Things I Learned in College: Concerts

Hi, everyone!

Let me ask you this: do you like concerts?

For me, my answer would be a resounding YES!!!

Now, let me back up by saying that while I do enjoy concerts, I’m by no means a party animal. Liking concerts doesn’t necessarily equate to going insane and getting turned up or anything like that. I’m actually quite reserved for most of the time, but I still have a great time in the musical atmosphere of it all. 🙂

Really, I’ve only been to two major concerts during my entire time in college, along with some smaller, low-key ones. But the ones that I’ve gone to were specifically the ones that I had really, really wanted to go to (in order words, I chose to go to them because I was a huge fan of the artists’ works, not just for the sake of going out and “living it up” without knowing the musician exactly).

The first concert that I went to was during the winter of my first year in college. I remember that it was of Sara Bareilles, a singer-songwriter who I really admire; I first began listening to her songs when I was sixteen (around the time her song, “Love Song” was a huge hit on the radio), and was immediately hooked. Her Internet persona online is pretty damn quirky (and lovable) as well. 🙂 In any case, I found out that she would be performing around my area on a Friday night, and I knew that I couldn’t miss this opportunity to see her sing- in the flesh!

That being said, I got tickets (which weren’t crazy expensive, actually), and went out to the city on the day of with my mom, sister, and cousin (who wanted to see her, too). We waited in this long-ass line which wrapped around the block- and the other block as well. But eventually, we were able to get into the theater. There weren’t actually seats inside, which surprised me, but in any case, we found a spot on the balcony to view the performance.

Opening act was from some relatively-obscure artist who I didn’t know about. His performance was okay, but not really my taste. But after he finished performing, we all stood there for the next two hours– two hours!— for Sara Bareilles to show up. Getting antsy, wondering if she would ever come. I admit, it was frustrating, but then again, Friday night traffic is a pain in the ass (still, though…).

Anyway, she finally arrived, and gave a solid performance. Played most of the songs from her most recent album back then, Kaleidoscope Heart, and all was well. Snarky and funny as hell when she interacted with us, cursing like a sailor and telling anecdotes from her life. Wouldn’t say that the show completely made up for her tardiness, but I still like her.

Fast-forward to my fourth year: I attended a Stromae concert with a few of the members from the French club that I am a part of on my university campus. It was a Tuesday night, and I actually had to leave my class early in order to get to the club (where he would be performing) on time. But no regrets- it was so worth it.

Who is Stromae, you might ask? He is a Belgian musician, specializing in the electronic/dance genre. Actually quite popular in Europe, but also hitting the mainstream in America as well. I was first introduced to his music in French class and club, actually, and since then have been listening to his songs consistently. Really, they’re good; just well-produced, and the lyrics are amazingly deep. Even if you don’t know French, the beats are extremely catchy- they’re something you can definitely dance to. ❤

Any case, we arrived early and got our seats on the balcony, since the mosh pit was already filled. But I preferred the balcony, anyway, since we could actually sit and not feel like we were being crushed by other bodies. And we could actually see the musicians perform, too.

The opening act was Yelle, a French electropop musician. Hadn’t known too much about her songs beforehand, except for one song, but after listening to her, I think I’ll give her stuff a try! Definitely energetic, definitely fun, and was a great act to get us pumped for Stromae’s performance. 🙂

Stromae showed up about twenty minutes late (which I didn’t really mind; anything is better than Sara Bareilles’s lateness), but man, he blew me away with his performance. The first three songs were the upbeat, dance-y ones, so we all got up from our seats and just rocked out with the limited amount of space we had in the row. Usually, I’m not the kind of person who would openly dance to music (I admit, I suck at dancing), but I was definitely feeling the energy that night, with the people surrounding me, and so I was really getting into it, dancing and singing along to the lyrics.

Also played some slower songs, which were just as great, but not something to get me pumped. He interacted with us between songs, and was definitely humorous and entertaining. And man, he can dance! 😀

Granted, I felt that the show was dragging a bit towards the end, after he performed his big hit “Papaoutai.” Started playing some techno instrumentals (sans singing), which was cool but got a bit tedious after a while. Closed it out with an acapella encore of his song “Tous les mêmes,” and that was it. Super awesome. 🙂

Before we exited the club, we also managed to snag a photo of Yelle, who was just casually chilling at the bar area. Definitely a token moment.

Although we arrived back to the apartments past midnight on a school night, I didn’t care. The whole experience of seeing an artist who I really enjoyed made it all worthwhile. My dreams had come true. ❤

I think that, with the whole concert experience, it’s a great way to go out and see something that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Again, I admit, I haven’t been to many concerts so far in my life, but the ones that I’ve gone to were really enjoyable. They didn’t disappoint in terms of the quality, and I hope that I am able to do more in the future. To go out, and just…have fun.

Which concerts have you been to, and enjoyed? Let me know! 🙂

– The Finicky Cynic


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