Traveling for concerts is the dream. But sometimes you don’t have the time or money to spend on plane tickets and hotels and, frankly, on feeding yourself. Especially when you’re a college student. But there are ways to start.
I’ve been listening to Hoodie Allen for years now. Every year when he pulls through with those tour dates, I don’t hesitate to buy myself a ticket to the New York City date, which was previously a two-hour drive from my house but is now currently my home. However, in 2017, I had such an overwhelmingly good time at his concert and had absolutely no idea what to do with myself afterward. The thought of waiting another year to experience that again was excruciating. So I promised myself that I would travel for his next tour. Yet, when the 2018 Hanging With Hoodie Tour was announced, none of the dates besides NYC seemed to work for me. The weekend shows were too far and the closer showers weren’t on the weekend. So I settled for New York and was done with it. I clearly hadn’t factored college into the equation when I made that promise to myself a year prior.
However, just a few weeks before Hanging With Hoodie 2018 Tour actually started, I found myself reminiscing on 2017’s The Hype Tour. I had never seen Hoodie without my friend Carly before. Going to school in New York meant being hours away from where she chose to go to school, outside of Boston. We tried to compromise but with the NYC date of tour landing on a Monday, she would have never made it back in time for her classes on Tuesday and the first Boston date Hoodie announced was on a Sunday night, leaving me in the same position. After some impulse researching, I found that it had somehow gone right over my head that Hoodie announced a second day in Boston, scheduled for the Saturday before. So, what exactly was stopping me from going to that?
Sure, I had no car and a limited budget, but I could make it work, right? I bought my ticket to the show without thinking any further and before beginning to panic. Amtrak tickets from NYC to Boston were $200 each way. There was no way I could afford that. I screamed into the void of Twitter searching for alternatives and luckily, I actually got a reply. Megabus had student discount tickets and they were already quite cheap to begin with. I got round trip tickets for just $20. I was still warned not to take the bus by many people because of how long and uncertain those rides could be, but I was determined. This was what I had decided on and I was going to go through with it. There was still the question of where the hell I was going to stay that night. Trains to my friend's campus were very limited and had a very strict schedule. But what mattered the most was that I’d be seeing Hoodie in a place I had never been before; the rest I could figure out. And I did.
This series of “I Bought Tickets To This Show Not Knowing How I’m Going To Get There” may seem like it’s just about a bunch of music maniacs making impulsive ticket-buying decisions and launching themselves into the unknown, but it’s also about taking that leap of faith for once. About a week before my trip to Boston, my roommate in New York (who just so happens to be from Boston) offered up her bedroom for me to crash in for the night, regardless of the fact that we had only known each other for a few months. And that’s how I found myself in the ethereal city of Boston with a warm welcome from her parents; who had gone above and beyond to make me feel like I was at home even when I was so far from it. I hadn’t expected to fall in love with that city as hard as I did, but I truly felt like I was in a dream world as I was walking down the streets. Not to mention the fact that no matter how many times prior I had seen Hoodie Allen perform live, this time took the cake (no pun intended).
The crowd was rowdy and loud, matching the high energy of the rapper and his band. I had never even heard of the venue I was in before and I really had no idea the name of the street I was on, yet somehow everything just felt so familiar. I was so comfortable and felt completely in my element. Though I tried, my planning for this trip may not have been the best. But I accomplished what I had set out to do: I saw Hoodie in a city other than my own. Along the way, I fell in love with a brand new place and I know that when I go back to Boston, it’s going to feel like I left a part of my heart there only to reunite with it. I thought this little 24-hour trip of mine was going to be about throwing myself into unfamiliar territory. But in the end, it was a trip about home. I found home in Boston, in my new second family, and I found it in Hoodie. Home doesn’t have to be a stagnant place. Sometimes it can be that leap of faith, regardless of how many miles need to be traveled to reach your destination.
Hoodie Allen is embarking on phase one of his Whatever USA tour, starting this week! To get tickets (and maybe even have a transformative travel experience of your own), visit hoodieallen.com.