Wednesday, I did something out of my comfort zone: I went to a concert all by myself. I’ve been to concerts with my mom, my friends, my girlfriends, but never alone. What gave me the idea to do this was seeing that the city buses leaving Downtown Disney at 11pm-ish on a Saturday night as a friend and I left from seeing Death Cab For Cutie.

I struggled with the logistics of how I was going to do this. When would I start heading downtown, where would I eat, when do I want to be on the show, all that fun stuff. Eventually, I figured out the meal part at my favorite vegan restaurant in town.

Stomach empty, mack hat active.

After the meal, I caught a bus downtown and still made it to Downtown Disney at 7pm. I expected a big line for TV On The Radio. I was wrong.

Shortest line ever.

It only took five minutes to get into the venue.

I’ve been to a lot of shows at the House of Blues and normally, I have to stand on the upstairs level in order to have a decent view of the show. I haven’t sat to watch a show at the House of Blues since Henry Rollins in 1998. The upstairs level was closed because not a lot of tickets were sold. I got in early enough where I got to sit for the entire time I was there.

Enjoying my $5.00 PBR tallboy.

Kate introduced herself by offering me some of her pizza. She was in town doing work at a convention as a video producer. In exchange for helping her guard her seat, she hooked me up with two more rounds of PBR. We suffered the opening act together, this awful band from Austin that had drums, a tambourine like drum, keyboards, and a lead singer who looked like he thought he knew what it was to look cool during the Cold War era (he did not). The sound was so bad, I couldn’t understand what they were singing.

How could Texas let this band leave the state? I thought they had guns.

TV On The Radio came on and they sounded great but the sound made the lyrics are garbled. I left about an hour into their set and made all the bus connections needed to make it back home.

I discovered that I enjoyed going to concerts by myself and I’ll do it again. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy holding someone and talking to them before, during, and after the show, but I can do things alone that I can’t do with someone and it’s empowering to be able to not need a concert buddy.

My latest column is up at Specter Magazine. You should read it here.


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About J. Bradley

J. Bradley's is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at

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