I mean, I've only been to a small handful of them in my life, but every time I find myself watching the people there as much as, if not more than, the performer on stage.
I think, maybe because I have trouble "letting go".
Here's a for instance:
You know when you're at a concert, and the person on stage yells "Are you guys excited?!" and you're supposed to scream something back at them...
No matter how excited I am, whatever leaves my mouth (if anything) in response to that question just doesn't sound natural. It sounds... pained.
Have you seen those videos of vocal goats? That's me trying to fit in at a concert.
I don't yell good.
I'm not a "yeller".
Don't get me wrong, I love music. I listen to it when I shower. I listen to it when I draw. I pay extra to not listen to commercials on Pandora when I'm driving.
I've just never been good at concerts.
I say all of that, because this week Shelly and I went on our anniversary date to see Chris Stapleton in Tulsa.
Not a real fan of country music myself, I was a little hesitant about how much I was going to enjoy the evening (even though I knew my wife was going to have a blast, which made going exciting anyways) - but this guy is legit.
Regardless of the genre, there's something about listening to an artist who's truly talented, doing something they're passionate about.
I don't like country music or concerts, and this guy put on one hell of a country music concert.
Couple that with the enjoyment of watching someone I love enjoying something she loves - and we had a blast.
At the concert however, I saw a LOT of people who are "good at" concerts.
Even in our little section (up in the nosebleeds), people were singing their hearts out, screaming at the right times, and - in the case of the highly inebriated girl sitting next to Shelly - dancing to nearly ever other song.
Seriously. It was hilarious.
As she drunkenly swayed back and forth in her goin' out dress, Shelly leaned into me at one point and whisper/yelled "Her fringe keeps hitting me!"
Oh, what a strange problem to have.
But still, it's amazing to see how much people can just let go in a situation like that - truly living in the moment.
I envy that.
There was a guy there two seats ahead of us who was up on his feet more often than not, singing his heart out and raising his lighter to his favorite songs.
At one point, Chris and his wife covered the song "You Are My Sunshine", and this guy was just... there.
Fists in the air, he belted out every single word with them in a way that I never thought I'd see a grown up commit to such a simple song.
I commented to Shelly "If they play Bicycle Built for Two, this guy is going to lose his mind."
But all in all, the concert was amazing. Before things got started, we met up with my friend Amanda and her husband Mark - and Shelly saw a few people there that she knew as well. Tons of people came out for this thing.
(Including a large man with a foot long beard in a Punisher shirt and Superman belt who REALLY wanted to get in a fight when someone dropped their beer on him. Admittedly, they dropped it from two stories up... but still...)
At one point, Chris asked the crowd to turn their phone's flashlights on (this generation's lighter in the air) and the arena LIT UP. Quite a sight to behold.
Due to the high number of people we thought might turn out, we opted to take a Lyft from the hotel to the concert. In what I thought was clearly one of my brighter moves, we avoided traffic and paid 12 dollars for the ride there instead of 10-20 in parking alone.
What I didn't know was that there are also "prime hours" on services like Lyft and Uber where due to the high volume of rides requested, prices go up by 600%.
The 12 we paid to get there made me feel like a genius.
The 60 we paid to get back... didn't.
The day after the concert, we went to IHOP for breakfast and then went and got "anniversary tattoos".
True to form as a sappy couple, Shelly and I have our own "cute" way of telling each other (and the kids) "I love you".
Years ago, one of us pointed out that "I love you" in sign language resembles the letters J, m, and l. Over time, "I love you" was shortened to "Jml" for texts, greeting cards, and short messages.
For our fourth anniversary, we decided to get Jml tattooed as a fun way to commemorate the event.
Interestingly enough, JML also happened to be the initials of the artist who worked on us.
Deep down, I wondered if he thought we were stalkers he just hadn't ever noticed before.
Saturday night, we drove to Tulsa and met my parents, brother, and soon to be sister in law for dinner at Texas de Brazil (a Brazilian steakhouse) and the comedy club.
The steakhouse was something else.
Have you been to a Brazilian steakhouse? Basically it's a carnivore's dream.
They give you these coins for your table - everyone gets one. One side is red, which means that you're either eating or not hungry at the moment. Flip the coin over though, and servers that walk the restaurant will come by offering you cuts of whatever meat they're carrying.
They had multiple types of steak, chicken, bacon wrapped jalapeños, and sausages.
They also offer a gigantic salad bar, which I've heard referred to as a "rookie mistake".
I mean, why fill up on lettuce in a place that literally serves all-you-can-eat steak.
... Please don't reference this blog if you ever hear me griping about my weight.
After the restaurant, we went across the street to The Loony Bin.
There were three performers that night, and while they were all great - the first one (and host for the night) stole the show.
Well, he may have tied with the HORRIBLY drunk girl behind us that ran her own commentary for the length of all three comedians. For the uninitiated, comedians ask a lot of rhetorical questions.
She answered every single one of them.
And - while I've spent at least 30 minutes on Google trying to find the stellar comedian's name to share, I've been completely unable to.
Maybe my memory's getting bad.
Maybe it's because Kelsey and I ordered drinks that came in mini-pitchers.
... the world may never know.
That night, after the comedy club, we went back to Mom's house in Sand Springs, played games, opened birthday presents, and watched Netflix.
To cap off the night, Adam asked me to be the best man at his wedding this August.
At the end of it all, it was a whirlwind of a week.
Had a great anniversary trip with my wife, got some special quality time with my family, and did a lot of fun things that I hadn't done for some time.
This week, I'm out of town for work.
I'm sure I'll have a lot of interesting things to talk about when I get a chance to settle back in next week.
Now, I'm going to wrap this up and then go out for my birthday dinner with Shelly and the kids.
They're taking me to Buffalo Wild Wings.
Seriously, why am I overweight??