For the record: How to find the ultimate concert buddy
Music columnist Meghan LeVota on what to look for when in search of a reliable concert companion
It’s that time of year again. Time to mark up those brand new empty planners with the crazy schedule of the coming school year. As a natural planner, going through and writing down upcoming dates gets me in a good mindset, as well as excites me for classes, upcoming events, activities and most importantly, concerts!
We really are lucky to be living a place like Columbia: a perfect college town attracting amazing lineups at The Blue Note and Mojo’s this year (not to mention the fact that we are only a couple hours away from magnificent venues in Kansas City or St. Louis). As a music lover and a concert junkie, I already have my wish list prepared.
Though as a poor college student with a busy schedule, I must face the fact that I cannot attend them all. All you can do is hope and pray that you don’t have an evening statistics exam when your fave band is in town or a sorority retreat during LouFest. Aside from money and busy schedules, there is only one other thing holding me back: a reliable concert buddy!
Sadly, all of my friends and peers are also poor college students — friends with a variety of different music tastes, with a variety of priorities. It really gets you in a pickle when even though you would gladly spend $40 to see your favorite band, your best friend would rather save up. (For example, I am personally at a desperate point where I am either going to drive to KC to go see Tame Impala by myself or give up and buy one of my friends a ticket.)
The struggle is real. Here is what to look for in your search for the ultimate concert buddy:
1) Open mindedness to all genres. It is important for your concert buddy to have a broad musical appetite. Company is much more enjoyable when all songs are appreciated, not just the hit single.
2) Not afraid to dance and sing along. There is no need to be embarrassed. Newsflash: No one is looking at you. They have come to see a performance, therefore are looking at the stage. Concerts are just awkward for everyone if we all just stand there like bumps on a log. (Besides, if I plan to enjoy myself and get fully immersed in the music, I would prefer my concert buddy not to make me look like a fool in comparison.)
3) Don’t overdo it. That being said, try not to be too annoying or ridiculous. Not all songs are meant to be danced to (or clapped to, or jumped to…). Dance with class. If the song is slower, make sure you remain chill. Remember, sometimes solid head bobbing can do the trick.
4) Be punctual. Arrive early enough to get a good spot. I know you may only be excited for the headlining band, but if you truly love them, nine out of 10 times you will like the opener. So enjoy something new. You are paying for it.
5) Fellow musicians are a nice plus. That way, if the crowd is asked to clap, I can count on you to stay on the beat. It also helps if you would be down to sing along with me.
6) Do not crowd surf. Don’t even try asking me to lift you up to crowd surf. (I experienced the worst of this at Imagine Dragons, MU’s free homecoming concert last year, where a fellow student fell on my face.) Let’s not get anyone killed here. You are not that important. Crowd surfing is a privilege for talented and successful musicians, and frankly, the crowd is not engaged in you enough for you to trust them with you life. Just don’t do it.
7) Be tall or noticeable, enough so that if I need a Diet Coke break or have to pee during the concert, I can make it back to my spot quickly. I would really appreciate it.
8) Most importantly, have fun!