Some people might call it obsession. Others might call you crazy. But you know better. You know the exhilaration of seeing your favorite band play live. Some of the best memories many people have are from concerts. It is such an incredible thing to hear and see your favorite song being performed live on stage.
Whether you've worn out the CD from playing it on repeat too much, or you're just a casual listener, everyone can appreciate a good concert. Music is universal. It bridges gaps across cultures, ages and people from all walks of life. Concerts are also a great way to introduce people to new types of music.
Before you grab your tickets and head out, whether it is across state or across town, be sure to read these tips on how to make the most out of your next concert experience. These tips have worked for me in the past, and I just wanted to pass them on to all you fellow music-lovers out there.
- Get an early start. Before the day of the concert, figure out how long it will take you to get to the venue. Make sure whoever you are going to the concert with is aware of the plans. Will there be traffic? How is parking? Do you need to make any stops for food, fuel, etc.? Is there construction in the area? These are the sorts of things you might want to investigate before hitting the road. Also, make sure someone is bringing directions. The last thing you want to happen is to get lost and miss half of the concert!
- Getting around the rules. More often than not, you are going to be frisked before entering the venue. If you plan on taking pictures or recording the concert, it is a good idea to check out the camera and recording device policy. Most venues and bands, frown upon both, although you can usually get away with taking pictures over recording the show. Bands don't typically appreciate fans leaking out new songs before they are released, no matter how much the fans want copies of it. However, if you feel the need to sneak one of these devices in, here are some tips to help:
Location, location, location. One of the benefits from making sure you're giving yourself enough time to get to the venue is that you are making sure you are getting there early. If the show is general admission (which most concerts are), then the earlier you get there, the better chance you have at getting a good spot. I have been known to sit outside venues for up to 9 hours to ensure that I was first in line to get a front row seat. Every time I have done that, it was well worth the wait! This also depends on how big of a fan you are. I would only wait in line that long for a band I truly loved. Are you willing to wait it out for the best spot or are you okay with coming later and standing near the back? Keep these tips in mind:
- First off, when security is frisking you, they are only allowed to pat your sides down. Keep that in mind.
- If you are a girl, what better place to hide something than your bra? The front of your bra is the ideal place to hide a camera. Security guards aren't allowed to frisk you there, so getting away with it should be fairly easy. Men have never been so jealous! However, occasionally security will use hand-held metal detectors. In that case, it is almost impossible to sneak anything in.
- This method works well for both males and females, although it is a bit more inconvenient and more involved. Wear two pair of underwear, and place the device between the two undergarments. It sounds crazy, but it has worked.
- Sometimes you can even get away with placing the device in the top of your pants, near the small of your back.
Stand your guard. If you have decided that you want to be up close and personal with your favorite musicians, you will probably have to guard your spot if you want to keep it. If you have no problem giving it up, then go for it. Some people love mosh pits, and others would much rather stay away. Also, depending on the concert, there might not even be a mosh pit or crowd surfing. Once again, this all depends on the band, the venue and the type of concert experience you want to have. Typically, once the concert starts, the crowd will usually push together even more, so it is a good idea to spread out and give yourself plenty of room before the show starts.
Meet and greet. Who doesn't dream of meeting your favorite band? For many people, meeting the band is the ultimate fan dream. Well, I have two ways to make your dream become a reality.
- If you plan on taking good, quality pictures, you might want to try to get a spot closer to the stage.
- Although it's technically illegal, if you plan on "booting" aka recording a show, you might want to stick closer to the back. The back of a venue usually has the best sound quality because you don't get all the static that you would if you were up closer to the speakers. Also, being in the back will eliminate background noise from the screaming fans around you.
- Many venues also double as bars. If you are of age and plan on drinking, plan on being in a different location altogether. Usually bars are located off to the side or even on a second floor.
- Picking where you want to be during a concert also depends on what type of concert experience you want to have, and the band that you are seeing.
- After the concert is over, find out where the tour buses are. Usually they will be behind the venue somewhere. Head back there, or as close to the buses as you can get. Sooner or later, the band will need to come outside to get on the bus and head to their hotel or the next stop on the tour. Sometimes you might have to wait for an hour or so, but they will come out! This method has worked countless times for me and many others. You'd be surprised at how often bands will take the time to sign some autographs and take a few pictures with their faithful fans. One time in particular, a band stayed with the fans by the buses for well over an hour!
- If you don't mind missing some of the concert, many times the opening band will hang out around the venue or outside during the headlining band's act. The people at the concert are usually too preoccupied with the concert going on to notice. If you take some time to make friends with a member of the opening band, you will most likely be able to score some backstage passes, thus giving you an open door to hang out with the band. This is probably a gutsier move, but well worth it if you manage to pull it off.
These tips are tried and true, and have worked for me for almost every concert I have attended. Don't forget to do your homework on the venue for any other information that might be useful. Message boards or forums for the band are often the best place to find any additional information. Concerts vary from venue to venue, fan type to fan type, band to band. Concert experiences are what you make of them. Hopefully, by reading this, your next concert will be an even more enjoyable one. The most important tip I have is to remember to have fun and really let loose! Rock on!