Both indoor and outdoor concerts offer their ups and downs, but at the end of the day, music is music – if the sound sucks, that's just something we, unfortunately, have to deal with that day. Let's take a more in-depth look at this debacle and talk about a few items to keep in mind when attending a show, whether indoor or outdoor
If it is warm or cold, being indoors helps resolve the issue of rain, snow, sleet, wind, etc. Now, can the climate inside be an issue? Of course, it can! Overall, snow, rain, sleet, wind, and heat aren't factors – and an indoor venue saves you here.
Depending on the structure of the building, acoustics can flat out suck, or possibly heighten the experience exponentially. Think about some artists you've had a chance to catch in both settings, which one was more memorable or flat out better for you? Having a hard time deciding? Well, let's take this a step deeper, think about the band's responsiveness to the audience – was it heightened outside or inside? Did the indoor bass overpower your abilities to hear the group?
Outdoor venues tend to hold more people, but not in all cases (i.e., arena tours). This particular aspect favors the indoor show, especially for the smaller concert halls and nightclubs. For Chicagoans, think about Schuba's, Empty Bottle, Lincoln Hall, Primary, The Metro, Smart Bar, SpyBar, etc.
Bands all have different fans; we know that. The Greta Van Fleets of the world can range from those in their mid-teens to the Gen X'ers or Baby Boomers who knew Led Zeppelin in their hay-day. Contrast that to Outkast and their following; this is probably more of those in their 20's to early or mid 30's – it comes down to when they had radio presence. What does any of this mean? If I'm going to see a Fleetwood Mac show, I'm going to lean towards a hopeful outdoor show, yet, that's not the case for us as they will play the United Center in September (hey, beggars cannot be choosers here).
Access to Concessions, Drinks, Bathrooms, etc.
I save this one for last as it is probably the most important. A small venue like Schuba's in Lakeview has one bathroom for men and women. Now, that means a long wait line for the bathroom…well, not necessarily. The venue has limited capacity, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue. The Allstate Arena or United Center have tons of bathrooms and concessions, but lines tend to drag – depending on when you need to make a run. That's because the venue holds THAT MANY more people. So, make sure to keep this valuable tip in mind when attending a show.
Are all of these the right things to focus on when deciding to attend a concert? I'd say not. In my experience, they seem to matter the most, and at the end of the day, everyone can use a little advice when considering the commitment of a concert, buying tickets and enjoying those lovely fees associated with the costs! Rock on folks.
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