What Makes A Good Concert?
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What Makes A Good Concert?

Not that I’m an expert in any way, but what makes a concert good? Here’s what I think:

What Makes A Good Concert?

This is a response to Why You Should Start Caring About Your Local Music Scene.

I've been a concert-goer for most of my life. My first ever concert was One Direction with my older sister, but fortunately, I have been lucky to venture into many different genres, venues, and vibes of other artists and their live performances. I’ve seen some big names such as Ed Sheeran, but also some smaller bands such as Valley, some iconic venues such as Red Rocks in Colorado, and my most recent concert was the Taylor Swift Eras Tour. Not that I’m an expert in any way, but what makes a concert good? Here’s what I think:

1. Artist-Fan Connection

As fans of the artist we’re seeing perform live, it always makes us feel more connected to said artist when they talk more to the crowd, explain the song they’re singing, or tell a little story that explains how they wrote what they did. I love to see a little bit more of the artist than we typically can through just a song, such as their mannerisms or their sense of humor. I don’t need to get up close and personal with them, be front row, or know everything about them, but them showing a little bit more of who they are can help us as fans connect with them, and their music, even more.

2. Setlist

Now, this one is tricky. There’s no “perfect setlist” for each individual artist, as every fan has different songs that they love or wish to hear live. You can’t please everyone. A good place to start is understanding which songs the fans love the most that maybe are not played on the radio and aren’t hit singles. Yes, everyone will love hearing the Big Track performed live because that one is always fun and good. Then, the songs that seem a bit more undercover are next in line. Finally, I love to see the artist have so much fun on stage. So whatever song that they love to perform most, no matter what the fans initially think, should be the last segment of the setlist. People vibe with what other people REALLY vibe with. So if the artist really wants to play this one song because they connect with it and love it in a certain way, the fans most likely will end up feeling that energy through the performance, and love it just as much by the end of the show.

(Plus, performing seems like a tough job. I have so much respect for musicians and artists of all kind who go on tours. So please, play whatever makes your heart happy, because you make US so happy all the time!)

3. Change it up

I’m not sure other people feel a certain way about this, but this is kind of a bonus to me in a concert. I don’t think live performances of songs NEED to have this, but when they do, I definitely notice and love it. Have you ever been hearing a live performance and the artist changes just one note of a certain lyric, probably towards the end of the song? Or they sing it in a way that they don’t on the record? Or maybe they strum something completely differently but it still somehow goes with the song? I LOVE this. To me, this is why live performances exist. To show the artist’s creativity, to be fluid with their music and change it up just a bit, and let them express their emotion through each and every part in the song in that exact moment. I remember seeing Chris Stapleton live, and when he was performing You Should Probably Leave, he changed up the ending strumming pattern just a bit. Now, whenever I listen to that song, which was already one of my favorites before the concert, I try to hear it the way he played it. I can’t quite remember it, but I do remember that the way he played it made me feel the music that much more. I think it’s fun for the artist AND the fan, so it’s a win-win!

4. Venue

Again, this one is tricky, because there are perks to all types of venues. I remember when I was younger and I wanted to go to a really big concert. But then I did, and while it’s amazing because there’s SO many people and the energy is buzzing from it all, you’re so far away from the singer and it’s probably extra loud from everyone around you. Going to a small venue that can only fit a few hundred people means you can be closer to the action and it feels a lot more special. Then, there are inside vs outdoor venues. When I saw Tyler Childers at Red Rocks, I will say that it was the highest quality concert I have ever been to. People had told me of course that the rocks and it being outdoors makes the acoustics extra good, but it wasn’t just that. Red Rocks had huge screens on either side of the stage that were great quality, showing Tyler and his band perform. Even though I was a bit far back, it didn’t feel that way. Plus, being far back meant that I could see the city of Denver just over the rocks, a beautiful little line of lights glittering in the distance. Also, I have never known any other venue to do this - Red Rocks allows you to bring in your own water! Probably because of the elevation, and their pledge to sustainability (another win), but they don’t force you to buy overpriced, bottled water once you’re in the venue and you can instead bring your own reusable, already filled water bottle. Finally, the acoustics were incredible. Beautiful and so crisp with the red rocks surrounding you. Personally, I will always take an outdoor venue over an indoor one. But, that’s up to personal preference. Whichever one it is, allowing the fans to hear the music well and enjoy themselves safely is a good venue.

5. The people

I guess this applies both to the people you’re with AND the other people at the concert. I’ve always had fun with the people I’m with at a concert, but sometimes the people around me have not been the vibe. One time, a group in front of me was clearly having some internal conflicts and one girl threw her drink at a guy. Half of it landed on the guy, and the other half landed on me. That was a sticky situation, no pun intended. Other times, though, the people around me have made the vibe SO good. Some casual conversation, loud singing, and dancing is always welcomed. However you enjoy a concert best, as long as it’s safe and respectful to you and those around you, is the way to do it.

Hopefully you have some concerts planned for this summer and can begin to see what makes a good concert for you. Happy concert-going!

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