'The Rules' of going to a concert

By Lydia Beers

It is a truth universally acknowledged by concert goers that if you leave your "spot," it's pretty much up for grabs. Or at least I thought that was a universally acknowledged truth. I found out differently last Saturday, when a friend and I packed ourselves into the Egyptian Room at Old National Centre in Indianapolis for a Matt Nathanson concert.
A group of about six people had made their camp close to where my friend and I stood. We had a pretty good spot — there weren't many people separating us from the stage, which is good because if anyone over five feet four inches stands in front of me, I can't see a thing. The group was loud and a little obnoxious, but nothing too out of the ordinary. At least, not at first. Then after a while, their drinks started getting the best of them. A few at at time, they would head to the bathroom—leaving the remaining group members to guard their spots.
Being the number-one fan that I am, I would take any chance to get just a little closer to the stage. So when they vacated their spots, I casually stepped into them. After all, that's the rule, right? You leave, you forfeit your spot. My friend, being more of a shy person in nature, hung back a little. Just as well, because when the rest of the group returned I was pushed back to my previous place by a large woman who loudly proclaimed that she had been standing there.
This group obviously did not know the rules about going to a concert.
After a few minutes though, I forgot all about them. Matt Nathanson finally took the stage, opening with "Mercy" — an upbeat song from his newest album, "Modern Love."
I've seen him in concert before, and marveled again at the extreme enjoyment he seems to get from performing. Anyone can tell that he loves it. Most artists say that they love their fans, but I get the feeling from Matt that he actually does.
Matt Nathanson has been recording since the early 90s, enjoying moderate success for a long time before he burst into Top 40-land with "Come On Get Higher" in 2008. I first heard of him then, and only recently started listening to his older music. His newest album, Modern Love, is on constant play on my computer…and in my head. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, and one of my favorite things about his show is watching him switch instruments for just about every song.
I've been to concerts before where the opening act is good — but then you eventually just want to get out of there, drink some water, and sit down for awhile. Not so with this one. Matt and his talented band kept me riveted until the very last song. It's so much fun to hear songs that you love and listen to all the time being played live.
My one disappointment with this show (besides being shoved out of a great spot by the obnoxious group) was that Matt didn't sing one of my favorites from his new album, "Kiss Quick."
What made up for that was his opener, Christina Perri. She was shot to stardom after her song, "Jar of Hearts" was featured on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance last year.
I absolutely love that song, as my college roommates can attest to. I was once yelled at for keeping it on constant repeat for a 24-hour time period. She sung beautifully, also doing her recent hit "Arms" and the song she wrote for Twilight: Breaking Dawn, "A Thousand Years." I was amazed at how she seemed to sing effortlessly, never straining her voice.
The show was memorable, and I can't wait to see Matt again. Hopefully the next time I do, those around me will be well-versed on "The Rules" of going to a concert. If not, I might have to get a little obnoxious myself!