One reporter’s rebound to post-pandemic concerts

Miley Cyrus brings concert-goers together for Summerfest in Milwaukee. 

Kaylee Brown

A couple of weeks ago  I had the privilege of seeing the iconic Miley Cyrus in concert. Which I am pretty sure changed the trajectory of my life’s purpose in a matter of two hours, but that is besides the point. 

I want to share with you my thoughts on the week leading up to the concert. Now to wall streeters, (Wall streeter: a person who is all about business and does not possess nor understand the gravity of fashion/creativity) this might seem dramatic. However to my fellow head-bangerz, high-fashion Twitter devotees and all things Bella Hadid fanatics; this is for you babe. 

My initial feeling was, of course, excitement, and then it hit me. What do I wear? This is not just some party you got invited to by a guy on the rugby team. This is a major event in a world where fashion, music, makeup and sexuality collide. I spent the next week pouring over my Pinterest page and Twitter looking for inspiration. I found myself in every aisle of Plato’s Closet; searching and hoping for an answer. Nothing. I had a creative block.

So the night before we were supposed to leave, I tore apart my closet. Simultaneously keeping in mind the aesthetic that needed to be matched. In my darkest hour, I whipped out my cell phone and called an angel. An angel named Michelle. I explained the situation and she flooded my head with all kinds of options. I finally settled on a sparkly pink skirt and went to her apartment to pick it up. On my way back, my bff and roommate Sydney suggested I wear a leather halter top I had completely forgotten about.

It all clicked. Slap some Doc Martens® on (per usual) and call it a day. 

In the seven-hour car ride the next morning, Sydney and I chatted away. But in the quiet moments I had a thought. Why did I put so much pressure on something that I normally wouldn’t have? Then I realized that this concert was the first major event I would be attending since the start of the pandemic. It was my chance to really do something fun with fashion outside of class and going out on the weekends. I reflected on how my style had changed over the past year and a half in the comfort of my own little bubble. Other than social media I hadn’t had the opportunity yet to share it in real life. I think subconsciously this was causing me so much stress. I felt like I had to prove myself somehow. I took a step back and had to remind myself I don’t owe anyone anything. I wish that lightbulb had ignited earlier but, oh well. 

After another mental episode which included me driving in the middle of downtown Milwaukee during rush hour, we arrived at Summerfest, which is the festival where little miss rockstar was going to perform. After some photo ops, we found our seats and waited. 

The woman of the hour stepped on stage wearing thigh-high black sparkly boots, a purple studded cut out dress with a low sheer skirt. When I tell you I had no words… I had no words. Seeing her in the flesh was insane and hearing her real voice sing the notes to her infamous songs was breathtaking.

Afterwards when the “glitter high” wore off, it got me thinking of all the people in that stadium and I recalled a dusty memory from my filing cabinet of a brain. Something about how generations today are more likely to spend their money on an experience rather than a product. I felt that it has got to be especially true after we’ve been cooped up for so long. So I did some research. 

An article in Forbes magazine –the wall streeters are excited now– explained that a whopping 74 percent of Americans are choosing to spend their money on things they can experience rather than possess. This rise to an experience economy means that various industries are shifting the way they sell their products— creating more of a participation aspect.But seriously, this observation rings true with my friends and I as well. I know we would be so much more willing to spend/save our money for something like a concert or travel. Studies show that it created longer lasting joy and created more memories. 

After all that is what life is all about, creating memories.