How to enjoy concerts again sober

Last night I went to see a friend play in his Grateful Dead cover band. They are really good and have a small following. They played in a small theater with about 300 seats and I really enjoyed the experience as a sober person. (Interestingly enough the Grateful Dead had a tradition of sober people attending their shows. They called themselves “Wharf Rats,” after a popular song.)

They sold alcohol there, but since it was a small musical theater with a focus on the arts and wholesome events, drinking was not a big part of the event. Most people were not drinking and those who were had to leave and buy drinks from a tiny snack stand.

Anyway, concerts are a big trigger for me since I used to get really messed up at them. When I was first getting sober, it was hard to imagine myself enjoying a concert again.

But I really enjoyed the show last night and I’ve been able to enjoy concerts again using these sober tips:

  • Find small local theaters to see shows instead of the big arenas
  • Go with other addicts/alcoholics! (I had two other fellow ‘Wharf Rats’ with me and we enjoyed a nice meal before the show.)
  • Don’t show up early. Show up right when the band is going on or even a little after.
  • Buy candy to eat during show. Something to nibble on may reduce cravings for more nefarious things. (I had a couple diet cokes and swedish fish bags last night.)
  • Leave early

I found that music and live music is a great meditation for me during my recovery and I’m so glad I can enjoy it again.