THE 1975 via Atwood Magazine
Over one month ago already, I went to a The 1975 concert in the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam together with Janne and one of her friends who also happened to be a fan. Going to a concert with Janne to see one of her fav bands is like this, she whispered a whole lot of background information and underlying meanings of lyrics in my ear during the night - like "hey you know this song is not about a girl, it's actually about cocaine" and I would just nod and we would all just dance to songs about cocaine. And you know what? I L0VED their show!!! I certainly had an amazing night & enjoyed the music thoroughly, as I enjoy music way way more when I have seen the band itself play it... and even after that I appreciate their music much more than ever before! It must be something about the whole concert experience, enthusiasm from the band versus getting all into it as a crazy fan in the rowdy crowd. I don't exactly consider myself as a true fan, to be exact, although I listen to their music quite often - maybe it has something to do with the fact that I consider someone to be a "fan" when they know all the birth dates and -places of the band's members (like I'm sure Janne does, while I myself am not even sure of their names - not even what their faces look like!). I guess my fanhood does not go beyond my ears.
We noticed soon that the said crowd consisted of girls considerably some years younger than we are - and I felt as if it was almost inappropriate for us to be there (I got reassured I wasn't, when I learned that my 4-years-older cousin happened to like them a lot as well). Perhaps the low average age was due to the fact that teenage girls are usually the most obsessed fans in any case (probably hormones rushing through their bodies, and going through a lot mentally and all that) and fangirls like that somehow like to show up in large numbers of people. Also, teenage girls spent a great deal of time on keeping up with celebrities in a quest who to fangirl about as part of their quest to themselves. I know, I've been there too - years and years ago I used to be a Tokio Hotel fan, in those times when being an emo was sort of cool. And honestly I don't regret it. Their concert in 2008 was one of the best concerts in my life! Tokio Hotel happened to have a big and (temporarily) loyal fanbase back in those days (who now have grown up and most of them are probably too ashamed to ever mention the band again), and some of these fans came up with some "fan-actions" and the fans spread the word over the internet. There were three of them, and all the fans were supposed to join in to these fan-actions at a certain song. At one song, everyone started to blow bubbles, filling the air (it was an open air concert) with hundreds and thousands of bubbles. At another song, we all held up a flag of our own country, showing the boys of the band fans of all over the world had come to see them. At one more song, we all threw a towel in the air - just like Bill, the band's lead singer, typically threw his towel into the crowd at each concert. Can you imagine how great it is to see thousands of fans all do the same action together as a surprise to the band? I remember seeing all those bubbles, flags and towels in the air, thousands of people at the same time... and that, together with dancing and jumping to their music, and writing the names of the band's members on our faces with an eyeliner, was certainly what made the concert so great. And it's why I will remember June 14th, 2008 until the end of my life.
Fans might seem awfully annoying sometimes when they seem to be exaggerating, but they also make concert much greater than a band would do alone. Imagine a concert with no one cheering, clapping and singing along! How boring would that be? Screaming fans, going all crazy in the heath of the moment... together they create an amazing atmosphere that will be remembered long after the concert has finished. Even if you're not a fangirl like them, they make you want to join in and totally loose it. I'm currently learning a great deal about these group effects at school, which is fairly interesting, as it can get all groomy sometimes, but I think fans at a concert are a great example of positive deindividuation.
Back to The 1975. I can't wait to see them again, and I luckily don't have to for that long, as they will be playin at Lollapalooza in Berlin this year, and we've got tickets!!!