I don’t know if you know this but when you’re doing online dating, you’re supposed to list your interests, and invariably everyone will put down “music” or “listening to music”. That’s because if you’re human, listening to music makes you happy. It’s definitely not the same for everyone. But if you don’t like music, or even if you say that out loud, people will think you’re weird. So perhaps one of the greatest expressions of “liking music” is going to concerts.
That’s perhaps where I fall slightly short. I like listening to music, but you’re much more likely to catch me listening to a podcast or an audiobook than the latest Beyonce album. It’s not that I don’t like Beyonce (or anyone else), it’s just that for me, music is not as all-pervasive a thing in my life as it is for others. The Boy, for example, LOVES music. Listens to it all the time. Goes to concerts very regularly. It gives him great joy. And I feel like a fraud when I’m around him or many of my friends from the grad-school era who were and still are super into music and particularly their local music scene – going out to concerts regularly (at least one a week), buying albums, becoming familiar with the bands, etc., etc.
But that’s not me. So I am in the nebulous, almost near-pariah state of “liking music” enough to appear human, but maybe not liking it enough the way that so many of my friends do. Which is all prologue to the fact that I went to a concert on Monday night. It was Adele, it was sold out, it was awesome, and there’s a good story of how we got the tickets too.
Last December before the tickets went on sale, she was trying to think of a Christmas present for my mom, and decided this might be a good thing, and happened to be off from work the day they went on sale. So she did the things they said were good strategies for guaranteeing tickets – not requesting more than 2 tickets together, trying on multiple devices (phone, laptop, etc.), and it helped that she was calling from outside the immediate DC area to get tickets to the Verizon Center. And when she came out of it, she had not one pair of tickets, but TWO. On Christmas morning, my mom opened the gift, and cried in disbelief. We were all jealous that she’d “won” Christmas. My dad had tried to do the same thing and failed, so he was pleased for her, but still a little envious of how good a present it was.
And because there were four tickets, I happened to hit the jackpot and earned myself a seat at the concert too. My sister and I sat in the more nosebleed-y (but still with a good view!) seats while my mom and her friend sat down in the lower bowl, but not in the floor seating area. And this is where my liking music but not being super into it comes in – I was worried that not knowing any of the songs from her new album except for “Hello” that I would be…bored? Out of the loop? Glowered at by people who knew every word to every song? I’m not sure. I worry too much, and if I don’t have a good thing to worry about, I will invent a reason as we can well see here.
But it turns out that I shouldn’t have been worried. Yes, there were songs I didn’t know, but there were so many songs I did know. And beyond that, Adele was so happy and engaging and adorably real with the audience, that I would have been entranced no matter what. So perhaps in the next 6 weeks when I have a string of concerts to attend I won’t feel quite so out of place. People will not be judging me on the level of my fandom and knowledge of the performer(s) in question. I may not know every word to every song, but I do have the ability to be engaged in the moment and to really enjoy a performance.
After all, if I didn’t, I might not be human.
Details: Adele Live 2016. Completely Sold Out. (sorry)