Solo Act

The fine art of seeing live music by yourself

It’s insane how much we let monophobia dictate our lives. The fear of being alone has essentially made it weird and unacceptable for people to go to restaurants, movies, or — for our purposes — concerts without toting along a companion. The lamest excuse that I consistently hear is that friends bailed on seeing a band they dig because, “I didn’t have anyone to go with.” Having flowN solo for 90 percent of the shows I’ve seen, I can say with confidence that there are, in fact, benefits to traveling alone.

Freedom of Movement

Not being tethered to the anchor of a companion is an underrated positive. If it’s a crowded show, there’s no push to reconnect with your pal if you get separated in the mass at the front of the stage. You’re free to move back if things get rough, get in the pit if things aren’t rough enough or head to the bar anytime. The venue is your oyster.

Freedom of Time

Attending a show alone lets you set your own schedule. Want to get there super early for an opener you like? Fine. Want to leave early because the headliner is singing off-key? Done. Time management is especially important at festivals, where not being dependent on a friend’s tastes allows you to catch every act you want to see, while avoiding the disaster of having to try and meet up again amongst the crowd at a certain point in time (which never works as planned).

Shut It

“But who will I talk to!?” Ummm… it’s a concert, how about you just listen to the music? If you’re talking during the song, you’re an ass. If you’re talking between songs it’s likely something innocuous that really doesn’t need to be said, like: “This is so awesome!” or “I hope they play (INSERT SONG HERE).” Sure you don’t have someone to chat with between sets, but smartphones nowadays have games. Slice some produce or fling some agitated fowl to pass the time.

The Falsehood of Being Judged.

Maybe even more prevalent than pure monophobia is the fear of being judged for being alone. Part of the reason people are hesitant to go to concerts alone is the nagging thought that someone will notice. Putting aside the sheer egotism of this idea, who cares? Again, these people who may judge you are strangers. They aren’t spending their time being concerned about you, don’t spend yours being concerned about them.

Similar Tastes.

None of your pals get the unadulterated awesomeness of this music. You know who does? Everyone around you at the show. You are, at the very least, surround by people who at least have one thing in common: good taste. Make new friends. You’re not (really) alone. 

Opera-tunities: Carmen and the Bull @ Riverfront Park

Thu., June 30, 3-4 & 5-6 p.m.
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About The Author

Seth Sommerfeld

Seth Sommerfeld is the Music Editor for The Inlander, and an alumnus of Gonzaga University and Syracuse University. He has written for The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Fox Sports, SPIN, Collider, and many other outlets. He also hosts the podcast, Everyone is Wrong...