An Ode To Summer Concerts, The Best Kind Of Entertainment

An Ode To Summer Concerts, The Best Kind Of Entertainment

It was one of the best summer concert seasons yet.

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My summer concert season recently came to an end and I'm not sure how to feel about it because this one was the best one yet.

I traveled a few times, I saw my favorite artist, I saw ones I never expected to see and I finally met some of my friends from a few fan clubs, and let me tell you, they are some of the kindest people I'll ever meet.

Something about planning out times to meet and picking out an outfit just to get drenched in sweat later is thrilling to me, and I haven't quite figured out what it is yet.

Blasting music with your friends in the car with the windows down on the way to the big event gets your adrenaline pumping and puts you in the best mood. It's like nothing can bring you down.

Pulling up to the venue and seeing the lines of people of all ages, and hearing an artist's soundcheck if you're early enough will make you fangirl like you're an overly excited pre-teen seeing the Jonas Brothers, but who cares when you're having fun?

Plus, if you have VIP or a meet and greet upgrade, this not only adds to the excitement but can make your entire day if not entire summer.

If the venue is outside, sitting in the lawn is an adventure because you'll see people who are there to chill, you'll see drunk girls complimenting each other, people dancing to the pre-show playlist, people taking selfies for Instagram and so much more.

Sometimes, depending on the show, the people who are sitting in the lawn seats may be more entertaining than the artist themselves.

On the upside, it's summer, so you don't have to worry about waking up early for school or having an early curfew, so you can truly live in the moment.

Debating on when to take video is always the hardest part because you'll know you want to watch it later, but it's no fun watching it through a phone screen, but you also know you'll want the evidence when you make your sappy end-of-summer post on social media.

Reflecting back, this truly was an eventful summer. I stepped outside my comfort zone and met new people, experienced a new genre of music live and got to travel all with my best friend by my side.

While I hate to see it end, I'm thankful for all the memories I made and all the photos and videos I took.

Summer concert season 2018, you were so good to me. I can't wait to see what 2019 has in store.

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25 Helpful Tips To Survive Any General Admission Concert

The smaller the show, the better. Trust me.
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Live music is something we should all experience in our lifetimes, however, general admission shows can admittedly be a bit daunting. Whether you're a seasoned concert goer or a first timer, I'm sure some of these tips could help make your experience more enjoyable, or frankly, survivable. Let's face it, it gets a little scary in the pit sometimes....


Before the show (day of):


1. If you plan on being front row for your favorite band at a GA show, show up a few hours early to sit outside the venue.

This tactic is so much easier than having to wiggle your way to the front in a very territorial crowd. If you want front row, you're going to have to earn it, and that means sitting down on a cold patch of concrete for hours at a time. You will even meet some cool fans who are just as dedicated as you, and who knows, you may make a friend or two.


2. Always bring a printed copy of your ticket, just in case.

Most venues will accept electronic tickets from your phone, but some venues do not. It's always good to print out a copy of your ticket or check with the venue beforehand to ensure your e-ticket will suffice. Many venues have Twitter pages and will answer quickly if you wish to ask.


3. Never assume you can buy tickets at the door.

You may be able to get away with last minute ticket shopping for smaller shows, but for the most part, it's best to buy ahead as to minimize your panic on the day of the show.


4. Buy your tickets as far in advance as possible.

Most general admission shows are super cheap if you buy tickets as soon as they are released. However, if you put it off, a $20 show can easily become a $100 show. Keep up with your favorite band's tour dates and set reminders to buy tickets as soon as they go on sale to save some money. Beware of ticket resellers, as they will rip you off with zero shame and mercy.


5. Do not be afraid to attend a show by yourself if you are unable to find someone to come with you.

It's happened to all of us. Our concert buddy has to work on the day of a highly anticipated show and despite asking everyone we know, no one can tag along, so we stay home and drown our sorrows in cookie dough ice cream instead. But that is no longer okay. Attending a show by ourselves may seem daunting, unexciting, and let's face it, we don't want to be dubbed a loser. But I'm here to tell you, none of that will happen. Odds are, you're not going to be the only one riding solo at the show and no one will know if you're alone or with a pack of friends anyway. This may even be an opportunity to make new friends and branch out.


6. Make sure to pack a few water bottles for after the show, and if it's a summer show, bring a cooler.

Trust me, as soon as you leave the show, you're going to be dying for a bottle of ice cold water so make sure you have a bottle or two in the car. It will be your savior.


7. Eat a complete meal before the show.

Shows can be expend a lot of energy, so it's always a good idea to come to a show on a relatively full stomach. The last thing you want to happen is pass out a show because you didn't eat or drink beforehand.


