Close Encounters of the Monkey Kind

My 100 level view at the Arctic Monkeys concert at Pacific Coliseum.

I’ve never seen so many monkeys screaming in the same room. I felt like I belonged.

By monkeys, I’m referring to the thousands of screaming Arctic Monkeys fans at the recent concert that just passed on September 23 at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum. These fans were hardcore, myself included. Within the army of leather jackets and Doc Martens, myself and my lovely concert partner, Taylen, were excited but severely sore and tired from the previous day’s pursuits: being on the floor for Coldplay.

Yes, my back-to-back concert venture was long awaited and one of the few things that was keeping me going during a rather busy and tiring last few months. I bought those Arctic Monkeys tickets in October of 2022…yes, nearly a year in advance. Yes, I am a fan. Yes, they are likely my favorite band. Yes, I like Coldplay a lot too. Both nights were surreal to attend.

What was my goal this week?
Something I always wished I was more confident in was making friends with people in my environment. With two big outings this week, my goal was to befriend, even temporarily, the people near me at the concert. Something even as simple as striking up a conversation about someone’s outfit or some miscellaneous comment or action about the upcoming show. But I’m shy. Which is why I was so wishful that I could do this. I want to meet people. I want to engage and experience strangers’ company to the point where I feel proud of myself. I’m too skeptical to do it online; this was my chance this week. For my own sake and for that of the blog.

How’d it go?
There’s something very bittersweet about enjoying someone’s company that you’ll never see again. Even more so when you didn’t catch their name and you probably won’t ever know.

Being on the floor at Coldplay, or any concert, increases the likelihood of random interactions with people; you’re packed like sardines. Throughout the show I noticed there was an individual standing near Taylen and I that was dancing like it was his last day on Earth. What caught my eye was how much he was enjoying the music and the energy he had around his friends. Maybe it was all the alcohol he had, maybe it was extroverted personality, but I wanted to make a point and comment to him that his little group looked like a joy to be around.

To my lovely surprise, by the end of the night around 10-12 of us were dancing and singing in a circle while Chris Martin sang the 2000’s hits we all listened to in middle school.

How did I do it?
I like seeing people who enjoy themselves. Their energy and vibe can say a lot about them and I’m a big believer in what you emit, is what you attract. I adore people who love to dance when there’s music and aren’t shy to do so. And those are the types of people I want to be around and connect with. When I noticed the individual near us dancing at the start of the show, I would glance over every so often and see how he was so happy and interactive with the people around him. I genuinely thought, “what’s the worst he’s gonna say to me?” and I knew from his energy that he would likely take a nice compliment. All I wanted to say was how I admired how fun he and his group looked.

When the crowds shifted and we ended up near each other, I leaned over to him and said that I loved his group, their energy and how fun they were. Mind you, I was screaming this because our ears were ringing. And I have no idea what he said in return. But he reached our arms and pulled us to join his little friend group with the introduction: “these are our friends!” 

How do I feel?
You know when you think back on a story and end up smiling just by thinking about it? That’s how I feel. And it reinforces the whole “what’s the worst that can happen” idea. It’s just a compliment, it’s just talking. 9 times out of 10 it’ll turn out just as you expected or even better. I was lucky enough to catch the better side.

I do feel bittersweet that I never caught his name. Or any of his friends’ names. It was a difficult setting to sit and chat, but I guess having this little interaction in a sea of thousands is what made it so sweet. The fact that it even happened is a rarity in itself. Talking to strangers isn’t rare, but finding a person (let alone a whole group) whose vibe and energy aligns with yours is something to be grateful for.

We live on as friends in the world of our shaky selfies. I wonder if they ever look back on those photos and wonder the same things I wonder about them. We’ll never know, and I guess that’s the beauty of it.  

Next week’s goal
I’ve been going out a bit too much and have to save some money. This week I’d like to rediscover a hobby at home that I’ve been putting off because it’s not “productive.” I think it’ll come down to finishing my book or opening a pack of Lego for the first time in my life. No, I’ve never played with Lego, I was too loyal to my Littlest Pet Shops.

Songs of the Week

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