You’ve paid hundreds of dollars for tickets and braved pouring rain to see your favorite artist perform on an unforgettable night.
But after three hours and 40-plus songs, you get home and realize you don’t remember anything.
It seems almost unbelievable, but many Taylor Swift fans claim to suffer from “post-show amnesia.”
Psychologists say that emotions and timing may be behind this phenomenon.
From out-of-body experiences to entering dream states, Swift fans — or Swifties, as they prefer to be known — have taken to social media in recent days to reveal their guilt over failing to remember the era’s key moments.
Amnesia can be a very serious symptom, which refers to the loss of memories, experiences, and information.
But Michelle Phillips, senior lecturer in music psychology at the Royal Northern College of Music, says the idea of post-concert amnesia isn’t as scary as it sounds.
It is rare for fans to have no memory of attending a concert at all.
“In fact, it’s likely to be one of the things they remember for the rest of their lives,” says Dr. Philips.
“They simply encode some aspects of the event into memory and not others.”
So whether you focus more on dancing to your favorite artist or just enjoying being at a concert with your loved ones, people pay attention to what’s important to them – and they cherish the memories of those things over the music.
The old saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is an easy way to think about the idea of amnesia after a show.
According to the doctor. Phillips, when fans are excited and so immersed in a moment, they may feel as though “time has suddenly flown by” and are not able to properly process what they have seen, heard and felt.
Gone are the days when musicians used to perform on an empty stage with only their microphone and an instrument.
These days, fans are treated to mind-blowing spectacles with strobe lights, big props and more costume changes than you can keep track of – so it’s no surprise that after processing so much you can’t remember much of what you experienced.
Anushka Shree watches Suga from Korean K-pop BTS perform in Los Angeles on May 11.
She says that most of the shows she attends have “elements of surprise all the time”, as well as intense lighting activities and fireworks, which she believes “cause memory loss”.
Anoushka feels she can tell friends about “a moment or two” of the concert, but cannot remember the entire set because “it’s just a blur”.
Helen Pryor, a senior lecturer at the University of Hull, is interested in seeing whether some of the forgotten memories and feelings that Taylor Swift fans can recall when they listen to her songs later.
Whether it is listening to your first wedding song or playing your breakup anthem over and over again, music is an art that has the power to bring you back to a certain time in your life.
So, for Swifties worried they’ve forgotten parts of the show, listening to the set list again might bring back all those memories.