Don’t be afraid to “fly solo.”

Yesterday, I did something that I have never done before; went to a punk show on my own! Normally, when I go to a show, I do so with some good friends who enjoy the same music as I do. However, nobody was really around this time to go with me. And with tickets selling out fast, I had to make a decision between missing the show entirely and going on my own. I thought that it would be interesting to see what it’s like to go to a show on my own, so I gave it a shot. $25.77 later, and with a ride and a place to crash established, I was all ready to go.

I got to the venue about 3 hours early. I had never been to this venue before, let alone any venue that’s outside of New York State, so I wanted to be sure that I got a good place in line for the show. This venue in question is called the “Middle East Downstairs,” and it’s located in Cambridge, MA. I had a great conversation with these two girls from Boston, named Alyssa and Abby, while waiting in line, which was really cool. Conversations that you have with complete strangers are sometimes the most interesting ones that you’ll ever have (try it out if you never have before; you won’t regret it one bit). Also, Justin Pierre (the lead singer of MCS) handed the three of us water bottles. Nbd.

Fast forwarding three hours later, I was right at the front of the stage ready to listen to some sweet tunes. And when I say at the front of the stage, I mean it literally. There was no barricade at all blocking the stage, which was pretty foreign to my usual concert experiences. Unlike the times where I would lean on the barricade if I were in the very front of the crowd, I could actually sit on the stage if I wanted to. It was unreal!

The bands. In short, all fantastic, all incredibly talented and cool. Since “The Front Bottoms” took the opportunity to play with Tenacious D in Philadelphia, they were replaced by another band called “You Blew It!” This band flew last minute to Cambridge from Orlando, FA, and by the time they finished their set everyone was stoked that they did. They were beyond amazing for the small “basement-playing” band that they are. However, I’m sure that this status won’t hold true for much longer. The next band that played was called “The Henry Clay People.” I had never heard of them before I bought the ticket for the show, so I really didn’t know what to expect. In all honesty, I was blown away. Their stage presence was energetic and genuine, and after seeing them play I was reminded of why live music trumps recorded music ten times out of ten. No question or debate about that. Since I’m writing this in the car on the way home, I’ll have to wait a little bit longer before I can buy their music. But you can bet that I will as soon as I get the chance to.

The last band to perform, which was the band that I was obviously most excited for, was Motion City Soundtrack. And let me tell you; the third time seeing them was definitely the charm. It was great to hear them play some of their new songs, as well as some of their old ones that I’ve grown to love over the years. As always, MCS never disappoints.

Because I was on my own at the show, I was able to go all out without having to worry about losing my spot near my friends in the process. While I was moshing around, I met another group of kids who were incredibly chill. We were screaming the songs to each other the entire time, which made the show 20 times more enjoyable. Even though people were moshing and having a good time everyone at the show looked out for each other, especially because it was so hot in the venue. The venue supplied a lot of water though, which was really cool of them (learn from them, Northern Lights!). When someone passed out during “Last Night,” MCS stopped playing and everyone backed away as security took them away swiftly and efficiently. I was incredibly impressed and thankful that everyone there was so caring. All in all, the concert was fucking fantastic, and it’s definitely one that I’ll not soon forget.

In conclusion, this is my message to you (and congratu-fucking-lations for reading this far if you have): go do things on your own! Don’t ever be afraid to travel to new places or to meet new people by yourself, even if you have never done so before. Some of the greatest experiences that you will ever have will be when you are on your own doing something new, so be grateful that you have the capabilities and the freedoms to do so!

I can’t help but thinking about a quote from Dr. Suess’ book “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” after having this experience: “All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot.” It is so incredibly important to realize that life has many opportunities for you to grab on to and to shove into your pockets. However, there are far too many times where we’re too afraid to do something new because we’re either afraid of failure or afraid of venturing out alone into the world. Well, I’m here to tell you to suck it up and to live your damn life for yourself! You only get one of them, so make it fucking count for something! If you don’t want to, then go to a Children’s Hospital and take someone’s place there, because you’re wasting something so precious that too many people are not fortunate enough to have. Go to a punk show, mosh around, get some bruises, and make some friends in the process. Because I promise you that it is ten times better than sitting behind your computer wondering why you aren’t doing anything better with your day/life. And if no one else wants to go out into that world with you, don’t let that stop you from going out into that world yourself! Part of learning to live by yourself is learning to have fun by yourself and seeing new things, even if no one is at your side. And if that “special someone” you like doesn’t want to spend their lives with you, then that’s totally okay. Their life is just as precious as your own, so it’s important to respect the fact that they are living life as they desire. Learn from them and be your own person, because life will speed right by you and spew dirt in your face if you don’t. There are experiences to be had and friends to be made out there, so make sure you take advantage of that, even if you’re doing so alone!

All the Best,
Brendan