The Stages of Watching Your Favorite Band Become Famous

I've been here so many times. So, if you're currently watching an artist you've loved for years suddenly become a *huge* deal to everyone and anyone, just know I'm here for you. Seriously, it can be kind of hard to watch. This weekend, I watched one of my favorite bands LANY play the main stage at Coachella when I saw them in 2016 at a small theater in Denver. It just reminded me of the other times I've seen the bands I love grow to have this insane following. It happened with Maroon 5, the 1975 and so many more bands I adore and trust me, it isn't easy.To help you foresee the future- or relate to someone else who's been there- here are the stages of watching a band you love become famous. 

1) The pre-famous happiness

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When you love a band a lot, you are just so happy to be a fan that you don't even realize how small the band actually is. I know there are several bands that I have loved over the years that were such a huge deal to me personally, but I didn't even realize they were actually pretty small, with a fanbase of only several thousand. In the moment, it doesn't even matter how big they are because you care about them, but they're playing small venues, giving you the best intimate concert experience and maybe even staying after shows to meet you.This will all begin to change as they grow--don't you worry.

2) The slow realization that they're gaining traction

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Soon enough, you'll turn on the radio and hear the band's song. NBD, it's just on the radio once, it might not even get more play than that. Who knows. You go about your life as if it's no problem, excited for the band's accomplishment, of course.Then you see people tweeting about the band or posting their song on their Instagram story. Hm, interesting, the band is clearly starting to gain attention...but it's seriously nothing to worry about, right?

3) Suddenly, they're everywhere

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It seems like everywhere you turn, you see a tweet or a picture or someone is asking you if you've heard of this band that you've known about since they started. "Yeah, they're alright," you try to play it off like you're not low key sad they aren't a secret anymore as you push the thought from your mind that they're actually becoming relevant among other artists in the mainstream music world.

4) Denial

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Despite the overwhelming amount of love you see the band receiving, you tell yourself it will pass. It's totally temporary right? Like it's awesome the band is gaining support and living their dream, but also, what about the small venues? The affordable ticket prices? The ability to chat with fans after the shows? What will happen now? There's no way they'll leave these small parts of their original fandom behind, right? RIGHT?

5) Acceptance & Sadness & Anger

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It's finally clear that the band is getting larger and is no longer your little secret. Immediately, it's easy to get sad that you have to share and even feel angry when random people try to be all-knowing about a band that you're kind of a snob about. Yes, you have a problem with sharing whether you want to admit it or not, so you're just a ball of negative emotions at first. It's hard to realize you're no longer the only one to love them out of those around you, I get it. No judgment here because it's happened to me and it's really hard to accept at first.

6) Competition

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Because you have this pent up anger and sadness over sharing the band you love, you suddenly get extremely competitive with those who are newer fans. This is another place where you won't want to admit it, but you know you feel the need to prove you're a "real" fan who's been there longer, seen more shows and milestones and just knows more. It's kind of ridiculous, but you can't help it because you care about the band and just want them to be respected and loved in the way that you've been loving them since the start.

7) Acceptance & Happiness (With a little sadness)

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The timeline is different for everyone, but eventually, whether it's sooner or later, you'll find a way to accept the band's newfound fame and following with more happiness than anything else. You'll realize they're living the dream they worked so hard to pursue and you'll be able to channel their happiness into your own. Yes, you'll always be a little sad because it's not the same as it was before, nor will it ever be again, but you'll realize you have the memories to hold with you while you continue to make new ones. All in all, they're still making music you love, so that's enough to smile about, isn't it?