8. Dress comfortably and forget about being cute.

Indoor general admissions shows can get a little sweaty, especially if you find yourself squished between a bunch of people. You're going to regret wearing your heeled booties after two hours of standing (trust me, i've been there, done that). You may leave the house looking cute, but odds are, you're going to look every bit of a sweaty disaster post-show.


9. If you're going to wear make-up, make sure it's waterproof.

During the show, you will have water poured on your face by security guards, you will sweat more than you ever have in your whole life, and there may even be a tear or two. Unless you want to have crazy mascara streaks and eyeliner on your nose, you should probably wear waterproof make-up. Then again, no one is going to judge you for your post-show appearance, because odds are, they're not going to be looking too hot themselves. Embrace your ugly and rock out.


10. Wear your hair up.

During the show your hair will likely be pulled, grabbed, and touched by the people in front of you. It's also super annoying to get a face-full of hair at a show, so to make everyone happy, it's a good idea to throw your hair into a high pony and call it a day.


11. Don't, I repeat, DON'T wear a a hoodie or jacket to a show.

Most venues are poorly air-conditioned, and when you throw a million lights and a room full of people into the mix, shows can get pretty hot. The hoodie may have seemed like a good idea going into the show, but five minutes in, you're going to be resenting that hoodie and every life decision you've ever made up to that point. Some venues will have coat-check, but they can get pretty expensive and why risk precious time checking in your coat when you can be rushing to the stage instead? I always try to dress as cooly as I can, despite the weather outside. You can always bring a flannel or light sweater to wrap around your waist when you get warm.


12. Bring in as little as you can to a show and leave the valuables in the car, if at possible.

If you absolutely need to bring things into the venue (phone, medication, merch/beer money, keys, etc.), it's a good idea to bring a small purse or fanny-pack (which are so in style right now) to the show. Don't haul your entire purse to the show because I guarantee you're going to regret lugging it around real quick. And to minimize lost or damaged items, it's best to keep your most beloved items locked safely in the car. Crowds can get pretty rowdy and it's not uncommon to have something broken.


13. To my fellow glasses-wearers: if at all possible, either ditch the glasses for the night or wear contacts.

It's going to rough, but if you can do it, you will not regret it. As mentioned above, crowds get super rowdy, and when you throw in all the crowd surfers who will inevitably kick you or fall on you, there are plenty of chances for your glasses to fall off or be broken. Trust me, I've had two separate pairs of prescription glasses broken beyond repair at shows, and i've seen it happen plenty of other times as well. One semi-blurry night is far better than having to pay for glasses repairs or replacements in the future. Trust me on this one, guys.


During the show:


14. Stay hydrated. Stay hydrated. Stay hydrated.

This is an important one. Whether it's an outdoor concert in the middle of summer or an indoor general admission show, it's going to get hot, you're going to sweat, and you will become dehydrated pretty quickly if you don't make an effort to stay hydrated. If you're close to the stage/barricade, you may get likely and have guards pouring water into your mouth between songs. If not, you may have to cough up five bucks for a bottle. You don't want to pass out or be the one puking into a bucket by the entrance, so drink plenty of water during any show-- especially if you plan on consuming alcohol.


15. Don't over do it and know your limit.

Being front row for a show is an incredible experience. Not only can you hear the music better, but you'll be able to see every sweat droplet on your favorite band member's forehead. However, it can take a lot out of a person. If you feel like things are getting too out of control and you need out, don't be afraid to retreat to side stage or further back where its safer. Enjoying the show is ultimately far better than being front row in the grand scheme of things.


16. If you enjoy mosh-pits, crowd-surfing and the constant push and pull of the crowd, front center stage is your friend.

This part of the show can be really exciting, but it definitely is not for everyone. Between people charging at you, arms and fists flailing, and crowd surfers slammed onto your head as they make their way to the stage, front center stage can get pretty scary and it isn't recommended for first time concert-goers. Of course, this differs from show-to-show and genre-to-genre, but generally speaking, only stand center stage if you're prepared for mass chaos. Also, the middle of the crowd can be pretty dangerous too, as you will find yourself both pushed forward by the people in front of you, and simultaneously pushed backward by the people in front of you.


17. But if you prefer simply enjoying the show in a calm and peaceful manner, side stage or farther back is for you.

Side stage is always a good bet, since you will still have a pretty good view, will be close to the stage, and will almost certainly avoid the chaos and crowd-surfers.


