What Bethany from Best Coast taught me

Last night I had the opportunity to see Best Coast play at Mr. Smalls Funhouse in Millvale, PA just outside of Pittsburgh.

The show was great, the atmosphere was enthusiastic, and almost everyone was dancing or throwing their arms in the air. A girl in a flower-patterned minidress crowd surfed, shortly followed by a guy in a backwards Best Coast baseball cap.

Midway through her set, Bethany took a drink of LaCroix (she bet her boyfriend $200 that she would be able to not drink alcohol for a week), grasped the microphone with both hands, and broke out into an honest smile. “You know, you guys are really cool.”

“Some of our shows we play, the crowd isn’t like this. It’s great to be back in Pittsburgh. We played here once before when we opened for Green Day, and we got booed. So,” she laughed, “Thanks for not booing.”

Bravery to come back to a venue where people booed you aside, Bethany taught me something important. No matter how good you are, you will get booed. Someone will not like your personality, your ideas, your art, or your approach — and they will try to tear you down. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there that will appreciate your particular brand of awesome.

Being open to constructive critique from someone who respects you and wants to see you improve is important. But, people who boo and insult are just jerks. At no point should you waste your time by listening to them or doubting yourself. Keep doing your thing.

It’s easy to hear jeering and decide that you should stop creating. I’m glad that isn’t what Bethany did.