I went to a concert alone and it was the best thing ever


Photo by Erik Ljung

Credit is Erick Ljunk via Pabst/Riverside/Turner Hall

“You’re born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts.” That line, spoken by Don Draper in Mad Men’s very first episode was probably the first, and only time, I could relate to him. Obviously, I’m not similar toDon in any aspect, but I do value my alone time. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my friends, but if I go out on a Friday  I usually balance it out by staying in on a Saturday. I live by myself, usually study by myself, have been to movies by myself, but one thing I’d never gone solo to was a concert. It’s one thing sitting at a movie theater by yourself, but the idea of going to a show by myself just scared me.

When St. Vincent announced a Milwaukee show I knew I had to go. Her latest self-titled album is one of my favorite albums this year and I’ve always been a fan or her music. No matter how much I tried to convince my friends, I couldn’t get them to come with me. So I bought my ticket and hoped for the best. And so, when April 4th came, I was headed to Turner Hall by myself.

I planned it perfectly, I got there around 8:30, enough time to catch the end of the opening act and not have to wait too long for St. Vincent to come on. I found a good spot, as good as my height allows me, and stood by a middle-aged couple who seemed nice enough.

Then, the moment I’d dreaded… the wait between the opening act and St. Vincent to start. And you know what? It wasn’t bad, at all. I was worried that the group of people next to me would look at me and notice “the weirdo by herself,” but eavesdropping on their conversation, most of it revolved around Waffles the cat. Like a good millennial I passed some of the time endlessly refreshing Twitter and texting my mom, but I tried putting my phone away and put my people watching skills to good use. People in groups were too engrossed in their own conversations to notice me by myself and I noticed fellow solo-concertgoers. It was a new experience, but one that I really enjoyed. Once the show itself started, the crowd became one. If you arrived with five friends or came by yourself you it doesn’t matter because in the end you all have one common purpose, to enjoy the music.

As for the show itself, St. Vincent was electrifying, magical and absolutely amazing from beginning to end. I’ll always remember this concert as one of the best I’ve ever been to, and all because I stepped out of my comfort zone. 

When conversations for the rest of the weekend inevitably drifted to what was done nights before and I raved about how great of a show it was and how much of a great time I had by myself, reaction was usually among the lines of “That’s so cool, I’ve always wanted to do that,” rather than “what a loser.” So, my advice, next time you want to go to a concert, buy a ticket and take yourself out. I love my concert buddies, but I’ll  have to make this a thing once in a while. And so my wallet continues to weep.