Concerts have been my source of happiness since I was a child. I’m not ashamed to admit that my first concert was The Cheetah Girls with Hannah Montana — Miley Cyrus — as their opener in 2006. Since then, I’ve been to over 20 shows, ranging in genre from Fleetwood Mac to The Weeknd. Since concerts, sporting events and numerous other mass gatherings have been canceled for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the joy live shows have brought me.
The Rolling Stones No Filter Tour at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, was the last show I attended, although it was unknown to me at the time. This concert, along with seeing Fleetwood Mac in 2019, was a peak for me as a music listener. I was introduced to the music of the Stones as a young teen by my parents and have been a fan since. There was a point where I didn’t think I would be able to attend the show because someone stole the tickets from our mailbox, but thankfully Ticketmaster came to my rescue.
Upon looking back at the videos I took the day of the show, I remember the excitement coursing through the air when the lights went down and the introduction video began. I also recall the hoarseness of my voice post-concert due to excessive cheers and screams. I, for one, took those feelings for granted at the time since I thought I would be attending other shows throughout 2020. Now, I wish I could go back and bask in them for a while longer in order to fully comprehend their impact.
Like other avid concertgoers, I had an extensive list of shows I wanted to attend this year that have now been pushed to 2021 or later depending on when mass gatherings are deemed OK to take part in again. There are three shows in particular that I am still excited about attending.
First up is Halsey’s Manic World Tour, which was set to begin June 2 in Seattle, Washington. I’ve been a fan of Halsey’s music since 2014 and have had the opportunity to meet her multiple times. She is one of my favorite artists and each one of the six previous shows that I’ve attended have been some of the best I’ve seen, thanks to her mesmerizing stage presence and creative concepts.
Penultimately is Harry Styles’ Love On Tour. I’ve been a fan of Styles since his One Direction (1D) days and have watched him come into his own as a solo artist. I attended numerous 1D concerts, as well as Styles’ solo tour for his self-titled debut album in 2018. His stage presence is reminiscent to a young Mick Jagger and his fashion sense is impeccable. The 12 tracks on his sophomore album "Fine Line" are powerful and are going to sound even better live. If you haven’t heard Styles’ music, I highly recommend it.
The final one isn’t a single show per se, but is San Francisco’s esteemed music festival Outside Lands, in which Lizzo, Tame Impala and The Strokes were this year’s rumored headliners. I attended the festival for the first time last year with my best friend and it was so much fun, despite the chill of the typical Bay Area fog. I was along the barricade for Hozier and experienced the wonder of Childish Gambino from the middle of a sold-out crowd. Although nothing has been said regarding the festival’s cancellation, three-day passes are sold out and its organizers have yet to release the lineup and single-day tickets.
As of right now, nobody knows what the future of concerts looks like. There were so many events canceled this year that it will most likely be harder for artists to book venues in the future, since they’ll have to go head-to-head with sports teams rescheduling their games. For now, we’ll have to stick with artists performing for their legions of fans via Instagram Live or the vast majority of TV specials that are surely to air throughout the rest of the year. One thing I do know for certain is that when concerts do come back, with whatever new guidelines venues implement, I will welcome them back with open arms and I will hold them close because we now know that simple pleasures can be taken from us in the blink of an eye.