The Post-Pandemic Concert Experience

By Kailyn Lunn, Contributing Writer

I heard the opening chords to one of my favorite songs, and for the first time in two years, they didn’t come from a speaker in my bedroom.

The world has awaited live music’s comeback since the covid-19 pandemic started. On Sept. 28, I returned to the familiar feeling of standing in a venue, surrounded by like-minded fans.

The artists New Found Glory, Less Than Jake, Hot Mulligan, and LØLØ performed at The Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead Tour. The show was at Stage AE in Pittsburgh.

At first, I was overwhelmed. Four artists were performing, so I knew I would be exposed to an unfamiliar environment for a long time. I spent a lot of time reflecting on if I was ready for a normal life experience.

My anxiety faded when the show opener, LØLØ, took the stage. She played fan-favorites, “die without u” and “lonely & pathetic,” and her brand-new song, “u look stupid.”

Along with her own songs, she performed a cover of “Teenage Dirtbag,” which really got the crowd going. LØLØ’s stage presence and energy was infectious.

Photo Courtesy of Kailyn Lunn
Show opener, LØLØ

Hot Mulligan played right after LØLØ. As a longtime fan of Hot Mulligan, I was excited to finally see them live. They sang one of my favorite songs, “BCKYRD,” and releases from their most recent album, “you’ll be fine.”

The crowd’s energy doubled when Less Than Jake took the stage. They played beloved tracks from the 90s along with their newer songs.

During their set, I realized how incredible it was to finally be at a concert again. They sang “History Of A Boring Town,” and the audience was entirely immersed in the song and the experience. Attendees met new friends and laughed with old friends; upon entering the venue, we all became one community.

Photo Courtesy of Kailyn Lunn
Less Than Jake performing “History Of A Boring Town”

New Found Glory, the reason why most people were there, closed out the night.

After over 20 years of being a band, 10 studio albums, one live album, two EPs, and four cover albums, New Found Glory’s ethos has never wavered. They always strive to be the friend you always need and who always understands you.

I grew up listening to their music, and when I watched them perform, I knew a younger version of myself would be so proud.

New Found Glory had an energy filled set that the fans enjoyed. They played a variety of songs like “My Friends Over You,” “All Downhill From Here,” and more.

The opener, LØLØ, hopped on stage to help perform the song “Vicious Love.” I loved seeing a new artist get the opportunity to perform with a band that people have adored for many years.

Being back in that atmosphere evoked feelings that were nostalgic, but at the same time, alien.

Photo Courtesy of Kailyn Lunn
Fans during Less Than Jake’s set

I missed artists and fans being together in one space, bonding over music. I am so thankful that I was able to attend a concert again and can’t wait to go to more.

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