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Why people go see their favourite artist a million times.

Why people go see their favourite artist a million times.

Photo (c) Nicky Kelvin Photography

I board the plane to London, my body and mind tired of all the work I had to do but yet I am still excited about what is coming. I look around me and I see all these people and I wonder what they are going to do in the UK. Some are going home. Perhaps othersΒ are visiting friends or maybe they are just going on a holiday. I am partly going to the UK to meet up with friends and have a great time. The other part? I am going to a gig of an artist I have already seen many times.

I often have people ask my why in the world I would do such a thing. If you’ve seen a show once, you don’t have to see it twice, do you now? And that is very true forΒ artists you like, but are not really invested in. It is different when you have grown up with your favourite artist and are still not over their music. I have tried to explain this many times but to no avail. People feel that it is a waste of money to see the same show over and over.

But it is not. Every single show something else happens. Sometimes it will be new songs that weren’t played on the dates you’ve attended before. U2 for example change large parts of the setlist for every single date. Sometimes the artist does something funny or you just want to experience it with a different audience or a different view. There are many factors involved in the reasons why people bother going to see the same artist and the same shows every single time.

I’m not even that extreme. I don’t go to every single show because I am afraid to get bored. I don’t even have time for that either, because real life gets in the way. And I go to the gigs I can drive to within 3 hours or gigs that are in a country I love, such as England. And time and time again I enjoy walking into the venue, seeing the stage and talking to others who are just as excited as I am. Perhaps it is some sort of escapism. For those two hours, I don’t bother thinking about the issues I left at home. I don’t worry about deadlines or tests that I still have to check. It is just me and the music. Me and the artist on stage. Me and an audience of like-minded people who also left their problems at home.

And with large productions, there is always something new to discover. I have seen Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour a couple of times from different spots, and there were always new things I discovered while watching it. And sometimes you don’t pay attention to the show but you just want to dance the night away. That is why I strongly dislike people near me who just stand still and watch the show through their camera lens or not even that at all. I have also had the questionable pleasure to stand behind people who looked like they didn’t even want to be there. But I have learned not to let them ruin my night, despite their evil looks when I am doing my white girl dancing (read: flailing my arms around a lot).

Music

Music is a beautiful thing. It allows you to get lost in other worlds and clear your mind. Music helps you create things or helps you work. To experience that live is a real treat. I do not spend my money on going out every weekend to get drunk. I see that as a waste of money and besides, if you do that every week, doesn’t it get boring? I’d rather spend my money on a nice concert, even though I have already seen the artist a million times. To each their own.
The concert was amazing, despite the fact that I have seen the artist many times now. I danced. I laughed, I had the best time ever. And I can’t wait to do it all again.

Comments

comments

Ingrid is the twenty-something owner of The Sassologist, who loves everything that has to do with pop culture. While she is one of many who is in the process of writing a novel, she is also currently in denial over not being a witch. Her Hogwarts letter has yet to arrive. In the meantime she writes about pop culture and dreams about unicorns.

87 Comments

  • Luc De Visscher

    October 21, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Completely agree! I have seen Gary Numan 57 times so far, and I assure you from Belgium to UK every year is always organization. This year I went to LA to see 3 Numan concerts, next weekend Manchester. Don’t care any longer what other people think really.

    Reply
  • Carol Foster

    October 21, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Completely agree! U2 are my band who I’ve seen 25 times over a 27 year period! It’ my passion, and ive made some great friends πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Carol Foster

    October 21, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Could have been written about me!! U2 are my band who I will have seen 25 times over a 27 year period. Not everybody gets why I do it.. but for me its not just about the band, its the friendships that I’ve made which have made it very special for me!

    Reply
  • Dani

    October 21, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    My friends think I’m nuts for seeing my favorite band 4 times in the past 14 months. I, however, think I am blessed for being able to do that. I’d go see them 4 more times before the year is out if I could!

    Normal people will never understand…

    Reply
  • Martijn

    October 21, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    This article is so spot on! This weekend I will board a plane to London. I am partly going to the UK to meet up with friends and have a great time (and finally see London properly). I am also going to four gigs of a band I have already seen 68 times. (Quoting a bit liberally here πŸ™‚ ). And you mentioned the band too, as it’s U2. Great times will be had.

