The trials and triumphs of Lone Gigging

28 May

Almost miraculously, the entire breadth of my musical tastes are being represented in a single live concert. By this I mean Biffy Clyro are supporting Muse at one of their Wembley Stadium dates, a probably-spectacular marriage of infectious Highland rock and extravagent pop-prog for which I acquired a single ticket in the early hours of this morning as a reward for myself for completing a frankly underwhelming third and final year of college. Looking not just at the crowd of such gigs, but the relieved mutterings of internet forumites lucky enough to buy tickets before the See Tickets server coughed and fell over, going to musical events alone seems to be a peculiarity. I’m a fairly happy minority, however, so let’s weigh up the pros and cons of not taking someone else for the ride.

Oh, and I don’t have any suitable images for this without raiding some poor fellow’s Flickr, so have some unrelated pictures from my hard drive instead.

A house, that looks like the Awesome Face. It IS the Awesome House.

Yay: No fandom discrepancies. It’s always embarrassing when you’re somewhat more ‘into it’ then the person next to you. You’re probably thinking “Oh no, they must think I’m a huge dork that knows all the lyrics from their first album from before I could walk”. They’re probably thinking “I hope this huge dork doesn’t resent me for not liking this crap song”.

Nay: No impromptu duets. It could be like Rock Band, only nobody is watching you thinking they can do better.

Gaz is tired of your shit, motherfucker.

Yay: Free reign over pre-and post-show activities. For example, I’m famous amongst friends for my awful eating habits, though in their company I will gladly eat something organic and made of soil in one of the trendy eateries that usually surround the bigger venues. On my own? I once, in Bristol, walked for twenty minutes looking for a Nando’s before settling on Pizza Hut. Delicious.

Nay: I’m not gonna lie – it can get lonely on the M4. In a train journey (standard fare, badum tish, for group giggers) one can doodle artistic renditions of the night’s events on a touch screen phone, listen to a drunk girl belt out the Many of Horror chorus, or try and read the front of the newspaper held by the portly fan with a bag of MacDonald’s between his legs (dude, I know I eat unhealthily, but I try and keep it out of packed carriages, y’know?)

Clegg and Cameron - the world's most formal bromance.

Yay: Seating. I’m a hardcore sitting enthusiast after more or less standing still, in the same spot, for five hours the last time Muse played Wembley. That’s not a live music experience, that’s how Matthew Hopkins got confessions from witches. Yet ask someone to accompany you and they’ll practically demand general admission. The London O2 Arena in particular has excellent seats if you can bear the heights, fit for the arse of low-level royalty.

Also, my pygmy-busting height means I feel a tremendous amount of guilt whenever I’m stood in front of someone shorter than six foot three, which just so happens to be all the time.

Nay: Standing. Because applauding sitting down makes you look like a prat, and doing the obligatory arm-waving ‘thing’ that everyone does at rock shows whilst seated makes you look like a berk. And again with the height thing – when architects decided how far apart the seats in each row would be, were they using a hot dog as a measurement of a human being’s average thigh length?

My Blindcat. Also seen here: http://blog.misterbrilliant.com/?p=401

Yay: Speed and efficiency. Anyone who’s tried to catch the next Tube immediately after a gig will know that you need the agility of a goddamned gazelle to secure a place. Having another person with you – unless they’re down with the plan – complicates what should be a simple mad dash out of the building and down the street. I suppose I could avoid this issue by shouting “GOOD LUCK, SEE YOU BACK AT THE STATION HOPEFULLY” and elbowing my way into the distance, alone – the consequence being, of course, I’ll most likely end up lone gigging forever.

Nay: Banter, drink-holding, bill-splitting, proof that you don’t repeal all types of people, advice on which overpriced t-shirt to buy (apparently red isn’t my colour). I could argue that the presence or absence of specific other people doesn’t affect the entertaining abilities of the performer nor the average atmosphere of a thousands-strong crowd, but having someone to talk to might also make the experience of being crushed from all sides slightly more bearable. After all, what’s half a centimetre between friends?

The first time I've taken image manipulation software seriously.

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