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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

50 concerts down, hundreds to go

I never really imagined myself as the back-stage groupie chick with signatures lining my wall and stacks of concert tickets...but that's exactly what it's come down to. Over the years, I've learned that music isn't just about the listening part-it's not just something to pass the time or background noise coming from a car stereo. It's so much more than that. It's about feeling. It's about the necessity to hear certain words at your proudest or weakest moments. It's about that one song playing in your head as you approach an important interview, or the song that helps you get up from crying on the floor. It's poetry to a beat.

As a kid, I went to a bunch of shows. It started with Back Street Boys and N*Sync, and slowly moved over to bands like Green Day, Nickelback, and Creed. I remember walking into my first concert at Mohegan Sun Arena, and nearly having the breath knocked out of me seeing Good Charlotte completely filling the arena with their sound. Concerts were a treat for me. Now? They're apart of my week. Concerts have transformed from a fun event to something I want to spend the rest of my life surrounding myself in. Each show has been an incredible experience-from superstars Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake, to small-town artists like Nick Santino and Hollywood Ending. At huge shows, the energy is high-driven and fast paced, while at a small venue, artists approach you with such gratitude for your presence.

I've been starstruck walking past Big Time Rush and went through the classic boy band phase stalking One Direction. I've had a shimmer of hope when Carrie Underwood waved to me and practically died when Tyler Wilson kissed my cheek. I've had the opportunity to meet bands like We the Kings, Hawthorne Heights, Our Last Night, and All Time Low. I've convinced The Ready Set vocalist Jordan Witzigreuter's manager to let Jordan come out and say hello, scored dozens of free tickets, snuck into restricted lines, and scored autographs from my favorite singers. I've become a junkie. People have called me crazy after attending a concert 10 hours early or plowing through people in the crowd-but I always end up in the front. Front and center, I've connected with singers-belting out the lyrics to the song I've heard a thousand times as the lead singer eloquently and effortlessly sings it in front of me. There's no feeling in the world that can compare to the bass vibrating at your feet and in your chest as the words you've listened to on repeat come to life around you. It's an enthralling, unforgettable moment that I want to experience for the rest of my life.

At shows, I've met some incredible people as well. Concert friends are the greatest friends because they know exactly how you're feeling. Some lyrics touched them in some way, bringing them to the same concert as you-and if you enjoy the same lyrics, you're bound to become friends.

Every signature, picture, and ticket are safe in an album in my room, and I can't wait to show it off one day to my kids and grandkids. I'll be able to tell them that before I turned twenty years old, I attended over 50 concerts, seen over 100 bands live, and met dozens of artists. I can tell them the stories of scoring last minute tickets, jamming out to my favorite songs alongside my best friends, and having artists remember me time and time again.

I'm so thrilled to be able to attend concerts for a living, and share my musical journeys with the world. I've already hit 50 concerts, and this is just the beginning.

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