The other night, I was reading something from my friend that was very discouraging about the relationship between artists and fans, especially at concerts. My friend works at a large concert venue, where he deals with ticketing and helping set up for all kinds of shows, from Andy Grammer to Florence and the Machine. But what he said that struck me and disturbed me was how ridiculous the fans were, getting their hopes up to meet the bands or be remembered by them. With such large crowds, he said, there’s just no point, because the band members are lucky if they remember a single face.
This really got me thinking, especially because the day before I had gone to an amazing concert with The Cab and Parachute, so the experience was fresh in my brain (still is, it was that good). But what hit me was the idea that the bands don’t care about their fans, that they don’t love being able to meet and talk to the people that come out and support them. In all my experiences, at all the concerts I’ve been to, that is furthest from the truth.
The best example I have right now is from my The Cab concert. I’ve seen The Cab quite a few times, but each time I do I am even more blown away and inspired by them. Each time, by the end of the night I’m just ecstatic to have music as a part of my life. And that’s entirely the band’s doing.
After the concert, my friends and I usually head over to talk to the guys in the band—congratulate them, tell them how awesome they were—but by now I know they know how I feel and how much I love their music. So instead, as I went to say goodbye to lead singer, Alexander DeLeon, I decided to just thank him. Thank him for his music and his words, thank him for staying to meet fans even when security kicks everyone out, thank him for remembering me in the crowd.
But what got me was what he did in response. He embraced me and wholeheartedly said, “Don’t thank me.”
And right then I knew. I knew this was more than just a show to him; that his fans are more than just faces in a crowd. It wouldn’t matter if it was a crowd of ten or a crowd of five hundred, Alex would have met every single person there.
Because to real artists, we fans mean so much more than we ever realize. We are their lifelines, the people that keep their dreams afloat. I just don’t want that to be lost on people, like it seems to have been lost on my friend.
That’s the beauty of the music world. The connections run deep, and just because you may be in a huge venue does not mean that you don’t deserve to get excited. You should be tweeting your favorite artist and you should hang out after shows, because the best bands want to know their fans just as much as we want to know them.
We are that important to them, and they say it time and again but it’s the truth—they would be nowhere without their fans. It’s hard to wrap your brain around because they do so much and you love them for it, but if you step back and think about it, so do we.
So next time you’re at a show, don’t let anyone tell you you’re ridiculous, and don’t let anyone crush your hopes. You are only one face in a crowd, but that doesn’t mean you’re a washed-out face in that crowd. Take a chance and know that you have the potential to shine in your favorite band’s eyes.