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Live Shows Were Killing My Love for Music

In January of 2017, I trekked out to Saint Vitus in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to see Denver doom metal band Khemmis—in part because I had just moved back from Denver, and wanted to say hi to the Khemmis dudes, and in part to see the band play live, because they rule. But though I had a great time, the effort of the show was overwhelming—the commute, the cold outside, the time between sets, the venue drink prices (and Vitus’ prices really aren’t even that bad), it was all an uphill battle of exhaustion, grumbling, and hating most other people. I was relieved to go home.

After that night, I wouldn’t attend another live show for six months, my longest gap between shows in a decade. At first, it was just a matter of being old and lazy, especially in winter, when it’s brick as Hell and you have to bring a coat. But as more and more live dates passed me by, I made a choice: seeing every band that came through New York would no longer be my priority.

At first, this change felt unnatural, and made me worry that I had officially given myself over to being just some fucking dad who couldn’t handle the raw power of the live arena. On top of that, I had a whole community of friends who I only ever saw through shows—would I lose them by cutting down my show intake? Was our entire friendship based on the primacy of recency, where they like me because they remember me? Finally, there was the FOMO, the worry that I was going to miss that one-in-a-million moment where the stars aligned and my favorite underground band played a secret show while the club owner passed out free beer and Molly.

Skipping shows did affect those aspects

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