My Solo Rock Concert Experience

I went to the Three Headed MonsTOUR concert at House of Blues San Diego – by myself.

Why? Hawthorne Heights was playing their entire If Only You Were Lonely set in celebration of its 10 year anniversary. “Saying Sorry” was one of those staples in my middle school emo punk inventory and I couldn’t wait to revisit it.

The Ataris were also playing, and my sister, Cathy, was a big fan of them “back in the day” so I grew up listening to their songs as well. The name brings back happy beachside vibes (“Boys of Summer” and “In this Diary”).

Mest was headlining as the “third head,” but I’d never heard of them… (Sorry, Mest fans.)

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Hawthorne Heights

In summer 2014, Senses Fail (one of my biggest high school obsessions) did a 10-year anniversary tour for Let It Enfold You and I decided not to go because my then-boyfriend didn’t know their songs and I had spent too much money that summer and this excuse and that excuse.

I listened to the whole album on YouTube and regretted not going. So much.

Singing along to old Weezer and The Offspring songs at the Del Mar Summer concert series was really enjoyable, and it made me want to attend more live music shows. Therefore, given the opportunity for another great throwback, I took it.

The concert tickets were also being sold ridiculously–offensively–cheap on Groupon, so I really couldn’t pass it up. I asked Amy and friends if they wanted to go, but I knew I wasn’t going to miss out on yet another experience because of the lack of interested company (I have huge FOMO).

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Kris Roe of The Ataris

TBH, when The Ataris got on stage to sound-check, I didn’t recognize them (I don’t look at photos of musical artists often). When they started playing, though, all the songs were very recognizable and brought up so many happy feelings within my chest.

My favorite part was seeing a super-fan rocking out and sing-screaming all the lyrics, zero eff’s given. Notable that the singer wanted the audience to start a couple mosh pits during certain songs. Most disappointed that they ended their set with a COVER, and not even a very popular one.

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JT Woodruff of Hawthorne Heights

One perk of being by yourself: being able to move closer to the front of the stage. Hawthorne Heights was also great live.They all wore all white, as in their “Saying Sorry” music video. So q. Even though I didn’t remember all the words, the beginning of each song was so strangely familiar.

TBH, kind of disappointed the screamo parts weren’t very enunciated – they’re my favorite parts of their songs. I told Amy this, and she did bring up the fact that screamo-ing so much on tour would probably be exhausting and damaging. Sigh. Oh, well.

One of the guys in the audience next to me filled in and his screamo-ing was on. point. 

The singer was very genuine and ended the set singing with the audience. He invited us over to the merch section to see him and get things signed. I asked him to sign my arm, and he definitely took his time making sure it came out well. So sweet.

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Big LONELY signs didn’t help me feel less lonely

I won’t lie and say it was the best experience ever – it wasn’t. How and where do I stand? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH MY HANDS? When you’re alone in a crowd, you can become so overwhelmingly conscious of these things that usually come so naturally.

When trying to act “caj,” it’s easier when holding a drink (but I was sick so I couldn’t purchase their overpriced beer, even if I felt compelled to), or pretending to be absorbed in your phone.

Waiting for the first headlining act (The Ataris) was probably the worst part. There was so much dead-time, only standing room, and I wasn’t going to approach someone to start a convo (because I’m just not at that level yet).

But I was determined to not hide from the experience through my cell. I would encourage you to do the same: look up and face the world. It’s awkward. Embrace it.

It wasn’t the best experience. But it was pretty darn good.

I love live music, and it was so nostalgic listening to these songs that were so important to me during a more difficult time in my life. And the best part: the lack of “What if’s?” that inevitably would have arisen from an evening at home.

 

It’s so easy to justify inaction. But it’s also really easy to regret.

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christinaluu93

UC San Diego grad with a double major in Economics and International Business. I was born and raised in sunny San Diego, but I love to travel (and eat) around the world.

2 thoughts on “My Solo Rock Concert Experience”

  1. Wow- brave!! I get massive FOMO too and this post is super inspiring- well done. I find going to a concert solo harder than travelling solo, because noone is out there to make friends/look for company! Seriously though- well done!!

    Liked by 1 person

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