Concert-going, or more specifically festival concert-going, is a young man’s (or woman’s) game. And alas, I am no longer a young man. Or woman—I’ve checked. I came to this conclusion during last year’s Lollapalooza while walking next to a fellow attendee who was on the phone with his mother, trying in vain to convince her to extend his curfew and allow him to take a later Metra home. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of the crowd still seemed to be at least roughly my age, but compared to years past I couldn’t help but feel somewhat out of place. Like I was just posing as a young person so as to not skew the results of some sort of sociological experiment or newspaper story, like in Never Been Kissed, I’ve heard. So this year, when the tickets became available and the lineups were announced, I had to take a long hard look at myself and then take one of the many convenient, old-person excuses (What, no seats?! And where’s the parking? Oh, The Weather Channel says 40% chance of rain. I’m going to keep an eye on this.) for not attending. Not sure if you’ve lollaed your last palooza? Here are a few indicators.
You just don’t like the looks of that group of kids: They’re up to something, I know it.
Your (insert body part) hurts: Standing for so long makes my back hurt. Sitting on the ground hurts my butt. And my back. Everything hurts my back. My neck hurts from craning to see the stage. The sun is hurting my eyes. I’m tired. Do those speakers have to be so loud? They’re hurting my ears. Hey, why are you walking away from me?
You have the urge to punch anyone you hear call it “Lolla”: This could also just be a sign that you’re irrationally irritated by very minor things, but more likely it’s that the person speaking is a douche.
You don’t own/wear an ironic basketball jersey: Don’t feel bad. Not everybody has the confidence/lack of self-awareness required to pull off the Bobby Hurley Sacramento Kings jersey and florescent sunglasses combo.
Your ticket confirmation email would go to an AOL account: It’s like you’re an unwitting technological hipster.
You start inching your way back during the closers in an effort to beat the crowd: Classic old person move. Once you’ve entered “we have to beat the crowd” mode, it’s over. You might as well just stop going to events of any kind. You’re just going to miss half of anything you attend anyway because you’re so concerned about leaving. On the one hand, it seems crazy to become so worried about leaving places that you don’t even go. On the other hand, it’s that kind of excellent time management that will get you ahead. At least of traffic.
You don’t imbibe enough alcohol to make the unspoken communal pressure to dance/sing as loud as you can in order to prove you’re having a good time seem normal: Besides, dancing makes my back hurt.
You’re no longer content to be filthy: Having B.O. is just not as cool as it used to be.
You’re worried about running into somebody you work with: They’ve never seen me in my play clothes! Is there anything that makes you want to rock out more than standing in close proximity to a casual work acquaintance in a social setting after a brief, awkward exchange of pleasantries? There should be a signup board in offices where people can claim different weekend events and once it’s gone, no one else can go. Sorry, Jill from accounting. I understand you want to go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, but I’ve already signed up to attend and I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up a chance to get blindingly drunk for the first time in three days just because your daughter’s Irish dancing troupe is performing.
You give up and buy water rather than stand in the refilling lines: Sell out.
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