The Rock Show

James Prashant Fonseka
2 min readAug 20, 2022


The Rock Show by Blink-182 was my favorite song for quite some time in my preteen years. Listening to it on Spotify doesn’t quite give me the same thrill I had in my youth, but whenever I hear it on the radio or in a public place the excitement comes back in full force. While I mostly listen to electronic music today, rock was my favorite genre for a long time. Tonight I’m going to a real rock show and I couldn’t be more excited.

The headliner tonight is one of my favorite bands and I’m being intentionally coy about who they are because a friend arranged a once in lifetime experience to be with backstage with the band tonight. In advance of this experience, I’m feeling grateful and smiley. What makes it even better is that I was given the opportunity to take a few people with me. Having fortune and privilege is awesome but being able to share with others, especially those who might never otherwise have such experiences, is perhaps the most satisfaction one can feel. As such, I decided to put some effort into finding the biggest fans of this band that I knew.

I was optimizing for fandom over closeness, as long as it was someone I knew that had good energy. The first pick was easy — my brother. He grew up listening to me playing songs by tonight’s band on repeat, and my brother became an avid guitarist himself. I happen to know that my brother thinks this band’s lead guitarist is the best guitarist, ever. My brother was also amusingly the hardest person to convince to come as he needed to fly here, but he’s here now and I know it’ll be a night he’ll never forget. For others, there was a bit of vetting.

The question I asked was simple: are you a fan of X band? Most people responded somewhat tepidly, or said they knew the band and knew some songs but wouldn’t describe themselves as fans. That’s what I expected — almost everyone my age or few years older knows this band. But a few people, with no other context, responded with total and complete enthusiasm. One person, completely unprompted, sent me no fewer than four long iMessages about how much loved this band and how life-changing this band’s music had been for them. They were the first to receive an invitation for tonight.

The others, while not quite as affirmative, are clearly huge fans. One is a rockstar herself, making this about as starry-eyed a night as ever for me. I am excited for this rock show.