Brain Expert Reveals Why You Forget Parts Of Your Favourite Concert

You're not alone in your momentary amnesia.
Taylor Swift is on tour right now – but fans are reporting a rather strange problem remembering the experience afterwards...
Kevin Mazur/TAS23 via Getty Images
Taylor Swift is on tour right now – but fans are reporting a rather strange problem remembering the experience afterwards...

Picture this: you’ve just gone to see your favourite performer, ever. And you know, in your heart of hearts, that it was the best night of your life. Of course it was – [insert famous star here] is iconic, amazing, an unbeatable artist, with the most jaw-dropping songs.

The only problem? You can’t remember it.

But it’s OK, don’t panic.

It turns out, this is actually a pretty common phenomenon for anyone when you go to an event you’re really, really excited about – hence all the Reddit threads about people forgetting they ever even saw Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.

Ewan McNay, associate professor in the psychology department at the State University of New York in Albany, told TIME magazine: “This is not a concert-specific phenomenon – it can happen any time you’re in a highly emotional state.”

He said this is because when you’re “excited”, your stress levels rise, so the neurones in your brain associated with memory start to fire indiscriminately.

This makes it “really hard” to form new memories, according to the specialist.

And before you start fretting about how you ever remember anything at all considering your constant stress levels, when your brain commits something worthy to memory, some excitement does help.

Your body stars producing more glucose, to fuel memory and your body as a whole, while all your internal organs start ramping up.

The emotional part of your mind (the amygdala) then releases norepinephrine which helps to identify memories as having high emotional content, meaning they stay vivid in your brain.

There’s a fine balance to be struck here, though – if you have too much of this chemical (or too much caffeine or booze) you could hamper the process altogether, hence the “concert amnesia” so many people are experiencing.

So if you can’t remember something, don’t beat yourself up. Think of it as just truly living in the moment!

But, if you don’t fancy only remembering something because you have photos on your phone in the future, there is something you could try.

McNay suggested standing in a relaxed position at a concert stops your brain from getting too overexcited, and helps to form new memories.

Sadly, that means being “semi-meditative”, rather than screaming or shouting. Well, at least that way you’d save your voice and your memory.