By Jeong Shin
A couple weeks ago, I went to my first concert. Nearly all of my friends have gone to their first concert – whether it was Taylor Swift circa 2012 or Justin Bieber circa 2016 – and it seemed like I was the only one who hadn’t yet.
Don’t get me wrong – I have never been opposed to going to concerts. I’m constantly listening to music. So much so, that it honestly didn’t make sense that I hadn’t gone to one yet. I wasn’t planning on going to one, either, because of how hectic life has become since coming to Stanford.
A couple weeks ago, though, the perfect opportunity came up. Lauv was playing in Oakland. Tickets were decently priced. I had a 9 a.m. the next morning, but I’d become a pro napper; sleep wasn’t a problem.
I justified the price of the tickets with the fact that: 1. I had never been to a concert before and 2. Lauv is one of my favorite artists of all time. At this point, going to the concert wasn’t the question, but rather how I was going to get there.
Luckily enough, I found out that three other girls from campus were also going to see Lauv. I barely knew any of them, but we had similar music taste: it wouldn’t be hard to get along. So, I got the ticket. I paid for the Caltrain. And I went.
Seeing Lauv was one of the best nights of my life. Part of me merely saw concerts as the quickest way to ruin your hearing and have to deal with hundreds of sweaty, jumping people. I wasn’t missing out on much. But that is so far from the truth. Concerts are an experience. Seeing Lauv, in person, twenty feet away from me, was unbelievable.
Before every song, Lauv contextualized his lyrics and his endured experiences while writing each one. Not only did he give life to his songs, but he gave life to the connection between himself and every individual in the crowd. Each song was a demonstration of Lauv’s vulnerability. To me, he no longer felt like a distant artist. He was a real human being, with real experiences and real incentives to use his platform for good (read about his recent project here). I didn’t feel starstruck — just an overwhelming wave of respect.
Since Lauv’s concert, I’ve mapped out a ton of other concerts that I want to go to. I finally understand why so many people pay to see artists live. Listening through earbuds in your room is infinitely different from embracing the melodies in person. And along the way, I met some amazing people (shout-out to Cat, Amaris and Kate) I probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the concert.
Just for fun, here are a few of my favorites from Lauv.
1. Chasing Fire
4. Easy Love
5. Sad Forever
I was right about a couple things. I couldn’t hear properly for a solid day, everyone around me was unbelievably sweaty and one too many people were drunk. Despite all of this, though, I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything.
Contact Jeong Shin at jyshin ‘at’ stanford.edu.