My First Concert Back Since The Pandemic Began
2020 was a longspun, tiresome, and fear-driven year that so many people feel a discernment of relatability with. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic feels like a fever dream at this point, wondering if what we all just went through was a reality or not. More or less questioning if one day we’ll just wake up from this ailing moment.
Thankfully, the vaccine rollout is the one bright spot from this pandemic, allowing us to go out and enjoy life to the degree we did before the pandemic. This past Saturday I did precisely that by going to my first concert since performing a house show in February 2020. I received a text from my friend Dan, inquiring if any of us wanted to go to a Surf Rock gig at Mohawk Place.
I’ll admit it was a random text since I completely forgot shows were a thing for such a long time, but I knew I had to go. Within an hour, Dan picked me up, and the two of us headed down to a venue we once went to countless times. The two of us were vaccinated, and it was safe to assume everyone else was, so there wasn’t too much worry in that regard.
I’ll admit my first show back wasn’t as monumental of a moment since I went to a Yankees game in Buffalo a few days prior. I sort of relieved my crowd anxiety at the Yankees game, where I understood it’s okay for me to do things again without fearing the virus or passing it on to someone else. I imagine my first concert back experience would’ve been even more surreal if I hadn’t gone to the Yankees game, but it still was a novel moment.
I’ve always been an introverted person. It’s an immediate chore for me to socialize with people I don’t know or be in large social settings. Still, it felt nice to be around a group of people again. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t jumping up and down doing shots with strangers, I just enjoyed the night. I largely enjoyed it since I wasn’t as anxious as I thought I’d be. I didn’t know anyone too well at the gig aside from Dan, so the two of us sat and stood near the bar and watched the bands. It felt like a typical Saturday night at a local show; solid bands and an enjoyable time.
Now with tours and gigs coming up, I’m looking forward to diving back into it all. I had an ongoing fear that the worsening of my anxiety would make it challenging to attend shows again, but I was shockingly fine for the most part. Of course, it helped that I was at the show with one of my best friends, but even then, it felt surreal to be at an actual concert again. Even with the minor restrictions at the gig with people seated near the stage, it was still an actual live show—what a time to be alive.
I’m attending another local show this upcoming weekend, this time a hardcore show. I imagine that’ll be significantly rowdier and more normal than the venue gig. The venue gig was essentially 80 percent normal since it required you to be seated if you were by the stage. Whereas, this upcoming hardcore show will most likely be like a hardcore show from 2019. Hopefully I don’t end up in the pit by mistake. My fragile body can’t handle the meat-head energy.
I also have tickets to see Modest Mouse in August, and my brother is dragging me to see a metalcore band he digs in November. Not to mention my own personal music endeavors are slowly planning our first shows back. It feels odd that music is back, but I couldn’t be more excited about it. They say you don’t realize how much you miss something until it’s gone—live music was that for me.
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