If you haven’t figured it out already, I am a huge fangirl of all things pop culture, especially pop music. I’ve recently been trying to figure out how to connect this passion for music to my career, which led me to think about why I actually am such a fangirl.
Yes, the boys. The boys are sooooo cute. Have you seen Luke Hemmings? Louis Tomlinson? (They’re both mine). Anyone in a boyband? I rest my case.
But after some reflection, I realized it’s so much more than that. It’s about the entire atmosphere of fangirling. Last week in London, one of our hosts mentioned that they were an adrenaline junkie. I thought about this when considering why I am such a fangirl, because the adrenaline runs high when you get to see your favorite band in real life. But I realized it’s more than just adrenaline. It’s the whole concept around concerts and “following” your favorite band. So, I came to my conclusion: I’m a concert-a-holic. I was feeling inspired on the trip back home, so I tried to put my feelings into words and show you a glimpse of what it’s like being a fangirl.
It starts with an announcement. Or maybe an announcement that there will be an announcement, if you’re a certain band called 5 Seconds of Summer *cough*. You read the tweet, your eyes get wide and your heart starts racing. You text in your group chat to your fangirl friends and you speculate. They just released an album or it’s recently been released; they’re coming up on the end of a tour; they haven’t been on tour in a while; and the list goes on.
Then, the announcement comes. They’re going on tour. Tour dates are released and you hold your breath as you scroll down the page, hoping to see your city/state listed. You scream when you see it. If you’re lucky, you scream again when you realize there are multiple dates near you. Ticket onsale times are released and you panic, then check your calendar to see what you’ll be doing. You text furiously to your friends I’m in class then but I swear I will pay you back! Plans are made.
Ticket purchase day comes. It’s in the middle of the summer and you wake up well before your usual 11 AM wake up call and sleep-ily Facetime with your best friend, who is also trying to buy tickets. Or, you’re in class and furiously texting in the group chat (when your professor isn’t looking, of course) about plans and backup plans. If you’re crazy, it’s the day of the show and you’re looking to splurge to get 8th row tickets. You refresh the browser even though you know it’s not 10 AM yet. Panic sets in when the clock strikes, and after lots of chaos and adrenaline over who in your group was blessed by the Ticketmaster gods, you have tickets. Congrats, you’re going to see your favorite band!
The days pass. Maybe the months pass. Maybe a year and some months pass. You set up the countdown on your phone and text your friends at every major milestone (50 days!!!!!), and some random (34.5 days!). The outfit planning begins. You go shopping with intentions to buy the perfect outfit and come back empty handed. The ride-planning begins. I’ll drive, can I sleep at your place after? And one day, you set your alarm for some god-awful hour the next day, because it’s finally concert day.
The alarm goes off. The alarm title is a bunch of emojis and exclamation points. You text your friends to see if they are awake, and you are already buzzing with excitement. Final outfit choices are made, probably something you’ve had forever, and you spend way too long straightening your hair only for it to be ruined at the end of the night. Your friend picks you up. You freak out that it’s actually happening. Multiple times. You listen to the setlist on the way to the city.
Food is semi-priority, so you pick up coffee (a must) and something quick on the way to a hotel where the band is reportedly staying. You join the pack of girls and security outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of their whole lives ride by in a black SUV with extremely tinted windows. Every black SUV you see makes your heart jump with anticipation. You wait for hours. And hours. Sometimes you make friends with the people you’re standing with. Sometimes you wait in the rain.
More security arrives and you see *the* black SUV. You might catch a glimpse of a silhouette, a hand (Harry), a face (Luke), and you chase the car down the street. Girls are crying. You swear to give up fangirling for the rest of your life, tired of being disappointed after a long day of sitting outside of a hotel. You dejectedly head to a quick restaurant for a pre-show meal, but you can’t eat much because you’re so nervous and excited for what’s to come later in the night.
You sit in traffic and listen to a million different cars all blaring songs from your favorite band. It doesn’t feel real. You pull into the parking lot and roll your eyes at the ridiculous outfits. It still doesn’t feel real as you walk to the venue. You walk to your seats and it starts to hit you as you get closer and closer to the stage. You reach your row, you scream, and sound like a broken record saying “Oh My God” over and over again. You can’t believe it, it’s real. It’s happening. You’re seeing your favorite band right in front of you in a few hours. They’re currently somewhere behind the stage. The pre-show videos are so long and you wonder if you will even make it to the concert.
Then, the arena goes dark. You scream. Your heart is racing. You scream so hard you feel like you’re going to throw up. You see movement on stage and clutch your best friend’s arm so hard you might pull it off. You scream some more. You hear the bass of the drum and you know that’s HIM. You’re still screaming. You hear the first guitar riff and it’s HIM. The screams are so loud you can’t even hear yourself screaming. Finally, the lights come up and you see them and you just die a little bit inside. You scream and scream and scream and you don’t even know where you are or what song is being played because your favorite band (and future husband) is standing on stage just a few feet away from you. Finally, you compose yourself and start scream-singing along because it’s actually one of your favorite songs and you can’t miss any of it.
After every song you scream. You don’t think you can do anything anymore but you do. There are tears. You are so in love you can’t recognize the song by its first notes, but when you do, it’s a state of pure bliss all over again. You are dancing, jumping, sweating, screaming, sweating, freaking out over anything any of the boys do, sweating, and generally having the time of your life. Nothing else matters when your boys are onstage playing your favorite songs.
All too soon, it’s over. The encore is up, the house lights come back on, and you sit down for the first time in hours to process what just happened. You’re in a state of shock and love and sadness. Shock, because it actually happened, was amazing, and you are gross and sweaty and your hair is just a mess. Love, because the loves of your life were just feet away from you and you probably made eye contact and it kills you inside. Sadness, because it’s over and you suddenly don’t know what to look forward to anymore.
Finally, you and your best friend make your way to the car – a slow, sad, walk. You sit in the car and probably scream, still in shock that actually happened. Neither of you can hear anything from your ringing ears, and neither of you have a voice, so you just yell at each other through this emotion of love and sadness and know that you both just experienced an amazing concert.
On the ride home, you listen to whatever terrible club mix is on the radio because it hurts too much to listen to songs you just heard live. They’ve tweeted – NC, you were amazing tonight! We love you! – and you scream and die a little inside because you were there. You experienced the amazingness. You stop for milkshakes or a drink or candy to keep you awake on the drive home. You’re exhausted on so many levels, but your heart is full.
You come home to an all-too-quiet house and stay up way too late talking with your best friend. You fall asleep to still-ringing ears. The next morning, you wake up with sore legs, a sore throat, and a general exhaustion that overcomes your entire body. You’re sad that it’s over, but you can’t wait to do it all over again.
I’d love to hear about your favorite concert and other fangirl experiences! Comment below or tweet me!