Last week, Gawker published a brief essay in which writer Kelly Conaboy insisted that concerts should end before midnight. “When a concert ends at 11 p.m.,” she says, “you get home at a reasonable hour.” As if reason and rest were the goals of a good concert.
Initially, I was kinda sorta inclined to agree with Conaboy’s plea. I’m a fat man with flat feet, and I write about music for a living. Standing at live music venues for hours is physically stressful to me, my knees, and my other relevant anatomy. In this regard, I am washed. So I empathize with the sentiments expressed in Conaboy’s essay. Ultimately, however, I disagree.
Concerts should end at like 2 a.m., IMHO.
Mind you, the target demo for the sort of concert that we’re presumably talking about here—rockers and rappers, not Björk or Brahms—is young people. Youthful people. (“Concerts are a young person’s game,” Conaboy concedes.) Concerts are for teens and winners for whom staying out late is exciting, not exhausting. Teens are intrepid. Teens are indefatigable. I wish I were still a teen. Not really.
Kelly Conaboy is wrong for several reasons that I have compiled as this irrefutable list, in defense of all the concerts that have left me sore and late to various workplaces the following morning.
1. No Rush
If it’s a Tuesday, or a Thursday, or a Friday night, right after work, I’d rather not race like an imperiled Jason Statham from my office, through a subway, to a downtown concert hall. (Worse yet: a Brooklyn concert hall.) First, I would like to go home. I would like to shower and smoke. Maybe take a disco nap. Relax. Brace yourself for a night of bass, humid suffocation, and sticky footprints in the dark. Though you may be old and washed, the night is young.
2. Dinner & Dranks, Dranks, Dranks (Followed By Dranks)
The passage of time accelerates exponentially relative to how drunk you are. Fun, intoxicated people are not clocking the time on their iPhone every forty-five seconds as they pout and sigh on beat. Stop looking at your phone!!!!! It’s as if people who think concerts shouldn’t run past 11 p.m. don’t really enjoy concerts and shouldn’t attend them to begin with. Go home!
I’m a washed 27-year-old. When I want to hang out with other 27-year-olds, I go to my job and sit at my desk, where I’m surrounded by this achy, world-weary demographic that, if you’re searching for them in the wild, can be encountered at concerts with 7 p.m. start-times. If you’re actually seeking fun, however, might I suggest that you attend a “late” concert, preferably one where the doors don’t even open until 11 p.m. At such an insufferably late start time, you’ll be in the company of fun-loving, obnoxious, inexhaustible 19-year-olds.
I’m too old for drugs, but I’m too young to be rushing home to Blue Apron, red wine, and Netflix.
4. I Solemnly Swear That I Will Never Stop Going In
At the bottom of Conaboy’s essay, one of the commenters in favor of Conaboy’s thesis characterizes concerts that run late as “endurance contests.” She’s right, and Conaboy is right in this sense. Nightlife is endurance. Living, in general, is endurance. And there is a certain pride to be redeemed in your surviving a five-hour concert that lets out at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday. In New York City, bars are serving at this hour. As sweaty revelry has just begun.