The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

‘It’s like medicine’: how concerts free fans to feel

   A deafening roar goes through the crowd as the stadium lights dim and the artist takes their first steps onto the stage. Thousands of fans cheer like it is their last day on earth, releasing all the anticipation, adrenaline, and awe built up in the months prior. This is what people pay hundreds of dollars for.

   As the world settles into a post-pandemic normal, so too do concerts. This past year, Los Angeles reopened its gates as the city of stars, welcoming Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Kali Uchis, Drake, and more. Hundreds of thousands of music lovers flocked to Sofi Stadium, Arena, and the Greek Theater to revel in hearing their favorite artists live.

   “At home, you get to scream and sing to the songs, but at a concert you get to scream it with hundreds, thousands of other people,” described sophomore Marcus Lau, who saw Sabrina Carpenter, Twice, and Taylor Swift in concert this year. “You feel like you belong there with the other people.”

   Being surrounded by others with the same enthusiasm for the music is unique to the concert experience. The shared excitement frees concertgoers to express their eagerness without judgment, turning strangers into friends.

   “It feels very validating because a lot of the artists I listen to, not many people listen to them,” shared senior Michelle Hua, who saw Joji, Twice, Beabadoobee, Cigarettes after Sex, Nico Play, and Luna, and is planning on seeing Between Friends in November. “Knowing that there are people nearby who are also listening to the same artist as me, I could finally feel like I’m part of a fan base.”

   Choosing an outfit that fits the theme of the concert and complimenting others’ choice in clothing is a key way fans express their support for the artist and each other. Rituals like trading bracelets at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour are another staple of the concert experience.

   “You feel like you’re a part of the big community,” described senior Nicholas Perez, who went to concerts for Riovaz, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Kali Uchis this year. “You feel like you know these people because you guys share that connection. It’s almost like a support group.”

   More intimate are those one chooses to go to a concert with.

   “I mainly go because I get to hang out with my sister,” Hua stated. “We sing our hearts out together. It’s a bonding experience.”

   For many, the magic in hearing albums live lies in the memories and emotions tied to the music. Whether someone grew up on the artist’s music or only recently started listening, hearing songs so close to one’s heart come to life is cathartic.

   “For Daniel Cesar, when his new album came out, I listened to it religiously for a couple months,” described junior Olivia Simpson-Castaneda, who saw Beabadoobee, Daniel Caesar, SZA and Kali Uchis, and is planning on seeing TV Girl and Mitski. “Going to his concert was so cool because I could hear the songs that I used to sing in my bathroom, getting ready for school, live.”

   The healing power of music makes one’s connections to an artist especially deep. When times are rough, their songs can uplift and understand us.

   “I’m there to support them because I feel like they’ve supported me,” shared Perez. “When I was in the closet, it was very hard for me because you’re very insecure. […] Music has been such a good support for me […] it’s like medicine.”

   Besides making fans cry, artists make their fans cheer by talking to the crowd, showing personality, singing unreleased songs, and bringing out special guests.

   “They have different surprises,” described junior Julissa Pena excitedly. She saw Five Seconds of Summer, Kali Uchis, Daniel Caesar, Taylor Swift, Calibash, Rex Orange County, and Mitski this year. “Kali Uchis, she played an unreleased song, and at Five SOS, they had a dice where they would roll it in the crowd and play a song they never played before.”

   For those attending their first concert, there are a few must-dos to prepare. Clear out phone storage, bring a portable charger, be hydrated, and eat beforehand. Look at the merchandise options and consider whether an outside vendor could sell it for cheaper.

   For those hesitant on attending a concert, the expert advice is to just do it. Take the opportunity to see the artist before it is too late. Focus on having fun and being there, without fear of judgment or being called a “fake fan”.

   “Be yourself,” stated Lau. “No one’s gonna stop you and say, ‘Hey, you can’t do that! […] You haven’t been listening to them for X amount of years like I have been. So you’re not allowed to enjoy this.’ […] There are no rules, just enjoy the concert.”

Donate to The Tongva Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of Gabrielino High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sophia Pu
Sophia Pu, Editor in Chief
Sophia Pu is the Editor in Chief for the school newspaper, marking her fourth year with the team. Outside of her editorial duties, Sophia is involved in Speech and Debate and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time in nature. Her commitment to the newspaper grew from a passion for interviewing a diverse range of individuals she might not have interacted with otherwise.
Donate to The Tongva Times