Picture it: You just left what was the best concert you’ve seen in your short millennial life. You leave the venue with a hop in your step and a twinkle in your eye. You barely feel that bite of the cold as your sweat soaked body covered in just a t-shirt and jeans steps out into the frigid air. Although you’re initially elated and filled with adrenaline, the high soon fades and gives way to a crushing feeling of emptiness and despair.
This is called PCD. Post Concert Depression. It’s a syndrome that occurs after attending a concert that either (a) features one of your favorite bands of all time, (b) causes you to have a band become one of your favorite bands of all time, or (c) you suffered from a severe case of moshing and crowd surfing. It strikes all of us, and it hurts.
Now that I’m done with the odd medical comparison of Post Concert Depression I will say that it actually exists. You’re lying to yourself if you’ve never left at least one concert with some of these symptoms:
- Severe addiction to the band’s music
- Flashes back to the concert
- Aimlessly scrolling through the pictures and videos you took
- Wearing the shirt you bought there for the next month
- Searching aimlessly for a new tour date so you can experience it again
I understand. I’ve experienced it too, more than once and probably too often. So here are a few ways you can get through this tough time.
THE FIRST THING you must understand is that Post Concert Depression manifests itself in stages very similar to regular grief. Those of course are:
The best way to deal with PCD is to tackle each of the first four stages so that you can finally make it to that fifth stage of acceptance.
DENIAL: This stage manifests itself directly after the band’s encore. You know when they walk off the stage and you scream your head off until they come back out. By the way, they were planning on coming back anyway. You just stand there. People around you are trying to leave, but you just stay in the pit until you finally sum up the courage to leave the venue. Or until someone pushes you on their way out. This continues until you get home. You feel like it’s so far away, but also right there (since it was right there). Symptoms of this stage include the feeling of euphoria quickly followed by a crash. You may also find yourself incessantly scrolling through the photos and videos that you just took. You may feel dehydrated, that’s just because you haven’t had a drink through two openers, the headliner, and the encore, don’t worry about it.
How to deal: The best way to deal with this stage is alcohol… just kidding. Kind of. Basically you want to distract yourself immediately. Play Trivia Crack. Check your email. Just cut off all contact from the concert. The more you can curb your crawling itch to relive the event, the better. If you don’t, this will make the crash so much worse.
ANGER: Your newfound angst following the concert is not only going to affect you, but also the people around you. The constant barrage of friends asking you about “that concert you went to last night” is bound to get on your nerves. This could be made even worse when you post your wonderful pics and videos online giving random acquaintances a sliver of a conversation if they so happen to run into you. It will confuse you as to why people insist on reminding you of the greatest night of your life. It’s almost like they’re rubbing it in.
How to deal: DO NOT SNAP AT THEM. Don’t let PCD ruin your friendships. Don’t let it destroy the wonderful joy that this concert has brought you by taking someone else’s away. At this point you can let the band back into your life. It’ll help calm you and prevent any unwarranted outbursts. Listen to an earlier album or watch a couple interviews online. But don’t go too crazy. Too much can make the next stage hard to get through.
BARGAINING: I know exactly what you’re going to do at this point. You’re going to go on to stubhub and try to find outrageously priced tickets to their next show in God knows where USA just to experience them again. You’ll do anything for these tickets. You’ll pay an arm and a leg. You’ll agree to go to a Nickelback concert with that one friend that actually likes them if you could just go to one of your favorite band’s concerts again.
How to deal: Go on a lockdown. Freeze your credit card if you need to. All you’re trying to do is extend your high at the expense of your time, money, and sanity. Buy something else. Get some merch online. Maybe a vinyl. Anything but these tickets. They’re not worth it.
DEPRESSION: The lowest part of the cycle is going to hit you hard in the days proceeding the concert. You are going to feel the aching and yearning for the adrenaline and high you felt that night. You’re going to feel the all motivation fade away as soon as you realize that real life exists and that the time at the concert was just a too-good-to-be-true fantasy. Your friends will try to cheer you up, but they don’t understand what you’re going through. They didn’t experience what you experienced. They will never feel the joy that you felt, so you compensate with a low. A deep, deep, low.
How to deal: Let the band back into your life. Listen to them every moment you can. Wear the band t-shirt. Faun over their pictures or videos. Make yourself feel right back at home with them until you fall back into the pattern you were in before you saw them.
ACCEPTANCE: Eventually you are able to come back to a point where you can not only accept what has happened, but look back and smile. You realize that although that night may never be repeated, and you may never hit the high that you were able to hit while you shut your eyes and danced to your favorite band, that life will go on. It always does.
I think the reason we hit a Post Concert Depression is because for those couple of hours, just that short sliver of time when the lights over the venue dim and the crowd screams until the lights come up on the stage, we feel like we can live forever. Concerts have become one of the highest forms of escapism. Everyone in that room is finally able to let go of all the crap that they have been feeling for the day and simply let the music wash over them. There are few times in our lives do we feel free and unafraid to dance like no one’s watching or sing at the top of our lungs. There are just a few times we are able to put down our phones and be aware of the world around us. Concerts give us that chance, so when it’s over and the dream is shattered it feels like a whole different world has come crumbling down and that the real world is upon us. However, you just have to remember that although it may be over for now, there is always another one around the corner and you can once again feel free.