Skip to content

I Went to a Nine Inch Nails Concert Totally Sober!

I love Nine Inch Nails! They are most definitely, my ultimate favorite band! So of course, as soon as I heard that they were coming in concert along with the also great Soundgarden, and… to an outdoor venue nearby, it didn’t take me but a split second to text a few sober friends and buy the tickets! Woot woot!


Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA

This was not my first sober concert, nor my first NIN concert, nevertheless I was struggling with a mixture of odd feelings, all about going to an industrial rock show without any mind altering substances in my system! If you would have told me back in 95′, that I was going to see NIN, 20 years later, and stone cold sober, I would have said – only when hell freezes over!!!!

But… here I am twenty years later, and my awesome sober friend and I are going to the NIN concert! It is so important for me to go to concerts with sober people! There is just so much “stuff” usually going around, it’s good to have support! Of course, I tried not to project, and get my head all wrapped up in what ifs and such, but as usual, I was worried about the rowdy crowd and the chaos, and all the drinking and such – how come I never worried about these things when I was drinking? Oh yeah, because I was part of the rowdy crowd! LOL!

And of course I was worried about me, standing out like a big… no… Gigantic sober thumb! I actually came up with this great idea that instead of wearing my favorite hot pink, I would wear all black so I could blend into the crowd perfectly! I also decided that I would buy a large fountain soda, so that would look like I was hiding my booze in it, kind of like I used to do when I was actually drinking! Ha! Isn’t that funny, I still work so hard on looking like I am drinking! Oh – why? NO ONE cares! LOL!


Trent Reznor

I was really nervous and excited on the way to the show! We were running late, because we had to get the logistics with the kids squared away, and then pick up my friend, and oh, I didn’t have the time to change into all black either! Oh hell! Whatever. Like someone will notice that I am not wearing black. Really Maggie, people have better things to do than worry about what you are wearing! Sheesh! All this craziness in my head, when all that actually mattered was that I was sober and had a good time!

As soon as we got there, we went to the food and beer stand to get some na-drinks, and I noticed a sign – Tall Can Domestics: $13. OMG! $13!!? I could have bought I whole box of wine for that much! I quickly started calculating how many cans of that beer I would need to get me going, and then sustaining, but of course I would have already had a few at the parking lot, and I just probably needed a few more, maybe three? OMG, 3 cans of beer would be $40! Sheesh! I am sure glad that I am not drinking anymore!!

Then the flashbacks came rolling in… I went to many concerts when I was drinking, it just seemed like the perfect place and the perfect reason for getting wasted! I always drank before the concerts, with the expectations that I would start with a good buzz and not have to drink much more at the concert. Of course all this just so I would not possibly look like I had a drinking problem – although it was really hard to look like you had a drinking problem at a concert! LOL! Nevertheless, my great plan often failed, and I drank way more than I intended! In fact, I rarely was able to actually drink just a few; once I got started there was no pacing myself, and no off switch!

So there were many drunken nights at concerts, and I often got lost and ended up wandering around. Sometimes I would spend hours trying not to vomit or actually vomiting. Sometimes I would need help walking, sometimes I would pass out, and sometimes my so-called friends would just leave me there. Yep, that happened. Then the next day of course, I would not remember anything, and had to listen to the stories, only hoping that I was not a part of them. All that seems so crazy now, but I remember that I thought that this all was truly an awesome time!


Well, whatever inkling I even remotely had, in my great spiraling imagination, that maybe, just maybe… it would be nice to get drunk, was quickly squashed after that wonderful memory bubble! I used to hate all those damn memories! They used to keep me in bondage of shame, unable to sleep at night and then just drink over. Today, those exact memories keep me sober!

SO… The concert was awesome! I danced my butt off, and banged my head, and sang, and yelled and screamed! There was also lots of fist pumping and laughing! And selfies and post on FB! And guess what? I didn’t get lost, and I didn’t puke and I didn’t pass out! Instead I remember the entire concert, and I was not struggling to piece it together the next day! We had a blast!

BTW, if you did not know, Trent Reznor, the front man of NIN, is also in recovery! How freaking cool is that! Wow! NIN had once been my favorite music to get wasted to, and is now my favorite music to be sober with! AWESOME! You can reading more on Trent and how sobriety has changed his life HERE.

Have you been to a concert sober? What was your experience like? Please share!

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at

You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.



  1. I have going to a concert sober set as my one year gift to myself for staying sober (when I get there 10 3/4 months from now, because like you, I realized my drunk concert experiences that I used to say were “super fun” really weren’t. I also refer to myself as having a switch not a dial when it comes to alcohol.
    Congrats on your first sober concert. May there be many more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a great one year gift! Woot woot! Sober concerts can be a bit intimidating at first, but in the end they all ended up way more fun for me. I hope you have a great time and do a post on it too, would love to hear all about it 🙂

      And I definitely have a switch too, only on and off, and actually it was mostly on and overflowing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally relate! I just went to Red Rocks for my first sober concert. It was surreal.. Red Rocks is like an all day event. You take party bus and start drinking on the way down, you party in the parking lot to pre-game before the show, once your in you spend who knows how much money on booze and whatever else you’d like to partake in. People were drinking, and smoking pot all around me. There was a point in the night when I looked around and EVERYONE seemed to have this total spaced out look on their face. I thought about myself and all of the times I had been there before. Right along with them, spaced out, not really enjoying the music, but more so the scene. I honestly hardly remember some of my favorite bands or artists because I was so messed up by the time their act came on. When the main performer took the stage I stood up and danced for the entire set. I looked around at the sea of people, in one of the most beautiful venues in the world, and thought “Wow, I get to do this and remember this for the rest of my life.” How lucky are we?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very lucky! Woot woot! I am glad you had a good time too! It really is amazing how much we missed out on while drunk, I am sure I used to be one of those spaced out people! I am so grateful to be sober and be able to do all these things again… and sober, such a difference! Thanks for your awesome comment! Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Thanks Josie! yeah I think that was the coolest little bit of info I got that day! It actually felt really amazing knowing that he was up there performing all sober. WOW! Very cool indeed! Hope you’re doing well, I need to sneak on over to your blog and see what you’re up to 🙂


  3. ahhhhhhhhh thank you for posting this! i am new to the sober community though not new to sobriety. NIN are also my fave and i went to a couple of their concerts earlier this year. i usually struggle a lot with crowds and being sober but concerts, well, a good concert i am able to totally lose myself in the music and it is just the greatest experience ever. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It’s a but to get used to, huh? Especially when I am assuming that everyone is totally wasted except for me! Lol! Actually that might be true… he he. But then how would they know anyway.

      But I have to agree, once I lose myself in the music, it just doesn’t matter!

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. Keep in touch! Hugs.


Share your Sober Courage here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: