A lot has changed over the past few decades, but one thing has definitely not — the love we have for our favorite artists. Fandom is a concept as old as time (as old as sports and music, at least). Over time, fans may have looked different — tucked in shirts and mullets have given way to phone charger-carrying fanny packs and memes on graphic tees. With the internet and social media, it's easier for us to organize and connect with fellow fans, so we can come out in droves at a moment's notice to support our faves.
During any concert, the focus has most often been on those doing the performing, and the camera is seldom turned in the direction of the fans. Yet their passion and enthusiasm, when it comes to music and concerts, is truly half of the equation.
Many bands would hope to sell millions of albums, but their dreams are more-so filled with packed stadiums and the roar of thousands. The volume of screams, shouts, and claps are truly the barometer for success, and have been throughout history — from Beatlemania to the Beyhive. Science will tell you that we have our biology to thank for wanting to scream, cry or faint when we get excited. In the end, it's all about our urge to let artists know that we care, and we're there for them. Luckily, people have captured this magical feeling and kept it frozen in time.
Ahead, we dug through the archives and found snapshots in time of fandom through the decades, from the 1940s to today.
Every Friday this summer, Refinery29 explores at the passionate, rollicking world of fandom. We’ll take a look at how we organize, create, debate and show our passion for the things we love — the good, the bad, and the loud.