I got the title from some random ad in my subway station, but it’s kind of true. Music has been an integral part of my life from piano lessons—for about 8 years of my life—to singing in high school and college, to playing guitar and listening to music on my iPhone and computer just about 24/7. Programming, traveling, relaxing: music plays a part in nearly everything I do.

In all the ways I’ve interacted with music, one mode has affected me more than all the others: being at concerts. Back in middle school, I saw Tom Petty at Red Rocks, and I’ve been absolutely addicted ever since. Unfortunately, rather than satisfying that addiction, I’ve spent most of my time having withdrawals and flashbacks to the last great show. It’s not that the Denver area hasn’t historically attracted some big names—the Beatles even made a stop at Red Rocks on their 1964 world tour—and I certainly had a decent selection while I was in Boston. It’s just been all too easy for life and school to get in the way.

One of the great things about living in New York is that almost every artist I currently listen to has performed in the city during the time I’ve lived here (since June 2010). Add decent public transportation to an abundance of great concerts, and you get a recipe for awesome. Or spending a lot of money on concert tickets. Or both.

It’s true, concerts are loud (sometimes eardrum-splittingly so), crowded, messy and expensive. But there’s really nothing quite like hearing your favorite songs being played by their creators for you, and for me, there’s no expense too great to have that. This is one addiction I don’t plan on giving up for the rest of my life.

In case anyone is curious/cares, here is basically every major concert I’ve been to: