I have made a life of attending concerts.

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I went to my first concert at 4 years old. It was at the Hartford Civic Center and it was Barry Manilow's Paradise Cafe/Copacabana Movie tour. I was there and I'm told I had a good time. I do not have many first hand memories because..ya know...I was 4.

Since then I have been the last row in a stadium (Rolling Stones), first row of a stadium (Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses) and all points in between. I have had my hands on the floor of the stage in theatres (Def Leppard) and even been pulled on stage in a club show (Beautiful Creatures).

That last one is my sticking point right now. Club shows. Packing a ton of people into a small non airconditioned area with the smell of stale sweat and urine. I once thrived in this environment, making my way to the front of a packed house to be face to face with my heroes.

Now I have to wonder, am I getting to old for it?

I recently attended a show in Albany at a very nice club, as clubs go. Admittedly, it was bands I wasn't really into and overall not my scene. There have not been a ton of club shows since the pandemic for me, so what was once a pretty regular part of my existence has been far more sporadic.

As soon as I entered, I realized this club was pretty close to sold out. I made my way through the crowd in the back toward the bar to grab a water. The mass of humanity swept me right past the bar until I ended up by the bathroom line.

It was there that I found a small piece of wall on the corner of the bar before the hallway for the restrooms. I planted myself there and did not move until the show was over. My friend went up to the front and hit the pit, but I could not have been happier being a wallflower. I was relieved when my friend wanted to leave early. The entire experience just wasn't a great one for me.

So have I gotten too old? Was it just the wrong crowd? There have been a few shows I have been to lately featuring bands I love that made me feel similarly. The influx of people wearing political shirts or hats to music shows has left me sad for what has become of my fellow rockers. I can't imagine telling any of them 30 years ago that rather than representing their favorite band or motorcycle company to a show, they would be representing a political candidate.

Am I too old? Maybe. If you enjoy the shows without grabbing a wall, maybe you aren't too old to have a good time. As for me, only time will tell.

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