“I don’t know exactly how it started, but we kind of came up with this unspoken rule that if you’re going to a concert, on the drive there, you don’t listen to the band that you’re going to see.”
The informant self identified this practice as a superstition, yet also attributed to its creation for other reasons. One of those is not wanting to listen to it before, so that when you arrive at the concert, you haven’t just heard the same songs multiple times. With it comes the idea that you will not enjoy the concert as much if you are tired of the songs before going. Another reason is that some bands are not necessarily that great live, so by not listening to their recorded songs beforehand, you will enjoy the live performance more without comparing it to what might actually sound better.
While this is something he started doing with just his close friends, he knows that other people have similar superstitions. If he is with people who were not part of the original friend group that created it, he does not force them to turn off the radio or unplug the aux cord, but he does mention it to them. He has found that it makes sense to most people and he practices it every time he goes to a concert if he can, while spreading the practice to others.
The informant relayed this to me while in the passenger seat of his girlfriend’s car as she drove us all back up to Los Angeles. I have known the informant since he moved to Los Angeles.
While I have never done this myself, I find that it actually does make a lot of sense. It is a superstition to preserve the quality and heighten the experience of a concert. If not followed, there is a chance that nothing negative will happen. However, there is always the chance that something will and your experience that you paid for (often a lot of money) will become less enjoyable.