Amy Martin

Photo by Breanne Bowland

I used to go to a lot of shows. I spent most of my twenties in Chicago, which, oh man, the music scene. Ten bucks could get you a Huber Bock and what felt like constant access to [The] Gossip. Gingerman, Elbo Room, Delilah’s, the Metro, Empty Bottle, the Vic, and countless little dank bars.

I’m older and more tired now, but that isn’t why I almost never go to shows. On about a 1:1 ratio, for every show I attended in Chicago, there was one I called off at the last minute, one I spent huddled in a corner, one I missed most of because I “stepped out for air” and never went back in. A couple years ago, I stopped fighting the fact that I rarely, if ever, feel safe at shows. I had to start saying it in words when I started dating my husband, who goes to an average of two shows a week, and who can predict with almost 100% accuracy which bands I will like. I’d watch him bop easily around a room hugging friends, and realize we’d never have a relationship if I kept trying to go to shows and standing stiffly in the least crowded part of the space with my arms locked around my chest until enough time had passed that I felt justified shouting “I’M READY TO GO NOW” in his ear. [read the whole post]

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