’s OK if I bob my head and tap my foot, right?”
Songs 4-6: “Hey, there are other guys here who are singing along. Maybe I can just mouth the chorus and it won’t be a big deal.”
Songs 6-9: “Screw it. I don’t give a shit. I’m singing. I’m dancing. And if I knock over a 12-year-old girl along the way, so be it.”
Songs 10-12: “WHY’D YOU HAVE TO GO AND MAKE THINGS SO COMPLICATED? OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU AVRIL!”
Not even kidding, my voice was hoarse by the time the show ended.
I can now cross Avril Lavigne off of my concert bucket list, and, because I didn’t give a crap about my own public perception, I had a great night.
There’s a lesson to be learned here.
Sometimes, you just have to be live like a 12-year-old girl.
Wait, that’s not what I meant.