For any rabid music fan, there’s a sort of grieving process that follows an event as momentous as seeing a favorite band live. It’s often referred to as “post-concert depression” around the web, and it goes a little something like this.
Phase One: Euphoria
These are the remnants of what you felt while standing front row, singing (possibly crying) along to your favorite song. It enfolds you into the night, past the merch table and onto the sidewalk where you’ll either choose to battle traffic, or wait by a fence near their bus hoping your favorite musicians come outside to say, “Hello.” Euphoria will extend if you do the latter.
Phase Two: Reflection
You will take a moment to register everything that happened–either loudly with your friends who were there or quietly on your own. Some people choose to use this phase of their post-show life to write a review or to upload photos. During this phase, you may find yourself writing grandiose statements about how your life is changed forever, or how yes, Fall Out Boy can save rock and roll and you’ll take that to your grave. (Too much?)
Phase Three: Realization
Wait. You just said this show changed your life. At this moment, you will take in the full weight of that feeling. And here’s where the sadness starts to set in: You start to realize you’ll never experience it again and that all the photos and descriptions in the world can never, ever really capture the beautiful thing you just experienced.
Phase Four: Reality
The next day, you will return to your everyday life, which will seem exceedingly inferior after the night you just had. You may just go through the day-to-day motions and wonder, “What’s the point? This isn’t life. Last night’s show–that was life. That was being alive. This is merely living.”
Phase Five: Feeling Outcasted
To cheer yourself up, you may find yourself grasping to go back a few phases to “reflection” and share with people who weren’t at the show. Most humans will respond with a half-hearted “Oh, that’s cool” or “Sounds fun.” And it’s just like, “But you don’t understand. It was so much more than that!”But what it means to you is impossible to articulate.At this point, you realize no one understands you, and the people who do aren’t anywhere to be found, probably because they’re at a show, which leads to…
Phase Six: Stalking
Okay. Maybe the people who immediately surround you don’t get it, but there are definitely friends within the fanbase who do. You want a second taste and you’ll live vicariously through others to get it. You hunt down your friends who are going to upcoming dates, Twitter list them and refresh the shit out of that list continuously until the night is over for any sign of photographs or a glimpse at the show. You scour the Tumblr tags and YouTube and creep on the venue and tour staff–anything you can do to just get a teensy peek.
Phase Seven: Lack Of Impulse Control
You realize your lonely lifeless existence can be sated only by more of what put you in your current predicament to begin with: a show. You may find yourself on LiveNation, looking at that next date seven states away thinking, “Yes, this is a good idea.” And, you know, I can’t argue with that. You might spend money (like, a lot of it) to feel alive again… Wow, this sounds like an addiction. Holy shit, do we have an addiction?
Phase Eight: Acceptance
Yes. We have an addiction, and yes, we’re going to go to that show seven states away, because we can justify it. What if this is the last tour for a long time? We can’t wait that long. Here, you will either buy those tickets and repeat the cycle, or realize that circumstances are out of your hands and that you’re just going to have to tough it out until next time.
Phase Nine: Living
Eventually, all the bad post-show symptoms will fade, and you will be able to look at your photos from the show not as soulless reflections of a night you’ll never have again, but as memories, and those memories will sustain you. Until the next time you more than willingly put yourself through this torture again.