New Jersey Man Sets Guinness World Record For Most

Do you ever read something that makes you feel… different? A news post published on the Guinness Worlds Records website this week profiles Joshua Beck, the New Jersey man who set the world record for “most concerts attended in one year” by going to 86 shows in 2022. The profile breaks down Beck’s concert-going regimen with an air of “can you believe it?” shock and awe, but to us here at Live For Live Music—and, we’d bet, to a large portion of our readers—that record-breaking total sounds… well, pretty normal. I guess we’re the weird ones?

According to the Guinness article, “Joshua didn’t originally intend to break a world record when he began attending concerts at the start of 2022. … 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, he blew past the recorded record by attending 56 more shows to bring his 2022 total up to 86. Tool, Rammstein, Ry X, Dying Wish (twice), and The Ocean (three times) are among the artists whose concerts Beck attended.

Beck outlines a few of his concert-going tips in the piece, from eating a full meal before the show (to avoid expensive venue food) to getting there early (to scope out the venue and find a spot to stand) to buying yourself a good pair of ear plugs (protect your hearing, folks, that’s no joke). That’s all good advice, sure, but it definitely sounds more like the kind of intel you’d pick up on your first Shakedown Street than the sage advice of a World Record-holder.

Even his cautionary tales are enough to put a puzzled smile on the face of a seasoned traveling fan, like when he warns readers to make sure they don’t leave their tickets at home because “you DO NOT want to drive an hour just to realize you forgot the ticket at home.” Drive an hour? That’s basically a local show.

He even mentions the positive reactions he has received from the people in his life about his record-breaking concert streak. He explains that his World Record story is a big hit with the young patients at the outpatient mental health facility at which he works, and adds that his fiancée “was really happy when I won” the record—a pretty favorable attitude considering certain fanbases’ noted penchant for breeding spousal resentment with their concert habits [See: Confessions of a Phish Wife].

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If all of this sounds like an indictment of Joshua Beck or Guinness World Records, I assure you that it’s not. After all, it seems like Beck was in it for all the right reasons: “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,” he explains in the article. “For me, concerts are the best place to [nurture the spirit]. Live music feeds the soul in ways nothing else can. It’s a chance to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.” Preach, world champ!

And he is the “world champ,” at least by Guinness standards. He earned it fair and square. He surely spent plenty of time going through the rigors of officially applying and qualifying for the record, including filling out some forms and documenting his concert attendance (which he admits he only started doing partway through the year).

I mean, you could have gone to the record’s official listing on the Guinness directory, clicked “Apply Now,” filled out an application, and qualified for consideration yourself, but you didn’t. Not yet, anyway…

Per Beck, next up on his world record hit list is a bid for most concerts of the same artist attended in one year. That mark—60, set by a fan of Italian singer Laura Pausini on her 2009 world tour—admittedly sounds much more difficult to reach, but he has already exhibited the perseverance it takes to bring home a world title. Just watch your back, Josh—we’d bet there’s someone following Billy Strings on tour this year who could give you a run for your money.

Here’s to Joshua Beck for his admittedly noteworthy feat of fandom in 2022, here’s to all the real ones who were as tickled by his record-breaking annual concert total as we were, and here’s to the enterprising wook who applies for consideration and breaks it this year with virtually no change to their regular concert-going schedule. We salute you all.

[H/T Guinness World Records]

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