Every good relationship involves making sacrifices. That is why last Tuesday, you found me at a Radiohead concert.
I can’t stand Radiohead. Their music, outside of the song ‘Creep’ has never been on my radar. If they decided to sing ‘Creep’ while I was there, even if it was the last song they played, I would have walked out of the concert feeling like my two and half hours were anticipating a song I actually really like. Like is perhaps a strong word, but I don’t change the station when it starts playing on 104.5 so I’d like to think that counts for something.
John and I have varied taste in music, and by that I mean, he cannot stand any of the music I listen to and I definitely can’t stand any of the music he listens to. Last year I surprised him with tickets to go see Metallica and every time I re-tell the story I feel another bit of my soul actually die. It was the worst concert event I’ve ever been to, just as John can say wholeheartedly that spending two and a half hours listening to Keith Urban was a prison sentence. Personally, I fail to see the hatred for country music song sung by a man whose Australian! It’s an argument for another day.
A few weeks ago, John and I were on the couch with another round of Office re-runs that we basically pay $10 a month to own playing in the background, when we started talking about Radiohead. He turned on a few songs and had me listen to them like “Everything in it’s Right Place” which I surprisingly enjoyed. The thing about John and his music taste is that he likes so many different bands, most of which are metal bands, that it’s hard for me to keep track of who is his favorite. The man’s got a lot of favorite bands, let me tell you.
“I think Radiohead is my favorite band,” he said which actually surprised me because I’d never heard of that before. John is the kind of person who has favorite bands for certain things. Metallica, for example, is a band he’s always wanted to see because they’re the reason he picked up the guitar. John’s an absolutely gifted guitarist who actually started his own YouTube channel a few months back. He’s been taking a hiatus, but you can check it out here.
The very next day, as I was getting in my car to go back to work after my lunch break, I heard that Radiohead had a concert coming up in the next week. I couldn’t believe the timing of it, so I went on to Vivid Seats, ordered the tickets and planned to surprise him the day of the event. If there’s a flaw about me (and let’s face it, there aren’t many!) it’s my ability to keep a secret. I remember every Christmas my mom and I would get so excited about what we’d buy for each other and then a month before exchanging, she’d be like, “Do you want to know one of your gifts?” By the time Christmas morning actually rolled around, we ended up feigning surprise over half the presents under the tree.
I held out for six days, pretending that John would be leaving work early on Tuesday so the two of us could have a much-needed date night. Poor guy, he was so excited for dinner and a movie. Earlier in the day, I had asked him if we could swing by the mall. When he came home, he asked me, “What do you need to get at the mall?” Like Cady Herron and her word vomit, I couldn’t contain my secret anymore. “I need a Radiohead shirt,” I said nonchalantly. John’s eyes twinkled and he began to smile as he stammered, “Wh-aa-aat-tt?”
“Yeah, we’re going to Radiohead tomorrow night!”
We went to the mall only to discover that both Hot Topic and Spencer’s ironically don’t sell Radiohead shirts. You’d think they would, wouldn’t you?
When we got to the concert, I was donning a Monsters University baseball cap to hide my greasy hair. The show began and immediately, I realized that I was in for a long night. I had hoped they’d play ‘Creep’ or at the very least the song John just showed me, “Everything in its Right Place” but to no avail. Two hours later, I hadn’t known a single song and spent more time sipping my Malibu Baybreeze I scored from the bar. In the midst of the show, though, as I’m internally screaming, I look toward John whose sitting to the right of me and he has the biggest smile plastered between his cheeks. His smile was literally radiant!
I smiled, slunk back in my chair happy that he was experiencing this.
When you’re in a relationship, sacrifices will be made, but these don’t always have to be substantial. I know so many couples who, after years and years of being together, choose to go to concerts with friends or alone because it’s not their significant other’s interest. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a show with a girlfriend.
What I love about John and I’s relationship is the partnership we share and the ability to do something as simple as enjoying a concert with the other person. Music speaks so loudly to a person’s soul. Music is what gets them from Point A and transcends them to Point B. Songs play a vital part in our lives, whether they’ve helped cement us into the adults we’ve become, helped us grieve, or inspired us to pursue our dreams, music is the most intimate way you can get to know someone.
If you’re looking for a way to get to know your partner better, take them to a concert. Watch as their eyes light up and their feet tap to the rhythm. Watch their movements – how swift they navigate through the crowds. Watch them fold into the show, lose themselves to the music as they float worlds apart from the seat beside you.
Sharing a concert with the one you love is the best date night idea, and it’s one that allows you to get closer to your partner and express a new dynamic between you. When you’re at a concert, your inhibitions run wild. You’re a world away from bills, and work, and even kids (if you have them). I’m fortunate to have been able to share a Radiohead concert with John, even if I hate their music. The memory of his smile permeates every song.