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Anna’s Adventures: going to concerts for artists I don’t know

Vishnu R
Anna Maxwell discusses her experience going to a “twenty one pilots” concert before she knew their music.

On Aug. 30, 2022, I went with my friends to see “twenty one pilots,” although I only knew their popular songs, “Ride” and “Stressed Out,” from the “Blurryface” album. My friend, Isabel, was obsessed with their music and promised that it would still be a great show even if I couldn’t sing along, so I broke down and bought the $70 ticket to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. I attempted to prepare by listening to some songs, but I decided that I would not be able to memorize multiple albums in only a week and quickly accepted my fate.

When we got to the stadium, the dread set in. All I could think about was the lack of information I had about the artists and the obsession behind the music. I knew that I had done this for a friend, but I nervously thought I would just sit through this concert and then leave without having too much fun. I looked around and saw all of the “Scaled and Icy” merch and thought I made a mistake.

To my surprise, the moment “twenty one pilots” began their set, I knew the concert was going to be great. Their performance was phenomenal, both physically and musically, and you could feel the immense energy in the stadium. Everyone around us was standing and singing their hearts out, although I don’t think anyone sang louder than Isabel, and it was magical. Even if I hated the music, the sheer atmosphere would bring me back for more concerts just like that one. 

The greatest thing about seeing this group without knowing their music was the aftermath. I started listening to their music following the concert because of the great time I had while there. I listened to “Scaled and Icy” almost every day on the drive to school and talked with Isabel about the band. I have to say that nothing will beat hearing “Mulberry Street” for the first time while everyone in the stadium was waving their flashlights to the music, but dancing to it in the car couldn’t hurt. Arguably, music always sounds better live, so it was mesmerizing to not only hear the music but associate it with their insane performance. 

It wasn’t only a great way to learn about a new artist, it was also a great bonding experience that I got to share with one of my best friends. My biggest regret from that night was not getting a t-shirt to commemorate the concert. My friend, Trenton, even double-checked with me about getting something and tried to encourage me, but I was too nervous and decided against it. However, even without a shirt, I will not forget that night. 

Why does any of this matter? Because I’m doing it again! For Easter, my mom bought my brother and I tickets to see AJR with friends at the end of June. I will be heading right back to the FieldHouse to see yet another artist in concert that I do not know very well, but this time I am really excited! 

I am going to slightly prepare this time (since I have almost three months), but I am going to leave their older albums out of my prep to hopefully listen to some new music at the concert for the first time. 

I truly recommend this experience to anyone who is on the fence about spending money on an artist’s concert that they do not know very well. You will not regret it, especially if you go with friends and join in the fun while everyone around you is singing along to the music. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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