Imagine dedicating almost a quarter of your year to listening to some of your favourite live music.
Sounds too good to be true?
It certainly wasn’t for one Monroe Township, New Jersey, man.
Having attended 86 concerts in 2022, Joshua Beck now holds the record title for the most concerts attended in one year.
Joshua said he started attending concerts when he was young.
“I grew to love the atmosphere of the shows and the common purpose that brought everyone together - to enjoy the music,” he said.
“Listening to music has always been one of my favourite hobbies.”
Joshua didn’t originally intend to break a world record when he began attending concerts at the start of 2022.
“My mindset is that I never know if I’ll have another chance to see that band perform live again - life is unpredictable,” he said.
“So, I choose to live in the moment and have experiences that bring me joy.”
By the beginning of August, Joshua had already seen over 30 concerts.
He began wondering what the world record was for the most concerts seen in a year and navigated to the Guinness World Records website to look it up.
Joshua realized he could beat the 65 concerts seen by the record holder and began planning out how he could compete.
“In the next five months, I saw a whopping 56 shows,” he said.
“I didn’t do it for fame or recognition, but just to prove to myself that I could accomplish this goal and to have fun while doing it!”
Although his taste in music originally reflected that of his parents, Joshua says it diversified over time into just about every genre, including metal, rock, reggae, and hip-hop.
Some of the concerts Joshua attended throughout the year were Tool, Rammstein, Ry X, Dying Wish two times, and The Ocean on three separate occasions.
“While I saw some fantastic shows, Rammstein is probably the show that stood out the most to me. Rammstein had a piano duet, Duo Abélard, open for them,” said Joshua.
“As unusual as that was to have pianists open for a famously gothic metal band including industrial noise, grinding guitars, and operatic vocals, they set the tone for the night playing recognizable Rammstein covers.”
Even though Joshua didn’t quite keep track of his spending, he estimates that he spent about $5,000 (£3,964.90) on concert tickets and an additional $1,500 (£1,189.47) in gas, tolls, food, and beverages.
Before each concert, Joshua makes sure he has a pair of hi-fi earplugs, which he says have saved him on numerous occasions.
Not only do they lower the volume of the potentially damaging music, but they also balance it out in cases where the highs or the bass are coming in too strongly.
He also makes sure to have gas in his car beforehand, an outfit picked out, and his tickets on hand.
“Most are digital tickets nowadays but sometimes they are printed, and you DO NOT want to drive an hour just to realize you forgot the ticket at home,” said Joshua.
Additionally, he has a full meal before attending a show, as food at the venues can be pricey.
Joshua has made it a habit to arrive to his concerts early.
“That gives me time to scope out the venue (if it’s my first time there), grab a drink, and get to a good spot for viewing the concert if it's general admission or to find where my seat is,” he said.
“While I’m there, I make sure to capture at least one full song on my phone using 4K 60 FPS video where I will later upload it to my YouTube channel. These videos serve as something to remember the concert by years later.”
Joshua also finds it helpful to keep track of the shows attended on Concert Archives as well as on an Excel spreadsheet.
“The Excel file holds all of the concerts I’ve been to, going back to when I was 12 years old,” he said.
“By the end of this year, I’ll have seen 800 lifetime bands and 260 lifetime concerts.”
Joshua says the best part about attending concerts is returning to things that nurture the spirit.
“For me, concerts are the best place to do so,” he said.
“Live music feeds the soul in ways nothing else can. It’s a chance to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.”
Because he feels that most people would find the amount of concerts he attends to be excessive, Joshua says he goes to most of them alone, but did attend about 15 with his fiancée and a handful with some friends.
“I do find it enjoyable to go to concerts with others,” said Joshua.
“Sharing that experience can be very special, however, I have no problem going to them alone and find it just as enjoyable.”
Joshua is proud to hold a record title and loves sharing it with the children at the outpatient mental health facility where he works.
“When I tell them about the record, particularly the younger ones, they get very excited,” he said.
“Often they will tell me that they have some GWR books at home and love to look through them and that they hope to see me in the next one!”
Joshua’s friends and family are also proud of his achievement and couldn’t believe he earned a record title.
“My fiancée was really happy when I won,” he said.
“She said there were a couple of points where she would have given up, so seeing me so steadfast made her think ‘wow, if he could put up with this, he can put up with me.’”
Joshua is now planning his next vacation to Boulder, Colorado, where he will see Rainbow Kitten Surprise with his fiancée this summer.
He will also have the opportunity to watch legendary artists including Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode, and The Temptations, to name a few.
“It felt like I achieved something that most people will never get the chance to, which was a really good feeling,” said Joshua.
“I didn’t think I would have sufficient evidence for the record since I started it halfway through the year. It turned out to be enough though!”
Joshua also has his eyes set on another record: the most concerts of the same artist attended in one year.
“This would take considerably more money and time to complete and would require travel all over the US and probably Europe, as well,” he said.
“This one seems like a really cool feat because it combines my two favourite things: traveling and music! I hope to see the world one day, and attempting this record would be a great way to do it.”
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