05/03/2016

Pros & Cons of Watching a Concert Solo Dolo: Bon Iver @ Singapore

I got this photo from Bandwagon.Asia because my photos sucked, as you can tell from the photo below

Growing up in my tiny Manila bubble, I was rarely alone: outside the house I never went anywhere without someone else, and at home I shared a room with two younger brothers, so rarely was l truly by myself. It was only until I moved to Tokyo I took a bite of my small sliver of independence and never looked back-- I do so many things alone and even sometimes prefer it. It used to be so nerve-wracking and awkward (to me), but now I eat out at restaurants by myself no problem; even the small sushi restaurants where I have to make conversation with the sushi chefs...Yes, I'm a changed woman.

Awhile back, I once scrolled through one of those "x Number Things You Have To Do Before You Die" (honestly I just read only bolded text) and one of them was to see a concert on your own. At the time I didn't think much of it up until a couple months ago when the opportunity arose: Bon Iver was coming to Singapore the same time I was interning and I had no one to go with. I was reluctant at first, but I figured since the venue was a theatre and I was on the second level, it'd be less of manoeuvring my way through the sweaty bodies that make up a mosh pit and more of sitting back and enjoying the show. Little did I know there would be 0 manoeuvring or mosh-pitting because they were actual theatre seats (instead of the plastic bleachers where they suggest you'd sit, but you really just stand up) and instead I was a part of the tamest audience I've ever experienced, which I haven't decided was a good or bad thing yet.

My version of the photo above

Now I've been to my fair of concerts, and even in Tokyo, where I expected this to happen, concert-goers can get pretty rowdy. I mean, there were some "I LOVE YOUs" and "SING 'FOR EMMA's" here and there, but for the most part of the show, it was like sitting in a play. There was not a peep from the audience in the middle of songs and only a handful of people had their phones out at a time. I was almost too embarrassed to keep my phone out for so long because I was scared the glare of my phone would annoy my seat mates, who decided to "live in the moment" or some shit and only took their phones out twice at most. Here are other things I gathered from being in a concert (in Singapore) by myself in a form of a list of pros and cons:

Pros: 
1. You don't have to stand around awkwardly while waiting for the show to start
2. I never know where to put my hands in awkward situations, so having to sit down in assigned theatre seats meant I didn't have to worry about where and how to stand, how far into the mosh pit I wanted to go, etc.
3. No one pushing and shoving to get in front
4. Not having to be wedged in between sweaty strangers for an hour and a half
5. You're more aware of your surroundings, so you notice funny stuff like people moving their heads to different beats so they look like a group of bobble heads

Cons: 
1. My seat was as far as I could go and unfortunately, it was pretty damn far from the stage. So unlike a standing concert, you can't just weasel your way through to the front of the crowd to get a better view
2. Not being able to sing along, especially to For Emma which I listened to on loop for the past three months
3. Being too shy to take photos/videos as to not annoy your neighbours
4. Having no one to take a pic of you or a selfie with of you guys in the concert.. because who cares about concert photos that look like they've been taken with a potato (see photo above)
5. Not having back up photos/videos just in case your phone fucks up like mine did. The video camera wasn't working so I was taking a bunch of video snapchats only to find out that the audio wasn't working either

I wasn't sure if I liked this set up or not, because on one hand I could just listen to the music and not have to worry about how to bob my head to songs I didn't recognise but on the other hand I couldn't sloppily sing along to my favourite songs, which is one of my favourite things to do in concerts... and outside concerts. Regardless, Bon Iver was the perfect concert to go alone to since it's not so upbeat that I didn't have to dance along, and it's definitely something I'd recommend everyone to experience. It's intimidating at first, but being able to do things like this on your own means you know how to be alone without being lonely, which I think it's a good trait to have!

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