    Reply
  • Sharon

    October 21, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    When people ask me why I’m going to see my favourite band yet again (because apparently 167 times in almost 11 years is “a lot”), I now say, “why do you listen to the same CDs over and over again? At least I get a different show every night…” πŸ˜‰

    Spot on; it brings a kind of joy nothing else in the world possibly can.

    Reply
  • Danielle

    October 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    OMG! I think I have said every single word you have written! Even the parts about the people who just stand there and look at you weird for having a good time! Friday I will be seeing Hunter Hayes for the 150th time in 4 years! Ive seen Dan + Shay 43 times and Rascal Flatts 52 times.. Fandoms can me rough at times (jealousy) but I have met my best friends! This article made my day!

    Reply
  • Sharon Mitchell

    October 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I have flown from England to Vegas for one show. I have seen my heroes ten times within the space of two weeks, now 33 times in total, and in the process I have made many, many friends. I cannot wait until they tour to do it all over again.

    Reply
  • Jim

    October 21, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    I don’t think the majority of people understand the difference between a good studio band and a good stage band. Some music that I love I would never go see the band live. However, some musicians, like BFS, are better in a live environment. They are performers, not just musicians. I don’t believe you could ever see an identical performance from them even if you went to every show they play. Unless you understand and enjoy the talent of the musicians who have the ability to perform that caliber of talent you’ll never understand the joy of seeing more than one performance. It’s a lot like trying to explain why you would spend $2,000.00 for 2 speakers instead of $200.00. There is a wonderful difference between them and you either get it or you don’t. All you can do is enjoy what you love and let them continue to be miserable while they cry about it.

    Reply
  • Taylor Bachman

    October 22, 2015 at 12:06 am

    I can completely agree with you. I have family members criticizing me all the time about going to see my favorite band live. They also think the band isn’t that good. I think otherwise. They don’t understand how much I connect with people through the kind of music that I listen too. All the shows are definitely different. The artist says different things all the time. They don’t tell the same stories or jokes every single show. Some people just don’t understand at all. Definitely going to share this (:

    Reply
  • Richard

    October 22, 2015 at 12:21 am

    There are a few bands I follow. Counting Crows being one of them who I sometimes see 10+ times a year. They never put on the same show, always change every little thing. He will sing it a different way, play totally different songs, might get an acoustic set one night, a rocking set the next. I also see John Mayer many times on a given tour. Great guitarist nice to see what he will change from night to night. Screw the haters, concerts are my zen.

    Reply
  • Debbie

    October 22, 2015 at 2:09 am

    This is me 100%. I’ve gone to see Sugar Ray nearly 100 times and I will continue as long as I can. My family and friends don’t get it and probably never will and that’s okay. Music is my happiness and my escape. I feel free and completely at ease at a concert. Glad to know that we’re all in this together!! Thanks for putting this out there. Maybe others will get a glimpse into our desire to be happy.

    Reply
  • Wendy

    October 22, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Perfect! I’ve seen Muse 16 times and have a dozen more tickets for the next few months. I always wait all day, and sometimes night, for barrier. My best friends are musers online. I’ve also travelled to England to see Elbow this year and flew to see Frank Turner all over the US.

    I think Frank says it best “colleagues and friends condescend with a smile but this is my culture man, this is my home.”

    Reply
  • Cecilia

    October 22, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Thank you so much for writing this! It’s always so hard to explain and you did it perfectly. Almost all of my friends shared this on Facebook and it makes me so happy to know I have some amazing friends who enjoy seeing the same show a million times just like I do.

    Reply
  • Bob

    October 22, 2015 at 3:49 am

    I have seen Lana Del Rey live twice and will every time she comes to town or close. I’m a fanboy, and I will love her until the end of time.

