"Years ago, my ex-boyfriend took me to see Sufjan Stevens at the Sydney Opera House for my birthday... It was in the Concert Hall, which is highly majestic and posh. There were a thousand colorful balloons hiding in the ceiling in some net, and they released the balloons down over everyone in the hall as he played his final song. Deep down, I knew that my kind and thoughtful boyfriend had arranged the thousands of balloons with Sufjan specifically for my birthday. Epic concert! The end!"
"When I went to a NYC concert festival a few years ago, my friend had ingeniously decided to bring in a blow-up monkey so our whole crew could find each other in the thick crowds. What we didn't know was that other people would also have blow-up monkeys. (Do not ask me how.) A few of us stuck together, but there was one friend we just couldn't find the ENTIRE weekend.
"On the final day we were there, as we were dancing our faces off to Outkast, I suddenly just happened to see him walking through the crowd. I reached through past a couple barriers of people to grab him, shrieking like a banshee for our reunion. We all spent the rest of the night celebrating finally being together at last and then partied until we died. RIP."
"My sister and I went to see a show in Brooklyn. We were told that we MUST VACATE the venue after the show because Odesza had another show later that evening, and it was a totally separate (and more exclusive) event. After the indie band played, security started ushering everyone out.
"But we had a plan. We ended up hiding behind a fire exit door for 30 minutes, then the bathrooms for another 30 minutes. Then sound check ended, and the next audience started trickling in. Once 10 or so people had come inside, we emerged from our cave and joined the crowd at the bar. The tequila shots flowed. Soon, Odezsa came on, and we were in the front row. We danced like crazy people until the wee hours."
"2011. Angles just dropped. The Strokes were playing a free show at Auditorium Shores on Lady Bird Lake. I didn't think I could be lucky enough to see them twice in less than a year, and I was right — they stopped letting people in an hour before we got there. My then-boss decided we NEEDED to camp out on a nearby hill across the street and just listen to the ambient noise, but little did we know, we camped mere feet from where a gigantic horde of fans was busy taking down the fence. Literally. They smashed the fence until it bent all the way to the ground.
"The second the fence came down, he said, 'Follow me. I know what I'm doing,' and we ran like hell using the hill as momentum. I swear he was like a brilliant little fox, darting left and right as we jumped over the fence (which eventually snapped back up), past all the police trying to catch the overflow of people, through the thick of the crowd, all the way to the front and right up on the stage. We basically had front-row seats at that point."
"I went to Dallas and bought last-minute tickets to see Luke Bryan. It was raining, and we were on the lawn wearing ponchos like commoners. My friend Julie (a bad influence) was like, 'This sucks, let's change it.' So we snuck into the covered pavilion and hopped a railing and helped ourselves to some prime seats and danced our country butts off while our friends sat in mud yards behind us."
"One of my favorite concert experiences was when I got free guest passes to Firefly Fest in Delaware through my job. I got a group together, and I picked up camping supplies and a car from my dad. We made the drive down from NY to Delaware. I wasn't stoked about camping, but it actually made the experience amazing. We would wake up and start drinking right away and then head to the fest. The weather was perfect, the crowd was tolerable, and the group was solid (except one girl, but she left after one day — loser). My fave memory from this festival was sitting on a hill listening to the Lumineers. It was magic hour, and the sun was shining, and everything was great."
"I was once obsessed with Ashlee Simpson to the point where I made a giant sign that said 'Ashlee! Say hi to Spencer!' to bring to her concert. I held it up after every song, but she wasn't noticing it. The people around me were so supportive of my efforts that they let me sit on their shoulders, scream in unison, and do the wave to get her attention. None of it worked, but I made some great concert friends in the process, and even better, by the end of the show, they were just letting anybody into the venue, so all my friends showed up to meet me, and we danced like crazy to 'La La.'"
"I was at Wolfmother this past Thursday. The band was playing a glorious symphonic arsenal of rock. I watched excitedly, thinking about the first time I saw this band and how out of control the crowd was. This time around, they were rocking on an even grander scale. My eyes and ears couldn't handle the assault, but the crowd seemed a little uncertain. They looked ready and eager to erupt. Without thinking, I left my best friend and told her I was going to stir the pot.
"I made my way toward the middle of the swaying crowd and ran into an old buddy, Sam, who was on the same mission! We assumed human fort position and crashed in. Like fire on gasoline, the place completely erupted! Waves of people running back and forth — all limbs, hair, and sweat. As I surfed over the crowd, I pointed to the lead singer, and he stopped strumming his chord to point right back. One of the best feelings is watching your favorite band smile at the crowd's participation and excitement."
"Kanye West was playing a secret show at the Austin Power Plant for SXSW, and I had somehow managed to get my name on the list. The set was starting late, and I was standing in line for seven hours. Around midnight, people were beginning to riot and trying to climb the fence into the venue. Security was struggling to keep order.
"Just when I thought I'd never make it in, a security guard pulled me through the barricade and told me to go into the venue (?!?!). I got inside and walked immediately to the stage. But another security guard stopped me and said this was the VIP section. The standing room was full, and I couldn't see a thing. I stood there, totally spent, contemplating whether I should just go home.
"Just then, Kanye finally went on stage. Everyone started freaking out, and I couldn't see. The security guard saw me struggling and said, 'Hey, dude, just go ahead.' I thanked him profusely and ran into the almost empty VIP section. I ended up front and center for the best music showcase I had ever seen."
"A friend of mine and I were at the ticketing area asking about our seats at a Drake concert. Being our ridiculous selves, we somehow decided to start yapping in an English accent. These guys passed by us, intrigued, and asked us to go meet them at their seats — err... I'm sorry, SUITES. It was ALL THE FUN. So many free drinks. And then we were asked if we wanted to go to the floor seats. Obviously, we said, 'Hell yes.' You've never seen Drake in his pure form until you're underneath his armpit in the first row."