“It was the roar of the crowd that gave me heartache to sing” – Disenchanted, My Chemical Romance
That line always resonated with me, even when I first started really getting into music and had never been to a show bigger than one with a capacity of below 300. It caught my imagination—I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like to be with fellow music lovers, all singing along to our favourite songs—everyone linked by a mutual love for the band on stage.
I finally got the chance to see what that was like in 2019 when I went to see BTS at Wembley Stadium in London.
Walking around the surrounding areas, seeing thousands of fans chatting away animatedly, playing BTS music through their phones. The anticipation in the air was admittedly a bit nerve-wracking (this was my first big live show—I think nerves were to be expected). It was possibly the most exciting feeling of interconnectedness I’d experienced up to that moment.
By the end of the concert, I was ready for another.
Since then, I have been to see Palaye Royale twice (once in Sweden—I’ll tell you about THAT in a moment!), Queen & Adam Lambert twice, Muse, Westlife, My Chemical Romance, Kaiser Chiefs, Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Panic! At The Disco … and I have found my passion. I loved every single one.
It is no secret that most, if not all, concert-goers describe feeling an extreme positivity boost on the day of a show, as well as the few days prior in the lead-up to it. Did you know though, that music and live shows have been linked to better health benefits—including lower heart rate, lower blood pressure and even stroke recovery—when compared to people who do not attend any concerts or live music events at all? In addition to this, all of that moving about, standing for hours, and jumping around as the music plays, seems to pay off. You burn a good few calories, which also reinforces the theory behind the emotional wellbeing benefits.
Now, I promised that I would tell you about Sweden… and the extent to which my passion has inspired and propelled my relationship with my ultimate gig-buddy: my dad.
We first went to see Palaye Royale in London, and agreed, while still in the stadium, that when they returned, we would absolutely be going again. Fast forward to the next year, and the band announced a tour, including a London date!
I spoke to my dad, who, to my horror, told me that he would be away on that date… my hopes of seeing them again were dashed. My dad joked about going to another one of their dates, but I laughed him off—the only other dates we could both make were in other countries. Jet-setting on a whim isn’t exactly typical for us.
Fast forward again to the following week, and my mum casually dropped into the conversation, “Your dad is looking at flights to Sweden and places to stay ready for the Palaye Royale concert…” Colour me confused! It turns out my dad was not joking about going to a different date, and he was all-in on our new-found father-daughter outings. Now, we just had to get tickets.
The day of the ticket release arrived, and it just so happened that my family and I are waiting for a train to London at the exact time the tickets were being put on sale. Typical! So I dutifully logged onto the system at 10am, ready to grab tickets as soon as possible—but it was all in Swedish. Cue panic! I don’t speak Swedish! There are usually two types of tickets available: the mosh pit and not the mosh pit. I’m not even 5ft 1” —I am not going to survive a mosh pit!
Of course, the train chose that precise moment to arrive.
“What ones do I book?” I asked my dad.
“That one,” he replied. “It looks like it might say seated?” He didn’t sound convinced or convincing…
So I booked and hopped on board.
Google Translate confirmed the ticket type I had just bought …
Lower level standing.
We would be in the mosh pit.
As it turns out, the venue held a total of 800 people, and the top level was standing as well, although it was slightly calmer than the lower level standing area. My dad and I stood to the side, roughly three rows from the front barriers. The show was incredible. The photos were outrageously good.
Would definitely recommend braving the mosh pit.
On top of the fun, photography and musical opportunities concerts present, I have another, more important reason for attending so many: making memories. It is no secret that for most of us, the working day takes up the majority of our time. As we grow up, there are fewer holidays away with the family, less time spent with parents as the pressures of work build up and the reality of not getting all the school holidays off sets in. Suddenly, I found myself in this world of limited annual leave entitlements, where you must book in advance and plan and prioritize accordingly.
Concerts have been a way of staying connected with my dad through something we both have a new-found love for doing. You often hear of mother-daughter time and father-son time, but not so much about father-daughter time and mother-son time, so this is a really lovely way of testing those stereotypes and breaking those social barriers.
So, the next time you get the chance to go to a concert, please, jump at it. And consider taking your folks—you won’t regret it!