Train Blogging: Meeting People at Concerts

This past Saturday found my good buddy Jared and I at the Aragon Ballroom dancing our asses off to the Chicago prog-rock/funk/whatever you want to call them kings Umphrey’s McGee.  I could write this entire blog on how dirty Umphrey’s made the Aragon get, but instead I want to focus on one aspect of concert-going that I think can apply to pretty much any type of show you attend.

I’ve never seen any other gathering of people that produces the ease of conversing with a complete stranger than at a concert. I’ve been to a countless number of shows by myself and found people to talk to whether or not the music is playing. 

Even attending shows stone cold sober, it isn’t that difficult to pick up a conversation with the person next to you.  So what gives? When people are gathered together in the library you seldom hear, “hey bro that Ernest Hemingway novel is sick wait till you see what the old man does when he’s stuck out in the middle of the sea.” And at other mass gatherings like Occupy Wall Street rallies or Tea Party shindigs people are too pissed off to talk to complete strangers unless it’s yelling at them that it’s Obama’s agenda to destroy the very fabric of America.

First of all everyone attending a show is always in a good mood. Even when I saw the biggest dude’s pounding bottles of Captain Morgan like it was gatorade at Rage Against the Machine, they looked happy on the inside.

Hipster concerts are no exception either. Even though they will stand still, look at the floor, and act like they are too cool to be there, they secretly live for moments like that. Plus, you can always find a depressed looking Hipster at a show and talk about how great the band was before they sold out and started playing coffee houses instead of tea houses.

Still it really is a spectacle to experience. Try going to a show by yourself and you will instantly be able to find at least 5 other people that are there on their own as well. The easiest way to approach someone at a show is obviously talking about the band that’s playing. Even if you don’t have any knowledge about the show you’re attending, you can bond with someone over people watching at shows.

For those that have yet to attend a music festival (and I mean a real music festival not Lollapalooza) there’s a term to describe people that you only see at these events. Their called “festy kids” and they usually have long unwashed hair with a flat billed baseball hat, a backpack, and some crazy shirt on that you would never see anyone wear outside of a concert/college party.

I guarantee you pointing out the various outfits you see will have you wrapped up in conversation in mere minutes.  Chances are that you’ve already seen a good 30% of the people you’re discussing at other shows also.

Of course the exception to all this is a skrillex show. You can’t talk to people at his shows. Try having a conversation with your mother while a blender is going and an overstuffed laundry machine is violently shaking and you’ll understand why.