By Liat Clark
Why do I go to concerts? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not for the Instagram posts with the clever captions, or projection of an image that I’m “cool,” “having so much fun,” “cultured,” or any other label people might attach. Don’t get me wrong, I post on my various social media platforms, and know that I’m projecting a certain impression to the world. But for me, concerts are about more than just what you see in my Snapchat story. 📸
My first concert was senior year of high school. I went to see Maroon 5′s V Tour with my sister –and thus, my concert obsession was born. The anticipation built as we drove down to Izod Center, found our seats, and calmly enjoyed the openers. And the moment Adam Levine stepped onto that stage, something inside me broke; my sister and I jumped out of our seats and shrieked with the start of “Animals.” 👩🎤🎤
Now, I’m no dancer, I’ve never been to a club, and I think my friends would describe me as pretty tightly wound. But as the music played and the lyrics flowed through the speakers and from our lips, I felt like I had completely let go of everything except the moment and the experience. I was dancing to the music, singing at the top of my lungs, and, in a way I had never felt before, was free. 🤸♀️
When I went to see Dan + Shay this past Chol HaMoed Pesach, I got the added bonus of road-tripping with two of my best friends. The experience of the concert was bookended with a long drive full of reminiscing and laughing too loud, eating junk food, and listening to music together.
This concert sticks out in my mind for a few reasons: first, the concert hall was standing room only, and being the short Jewish girls that we are, were able to squeeze and swerve our ways all the way up to the stage, making it feel like Dan and Shay were singing straight to us, and scoring a selfie with the opener. Second, a man actually proposed to his girlfriend during one of the songs, “From The Ground Up” (a beautiful song, by the way, I highly recommend checking it out). The crowd went crazy, and we freaked out, screaming to each other how romantic it was and how amazing it was that Dan + Shay got into it with them.
Third, though this is true for all of my concert-going experiences: I’m lucky to share them with my friends and family. We all know how much fun it can be to sing at the top of our lungs to songs that come on the radio when we drive with our siblings, and how excited we can become when we hear a song and immediately break out into that age-old dance routine we made with our best friends when we were 10 having sleepovers. But concerts take that energy and excitement to the next level. As we sing at the top of our lungs, dance our hearts out, and connect with the music — we are also connecting with each other. We are bonded by the music, as it pumps out from the stage and courses through our veins.
It’s not news that half of the students in any given class are shopping online, and I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I’m usually one of them. This week, as my last class of the day started wrapping up, I made an impulse buy: tickets to see Imagine Dragons that night. Generally an impulse buy feels great until I realize that I don’t actually need it and bought it because I lack adequate self-restraint. But that night, it couldn’t have been more worth it.
We gave into the pull of the music in the Prudential Center, and let go as the smoke machines exploded and the strobe lights went wild. But, like many other concerts, it was more than a sound and light show. Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons, spoke to us honestly: about depression, the recent shootings, standing up to fear, and combatting hatred with love and acceptance. He confronted the issues that resonate deeply with us all, sharing his experiences and thoughts and concerns with total strangers in a stadium. Except, in those moments, we’re not as estranged as we think.
My favorite part of every concert is when the singer stops and the entire audience is singing the lyrics, just us, uniting to create the music as the band takes a step back. When we love and listen to music on our own, it becomes a part of us; but at concerts, together, we get to be a part of the music. 😍🤘
I know concert tickets aren’t cheap. And I know that “I could just listen to the songs on my phone.” But I also know that a concert is an opportunity to engage with the artist, the people around me, and myself. I know that it’s a chance to make the music into an experience that bonds us, one that helps us break down our barriers and confront some of our deepest fears. The Insta post is just a bonus.
Editor’s Note: Here are a few ways to find out about concerts near you:
“Like” bands on Facebook! They’ll post about concert dates and where to buy tickets.
There’s also an app called “BandsInTown,” which sends notifications and emails about local concerts based on your favorite bands. Use Ticketmaster, StubHub, SeatGeek (which calculates upfront the price of tickets AFTER FEES!), and VividSeats to find cheap tickets on sites like. This is also a great way to discover new bands!
Good luck and happy concert-going! ✌️💃🕺