by Shabnam Ferdowsi
Concerts are a great way to meet like-minded people, and maybe even make some friends. But going to a concert alone can make that a little harder than desired.
I've been going to shows alone a lot since I started this blog last summer. Either I've gotten one press ticket for myself, or I just didn't find anyone to go with. It's rough, not going to lie. At first you're pretty self-conscious, wondering if people are wondering why you're alone. You might keep checking your phone to get rid of your aloneness, you might stand in the corner with your arms crossed. But let's be real: you're at the concert to get swept off your feet by the artists on stage. No one is looking at you! And if they are, they're not thinking anything of it. So you feel like dancing? Then dance! You feel like screaming the lyrics at the top of your lungs? Do it!
One year after my first concert alone and I've finally had my breakthrough. I've also figured out how to talk to strangers:
Step 1. Shake it off. What are you afraid of? They won't bite! And at least you know you have something in common: you like the same music! So shake off those nervous feelings, and put a smile on :)
Step 2. Approach said stranger. It's easier to approach other people standing alone, because they're on the same is-this-awkward-or-am-i-just-paranoid boat as you (also because I'm just personally more comfortable approaching people alone than groups of friends, you know?)
Step 3. Start the conversation. It's way easier than you think. You're wondering what on earth do you talk about with someone you've never met before? Simple: "Who are you here to see?" And that should be enough to get you guys gushing about your favorite bands, shows, and beyond.
Why you should trust me: Last night I was at the The Mint here in LA to see a band. I got there a little early, and the band opening was unexpectedly great, since I'd never heard of them before. After their set, I was standing by the bar drinking my cider when the frontman came up next to me to say Hey to some of his friends. During a lull in their conversation I just went for it. "Hey, you were in the band that just played right? You guys were great!". Needless to say we got each other's info and you'll probably be seeing them here on Beating Lights sometime soon. That's when I realized: this is so easy. It's just a matter of realizing that absolutely nothing can go wrong (unless they literally decide to ignore you.. which is not just mean but awfully weird.)
So get out there, go to those concerts you want to go to, and make some new friends while you're at it. :)