Attending concerts used to elicit great anticipation and a “can’t wait” vibe but sometimes too much of a good thing eventually wears you down.
I was not an avid concert goer until 12 years or so ago and about eight years ago I started reviewing them. But, for whatever reason, in the last couple of years, the joy to attend began a steady decline often with a faint hope for an email announcing the cancellation of said concert. I fully admit though, the ride home always produces a post-concert excitement and a strong sense of “so glad I went.”
So what happened?
I am sure many factors have come together but after attending so many concerts you begin tuning in to, well, annoyances. Things that raise your blood pressure, simply irritate or in some cases totally ruin the concert experience. You can probably experience at least one of the following ways that ruin a concert at any given show by any given band. So, read on and let me know of your experiences and what really annoys the heck out of you when attending a concert.
How To Ruin the Concert Experience for Others
Concerts are loud. But when fellow fans scream louder than what you hear on stage it tends to ruin the concert experience. Do you really need to scream at the top of your lungs in my ear? No, the love of your life on stage cannot hear you nor will they ever know you exist. Relax and enjoy the show, please.
To stand or not to stand, that is the question when attending a concert. Clearly some locations at the venue require you to stand. Ground floor seats? Stand. Lower level? Probably stand. Nose bleeds? What’s the point? Of course, if everyone stands then you have to stand especially if you want to see the stage. But when most people remain sitting and you feel the overwhelming need to stand while EVERYONE else around you prefers to sit, you ruin the concert experience. Relax, sit down and enjoy the show.
- Exit Stage Late
Sometimes fans aren’t the problem. It’s the band! Or the artist. Like Madonna. You heard about the crap she pulls? A couple of years ago Coldplay was a bit late but they made up for it. The Cult was waaay late a number of years ago. See, I remember. I sort of understand fashionably late but I have never understood why bands sometimes leave their fans waiting and waiting and waiting. Seriously, what the heck are they doing backstage? Get ready during the opening act and come on stage as soon as your roadies have everything pinned down.
- Beer Guzzlers
I prefer end seats. I also understand when, and if, you can grab end seats you represent the gateway to the outside world. I generally have no problem when people need a bathroom break or want to spend their hard earned money on excessively priced food and drink. But…
When the need to get beer after beer after beer takes over resulting in how many bathroom breaks? Enough already. Seriously with that much alcohol will you even remember the show?
- Bad Openers
I am sure Rush didn’t start the “Evening with” concept but when they eschewed the opening act during the Test for Echo tour they nearly defied all expectations. It was glorious and they never looked back. Ever since, I have felt that once bands have a certain number of years under their belt it’s time to dump the opening band.
But for those who still drag along the opener(s) (even worse when more than one band opens) please find a good one. Yes, I know (at least I think I do) sometimes the main act has no control over who accompanies them on the road but bad opening bands simply result in a complete waste of time.
- Talkative Singers
I am somewhat embarrassed to say I saw Nickelback a number of years ago. It could have been a good concert. They played well. When they played. But singer Chad Kroeger spent so much time talking in between songs I think (memory gets foggy after so many years) I yelled out “Just play the songs!” or something similar. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day also wouldn’t shut up and ruined their night in Portland a few years ago even though I offered a favorable review.
Just shut up and play the guitar!
- Guitarists that Play and Play and Play
And sometimes the band needs to stop the song and move on. Have fun, it’s a live show, display your talents, but unless you back it up with substance then leave the extra notes on the cutting room floor and play what you know and what we know. I don’t care for jam bands and when non jam bands decide to become a jam band it becomes a drag on the evening and makes me want to leave.
- Bad Main Act
This should rank as #1 because a fantastic concert often overcomes all of these annoyances together. But when the band you have paid good money to see simply sucks, you feel ripped off in more ways than one. (Actually one reason I started reviewing shows!). In fairness, I have rarely attended a truly bad concert. Off the top of my head, Adam Ant, Everclear and the first time I saw Coldplay come to mind. I was disappointed and Coldplay escaped my revenge (before Drew’s Reviews started) but the other two got their due.
People in general. Can suck. Crowds suck. Pushy people suck. Those who don’t understand the concept of personal space. They suck too. Bad fans completely ruin the concert experience no matter how well the main act performs.
Even when I was younger, when it was cool to stay out late, I didn’t want to stay out that late. And, the older I get the more I just want the band to get on with the show, forget the opening act, start on time, blitz through the songs and get me home before 11. Seriously wouldn’t it be nice to see a Saturday afternoon concert?
Ok, probably not, but late start times that include an opening band then the main act taking their time getting on stage simply adds to the already big time suck of the usual fight against traffic to get there, wading through the crowds, then driving home. And if a weeknight, you want to get to bed at a reasonable hour so work the next day doesn’t remind you of why you began to hate going to concerts.
I don’t like being late to anything, especially concerts. Therefore I usually leave very early to account for traffic and any other issues that complicate the arrival time. Most often I enter the venue with lots of time to spare. Better early than late but waiting an hour or two for showtime takes its toll.
The ideal concert therefore includes little traffic, arriving just a few minutes before the start, no opening act and the band delivering a fine performance of songs rather efficiently. Vince Neil of all people fit most of that bill last year in a free performance at Ilani Casino. Of course, deciding to attend at the last minute enabled us to arrive just a few minutes before he hit the stage but we also got stuck towards the back and eventually surrounded by a mob of people as the concert wore on.
Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.