    Reply
  • Silje

    October 22, 2015 at 9:18 am

    It’s just like I would have written it. Just got home from seeing FallOutBoy (abroad) for the second time this month, and Imagine Dragons. The last two shows I stood behind still people, and it annoys the crap out of me. I can’t not dance.
    Thank you for sharing my exact thoughts. <3

    Reply
  • Lizzi_L

    October 22, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I love this blog post… thank you for capturing this so beautifully. The latest analogy I have found for explaining (because at times it seems an explanation is demanded by those who just don’t get it)… is that I support a small number of football teams. I watch them play home local games and some away games. For us the locations are South West UK… a rare London show… and Holland. That is it. Not EVERY game, just (as you said) those that are easy and desirable to travel to.

    Because we also love UK festivals as some bands stop touring new bands are discovered. My husband and I are in our 40s and have been doing this with a small number of various bands for 20 years and don’t plan to stop…

    We are just back from seeing one of our teams play 4 shows in Holland… a great holiday discovering new parts of cities we know, making new friends and enjoying awesome music – what is not to love!

    Reply
  • Irene

    October 22, 2015 at 11:13 am

    I couldn’t have said this better. I just flew to Vegas to see Jimmy Buffett and took the red eye home. I posted some photos on my Facebook page and some of my co-workers lost their shit. It was my first time doing something like this but I would definitely do it again.

    Reply
  • julie taylor

    October 22, 2015 at 11:20 am

    How true! There are many of us out here ! I found my new favourite artist on Eurovision a few years ago, not where you would expect to find amazing music, I know , unfortunately he lives and tours in italy ,england hasnt had the pleasure ..yet ! I have seen him only 7 times but would do every date if money and life didnt get in the way ,there is nothing like it ! just wish me luck tomorrow ,tickets go on sale for next years tour! ..here we go again ..:) great piece ! ( Marco Mengoni by the way..:)

    Reply
  • Emma

    October 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I absolutely loved this article and am happy to see that other generations have felt/still feel this way. I’m still quite young, early twenties, and can’t quite boast about seeing my favourite artists and bands that many times. I managed to get ten One Direction gigs in before their break (we’ll see) and about the same of Stereo Kicks in the year they were a band. When I speak to my mum about this, she always acts as if I’m wasting my money as I’ve “always seen them once”. I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone in this and, honestly, I could have probably written this article. Pleasure to read!

    Reply
  • Esti

    October 22, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks…some just in awe and some just simply dont get it. πŸ™‚ we are not lunatics.. just seriously enjoying life … and celebrating the beautiful music that speaks to us as individual.

    My own poison of choice is u2, one I am happy to travel half the globe for….many many times. And will do it again gladly, not because I have money to burn but because the experiences have and still nourish my soul for many years.

    Thanks for getting it. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Yvonne

    October 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Spot on! I’ve seen my favorite artist around 350+ times, traveling (many times alone) all over the US and abroad (UK, France, Monaco, South Africa) and have made many friends along the way. I’ve encountered many questions and considerable criticism (some of it quite harsh), but I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to have had the experiences that I have had over the years and plan to rock on for as long as I am able! ?

    Reply
  • Kayara

    October 22, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I visited 75 gigs of my favorite band within almost 10 years. One of these was in London, one in Amsterdam and another in the Switzerland. The rest in Germany. 2012 a wish came true and I made the whole first week of the tour (6 concerts in a row).
    They recognize me, even per name. But that’s not the reason. It’s pure fun to visit a concert and leave all the thoughts at home. To meet real good friends again I met only through these gigs.
    To stop the time for two hours. Even to wait for the opening of the doors if the right people around you.

    Other people go into a disco or bar, drank and smoke and don’t remember the weekend and what they’ve done. I remember.

    So I completely understand every single word of this post.

    Reply
  • Lawrence Chapple-Gill

    October 22, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Great article.
    Great comments.
    I’ve seen New Model Army over 200 times and plan many more!
    Compared to some other people I know, 200 times is nothing!

    Reply
  • Kim S

    October 22, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you for stating this so beautifully! I hope to be able to get to travel a bit more and be able to see more of the bands I love. Some people will never get it and that’s their loss! You only live once, so make it count.

    I also love how you said that music helps you create. It has certainly helped me write some of the best parts of my novels. Without the people that make this special music, the world would be a very dull place indeed.

