Then: Pay $12 for a ticket (for big shows, go to Tower Records and camp out on the sidewalk to get a wristband).
Now: Get online and go to Stub Hub to get decent seats from scalpers (Ticketmaster sucks. There, I said it.)
Then: Arrive super early to stand in line until the doors open, then race to the front of the stage and sit down on the floor until the show starts.
Now: Arrive just early enough to beat the traffic and get a good parking spot.
Then: Spend $20 for a black concert t-shirt (remember the way they used to smell?)
Now: Go to the merch booth and regret not buying a $20 concert t-shirt from the dude in the parking garage.
Then: Sneak in your beverage of choice (okay, maybe not “of choice” since under-21 beggars outside the 7-11 can’t be choosers…)
Now: Sip expensive vodka and cheap wine from plastic cups while laughing about the “good old days” when you could sneak in your favorite beverage (again, maybe not so much “favorite” as “alcoholic”)
Then: Stand on the floor at the front of the stage to keep your spot until you can’t hold it any longer and a security dude pulls you over the barricade so you can run to the bathroom and then fight your way back to the front. Also, sit on boyfriend’s shoulders and piss off the bitchy girls behind you.
Now: Use crappy opening band to your advantage to avoid lines and chatty women in the bathroom. (Also, long for the days when sitting on someone’s shoulders wouldn’t cause permanent spinal damage.)
Then: Stay till the end. Get drum sticks and guitar picks, try and meet the band, hang out with roadies.
Now: Download the set list so you know what the last song is. Leave 2 minutes before song ends to hit the bathroom and get to the parking garage before the crowds. Giggle while driving past a sea of brake lights.
Then: Talk loudly and listen to loud music on the way home because your ears are still ringing. Stop by a convenience store to grab cylindrical-shaped food that has been rolling in-place for hours. Spend way too long trying to figure out which soda/ICEE/Slurpee combination will taste the best. Get pork rinds because “really they are so good and why don’t we eat them more often?”. Discuss how amazing Fritos are on bologna sandwiches. Argue about what is in bologna. Make a fool of yourself in public. Accidentally demolish the low cinderblock wall next to the driveway while pulling up to your house (for the third time).