This morning I got to work and as I walked from the parking lot to the entrance doors of the Adams Center it looked like through the still dark conditions that a homeless camp had formed right outside the last entrance door. Humans sprawled out on the cold cement covered in shaggy blankets started at the door and then went up some nearby steps. I started to think about why Missoula’s transient problem had extended all the way to campus but then a light clicked on in my head…tonight was the Macklemore concert!
The rapper’s hardcore fans had already started to line up at 8 a.m. in the morning for a show that didn’t start until 7 p.m. However, I didn’t think they were crazy for lining up so early with the hopes that they would get an awesome view of their idol. Rather, I thought they were a little uneducated for thinking that it might guarantee them an all-access, front row position for the whole concert. You see, these fans were lining up for general admission standing room only spots on the floor. It doesn’t matter if you are the first one in or the 2,000th person in, if you are aggressive and sneaky enough, you can work your way to the front and bypass people who had been waiting outside for eleven hours longer than you.
But that is not the point I am trying to make. Rather, I am sticking up for the Macklemore fans who bummed outside the whole day to at least improve their chances of getting the best possible view during the concert. The best fans are the passionate ones and if you don’t mind throwing a full day away to sit on concrete I salute you.
I love the stories of students at Duke camping out in Krzyewskiville just to get tickets. I nod my head in approval at the people who stood outside of the Missoula Buffalo Wild Wings for hours on end in anticipation of the grand opening (and a year’s supply of wings). Even though I hate “Harry Potter” I admire the maniacs who wait outside the theater in ridiculous costumes in order to get tickets and have the best seats in the house.
I have such a high affinity for these types of people because I am actually one of them. Throughout my lifetime I have been the guy that has started lines and waited double digit hours to dash into a venue and get preferential seating. Whether it was to see Santa Claus (seriously), be the first one to register for classes in middle school, get the courtside seats for our rival high school basketball game, obtain Griz-Cat football tickets, or to secure floor seats for a handful of different concerts I have stood patiently in line for long periods of time throughout my life.
But let’s get real here. Of course people like me and the people who were lined up for Macklemore today don’t do it solely for the gratification of getting our desired seat or ticket. Rather, we put ourselves through these long waits because in a way it is fun. There is something about being that first person and there is something about hanging out with other passionate people that just makes it exciting. And even if it turns out that you have to sit out in miserable weather and even if you end up spending 9 hours next to the most annoying person in the world and even if you end up not even getting your ticket or desired seat you still have something: an experience.
Even though I wouldn’t walk across the street to see Macklemore perform, or in my literal sense, walk down some steps right outside of my office, I respect the throng of 18-24 year olds I walked past this morning. At this time right now Macklemore is probably taking the stage and I hope those kids are having a great time. Don’t Blink.