    Reply
  • Tim

    October 23, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Porcupine Tree/Steve Wilson are over 30 times, and I didn’t discover him until 2005. Have traveled from LA to Australia and the UK for gigs.

    Radiohead is the new obsession, but I’ve only seen them a handful of times, again including Australia and a few dates here in SoCal.

    Concert travel is a blast.

    Reply
  • Rhonda

    October 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I LOVE THIS. This is why I blog, and this is why I continue to go see Duran Duran play. Every single show is different, and for me – each gig becomes not only an opportunity to see the band, but also an opportunity to see friends. When you’ve been in a fan community for as long as I have (let’s just not count, suffice to say that I’ve been a fan of DD since I was ten), you tend to make friends all over the world. Each show feels a little like a reunion, and at this point in my life, I truly treasure each moment I’ve got. People (my family, for instance) can complain and judge all they’d like, but the bottom line is that the people who *truly* know me are the friends I’ve made through Duran Duran. I am incredibly lucky to have stumbled into such a great group of people as the result of a band. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • dennasus

    October 24, 2015 at 9:05 am

    “Perhaps it is some sort of escapism. For those two hours, I don’t bother thinking about the issues I left at home. […] It is just me and the music. Me and the artist on stage. Me and an audience of like-minded people who also left their problems at home.”

    THIS! Is exactly why I’m doing it. Or started doing it since I’ve discovered Frank Turner music for me 2.5 years ago. I’ve been going to gigs of other artists before and of course saw several gigs of the same artists over the years. But that’s been nothing to my “fangirling” over Frank. Thanks for writing this wonderful post, that sums up pretty well why I am doing it πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Lynne

    October 25, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I concur with everything in this article. I go to as many live shows as I can, and often catch myself smiling on the drive home. Music fills my heart, and makes me me. I go to many shows by myself, as I can get a better seat. I’m not shy, and meet many like minded music fans at shows. They get it too!

    Reply
  • Anna

    October 26, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Well said! I am never more alive than when I’m at a gig. Nothing else exists and happiness takes over, especially if you’re at the front (sometimes as a photographer) and the artist makes eye contact with you. When you’re that close, you feel a part of the show. You also meet new, like-minded, people along the way and re-live the nights events over and over, on a high for days, sometimes weeks, after the event. Music is my drug and gigs are my favourite way of ingesting it.

    Reply
  • Laura

    October 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    I loved this and completely relate (I’ve seen my favorite band 20+ times in the last 5 years).
    However the title is misleading. It says “why people” and it turned out to be just about the author’s personal experience, which isn’t wrong and it was totally well-written. I guess I just expected something about the psychology behind it. But I’m a nerd like that…

    Reply
  • Lauren Macdonald

    October 28, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this article and have shared it on all my social media sites. I can definitely relate to this article 100% as I’ve been judged for seeing the same artists countless times but as you said, it’s a different experience every time with different people. I’ve had different experiences at each concert like the set list could be different or the artist gives me more attention and recognition at one concert compared to another. It’s a great thing though and I wish more people would understand how powerful music truly is and that it really is more than just words and a tune. Concerts are honestly my happy place as I’m sure they are many else’s so it’s great to find someone who actually puts down in writing how not just me, but many others feel about music and concerts. Thank you for sharing this.
    -Lauren πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Sidney

    November 2, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I made last month about my favorite band – Planned my trip to the UK back in January and got my ticket for my home country as well. After the concert in the UK I was so excited I looked up concerts that weren’t sold out – Which led me to Belgium, so I saw them three times in 18 days.
    I made friends last month I shared an amazing experience with and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Shannon

    April 22, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I have seen mine over 70 times in the last ten years. Have plans for ten shows this year, I completely relate to this post. Rock on WSP.

    Reply
  • Patricia Finlan

    October 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I just love this! I mean really love it! I have friends that think I’m insane for seeing my favorite rockstar Scott Stapp so many time! 105 times already and another 2 coming up in December! I can’t wait!

    Reply
  • Georgette Jones

    October 24, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU I live in Branson mo , now I’m not gonna feel like a doof head
    when i wanna see my friends ( Entertainers ) all the time
    now I know what to do on my retirement weeeeeeeeeee……………..g

    Reply

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