I have been going to gigs on my own ever since I became a music fan. True, sometimes it is nice to have someone to talk to between sets, and sure time goes by faster, but really is it that good to go to gigs with your friends? I have been going to gigs on my own, especially since I moved to England because as a music fan in France, bands only play in Paris and almost never outside so I missed out on a lot. Thankfully when I moved to Bristol six years ago, I realised how great the city was if you are a music fan. You can catch a gig to London and take the bus back at midnight (as long as the venue is a half an hour radius from the station) and Cardiff as coaches take you back to Bristol at midnight and 1 am, so for me , living there is awesome as I don't miss the bands I love (well as long as I can get tickets).
None of my friends are really into the same bands as I am, but that never stopped me from getting tickets to see them. I would rather go see a band by myself and enjoy myself rather than missing an opportunity to see a band I love just because no one wanted to go with me. I always get anxious when I go see bands by myself because when I am in the queue, or in the crowd, I feel like everyone is pointing at me saying "oh my god he is alone and doesn't have any friends" but this is JUST in your head.
Honestly I find going to see gigs by myself to be such a moment of freedom. I look around and I see people who are all into the same music as me, and here for the same reason; to see the band we all love.
When I go to gigs by myself, I can actually go in the venue whenever I want. I don't have to look for my friends, text back and forth asking where are they and when are we supposed to meet, etc. I can show up whenever I want, 2/3 PM if I want to get front row 5 if It's a band who I am not THAT into or when I feel like I will enjoy it more from the pit or bar and it's a small venue. If I show up early, all I have to do is make sure my phone is charged for music/internet, download a few TV shows from Netflix and I am good to go. Hell I can even have a chat if the people next to me seem friendly enough. And normally everyone is, if you say you are by yourself and explain why, you won't get pity. Instead you will get respect from them because you did the one thing they wouldn't ever do and they won't even mind hanging out with you a little bit if you feel a little lonely, and that is okay.
Not only that, but I find that on the rare occasions where I go to a gig with friends, everyone wants to do something different. They want to go have drink, go into the venue last minute (when you always had that plan in your head to go early to catch your favorite spot in the venue) and I find it so irritating when your friend tries to talk to you when you are so into the music or while they play your favorite song, or even worse, drag you into the bar or toilet when your favorite song - the one you have been waiting to hear live ever since the show was announced- is about to come on because if you say "no, thanks" you will just offend your friend. No, thank you.
The coolest thing about being by yourself at a gig is like I said you can go wherever you want. You can try to fight your way into the front row, have a seat in the balcony, go into the pit, without having to ask anyone if that is okay with them. When I go see a band that I love by myself, I can be truly myself and happy and I don't even care anymore that I am on my own and no one here knows me. I can just spend my time daydreaming, getting lost in my thoughts while listening to music. Fuck everyone else. During the show, I can be so into it I can scream the song lyrics, jump, or share a tear if my personal song comes on by surprise. No one will be there to judge me or remind me the next day how weird I was that night.
And anyway the thing I hate about going to see bands with friends, is that everyone will have something to complain about after. "I didn't like what they were wearing," "I hate that they played that song" (and suddenly feel bad because you personally loved that they played it), or disagreeing on the setlist choice, etc. If I go by myself I am normally always happy with whatever they played, and I am just so in my head feeling at the top of the world after the show that I don't even want to talk, I just want to replay what just happened in my head over and over again. Hell, maybe I will even try to catch a band member outside without having to ask if that's okay.
Everyone is always cool with taking a pic with your phone if you have a chance to meet a member anyway and you can always meet new friends here if you are lucky. People who actually like your music tastes and won't mind meeting up at the next show.
So there it is. Is it better to go to shows with your friends? No. Going solo is better. MUCH better.