It’s funny how people over thirty but under fifty tend to deny that the term “midlife” applies to them yet. I understand that impulse, but I also understand actuarial tables. Still, there is a fail-safe way to figure out whether you’ve officially hit midlife yet: by dint of your concert-going behaviors. I’ve devised this easy test to help you figure it out!
1) Upon learning that a band you love is coming to town for a show, but is scheduled to play at a venue that is General Admission (standing room only), do you:
a) Get a thrill of excitement that you’ll be able to dance and hope that the crowd will be as pumped up as you?
b) Groan inwardly and scan other local tour dates in case any of them offer, you know, chairs? You’ll gladly pay more for the privilege.
2) When the opening band that is a darling of the indie music press turns out to be one girl with a weird haircut, an ill-fitting sweater, and three synthesizers, do you:
a) Revel in the excitement of being in the presence of something totally new and fresh?
b) Think, “Interesting, but Laurie Anderson/Jane Siberry/Nina Hagen did it better,” then go to the bar until she finishes?
3) When you peruse the merch table at a show, which is the item that gets you most excited?
a) ANOTHER t-shirt!
b) A dishtowel and coffee mug set. If only there were a tea diffuser with the band logo on it!
4) What is the primary role of a smartphone in a concert setting?
a) To film every song, and snap still shots of the band to be posted immediately to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Because it’s not real if your followers don’t “like” it.
b) To enable your kids to text you halfway through the show and ask you to pick up some markers and poster board they need for their science project on your way home, it’s due tomorrow, sorry, meant to ask you earlier.
5) For bands that have been around >20 years, do you:
a) Exult that you’re finally getting to see them play live! You’ve loved them since the days you watched Urkel.
b) Enjoy the show, but feel a little sad that the original bass player is still feuding with his former bandmates and that the lead singer can’t make quite make the vertical leaps anymore.
6) And finally: When the band finishes their encore and the house lights DON’T go up, teasing that the band may come back for a second encore if the crowd makes enough noise, do you:
a) Go CRAZY stamping your feet and screaming your throat raw?
b) Glance surreptitiously at your watch, calculate how many hours of sleep you’ll have to function on if they actually come out and play again, plus the incremental cost of paying the babysitter, then tuck your hands into your back pockets where they can’t clap each other, no matter how tempted?
If you answered mostly (a), congratulations, Whippersnapper! You’ve got decades of concert going ahead of you so keep your powder dry and your jeans skinny!
If you answered mostly (b), you are a Midlife Concert Goer. What you lack in energy and Converse sneakers, you more than make up for in knowledge and experience, so hold your head high. I’ll see you at the next show, and you can sit down next to me.