18. Look out for crowd-surfers and protect your head from stray kicks or drops.

While crowd surfers certainly make things a bit more energetic, they come at a price. Always pay attention to what is going on around you, or simply look at the guard's reactions to avoid a kick to the head or neck. Pass along the surfer when you can, or if it's too late, protect your head by ducking and covering it. Concussions are common at music festivals and general admission shows so try to prevent one at all costs. Again, majority of your crowd-surfer interactions will be center stage, so if the prospect of holding up a sweaty human does not sound very appealing to you, side stage is for you. Side note: if you're wearing heeled shows, please do your fellow concert-goers a favor and don't crowd surf. There is nothing worse than being stabbed in the head by someone's heel.


19. Talk to the people around you. Don't be shy.

Get to know the people around you before the show or between bands. You meet some pretty cool people this way and it's definitely worth engaging in small talk with them, even if it's to help make the time go by faster.


20. Always show up and listen to the opening bands.

I get it, you're here for the headliner, but don't dismiss the opening bands too soon. They're probably pretty similar in musical style to the band or artist you're there for, so the chances that you'll enjoy them are pretty high. I've been introduced to some of my favorite bands through opening acts, and there's even been shows where the opening band was better than the actual headliner. Opening bands deserve your time and attention just as much as the headliner, and just because they don't have an entire tour named after them, doesn't mean their music isn't good.


21. Take as many videos and pictures as you want, who cares what anyone has to say.

If you want to take a few videos or pictures to commemorate the night, by all means, go crazy(ish). Don't apologize for your absurdly long Snapchat story or the million pictures of your favorite band member either. Maybe not record the entire concert, but a few vids here and there are perfectly OK.


22. When a band tells you to jump, move, clap, or sing-along, YOU DO IT.

Shout out your favorite lyrics. Make the floor move beneath your feet. Dance like no is watching. Just go crazy.


23. Do not be embarrassed to let loose.

No one, absolutely no one, is judging your terrible singing or wacky dance moves so don't be afraid to go a little crazy. You're going to have a much better time this way than if you stand there, stiff as a bored, conscious of scrutiny and judgment. Trust me, everyone's focus is on the band so know is going to notice if you break out into the running man mid-song.



After the show:

24. Go crazy at the merch table.

Hopefully you brought the rest of your life savings with you, because you're going to need it. Whether you want to represent your favorite band or show them a little love, the merch table is something you should not avoid, unless you know, you're totally broke.


25. Go home, rehydrate, reminisce over the wonderful night you had and get ready for your next show.

If you're like me, you never give post-concert-depression the time to fester and develop because just as one show has ended, you're preparing for a next.

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Why Don't We Gave St. Paul A Special Night

Not only was it the night that 5,000 Why Don't We fans have been eagerly waiting for since buying tickets months ago, but it was Why Don't We member Jonah Marais' hometown show.

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It was a special night in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Not only was it the night that 5,000 Why Don't We Fans were eagerly waiting to see the band perform after securing tickets months ago, but it was Why Don't We member Jonah Marais' hometown show.

From the moment I walked into the venue and saw the line of fans wrapping around the building twice, I knew it was going to be a crazy night and I wasn't wrong. It isn't every show that fans are just as excited to see the opening acts perform as they are the main act.

When the first opener, Brynn Elliott took the stage, the screams began. Elliott's performance was amazing. The lyrics to her songs are so inspiring and her vocals are so raw and beautiful that they gave me chills. The two songs that really got the crowd going were "Internet You" and "Might Not Like Me." Overall, it was beyond clear she was excited to be up on stage performing as her infectious smile radiated into the crowd throughout her entire set.

Corbyn Jenkins Corbyn Jenkins

Following Brynn Elliott was EBEN. Screams erupted once again as he took the stage and there were even some tears of happiness rolling down a few faces in the crowd. Prior to attending the show, I wasn't aware that EBEN has been a good friend of the band for years and a part of the Why Don't We fam, which makes sense why so many were just as excited to see him perform.

EBEN took the stage with so much energy and continued to have a strong stage presence throughout his whole set. A I would say the standout moment of his set was when he performed, "LAMBO." It was during that song that I felt he really brought it all and the crowd was beyond into it as they danced around and screamed back the lyrics.

Corbyn Jenkins

Not too long after EBEN left the stage the moment all 5,000 fans had been waiting for finally came as Why Don't We appeared on stage to their sold-out crowd after a fun "storybook-like" intro. The five Why Don't We boys: Jonah Marais, Zach Herron, Corbyn Besson, Jack Avery and Daniel Seavey took their places on stands in the back of the stage. I didn't believe that it could get any louder in the venue than it was for the two opening acts, but I sure was wrong. As the band began singing their 2018 single, "Trust Fund" screams of excitement erupted. "M.I.A" followed which is a bop from the band's 2017 EP, "Invitation."

Corbyn Jenkins

During the third song of the night, "Choose" the boys made their way towards the front of the stage, causing the crowd to go even crazier. It was during this song that I discovered just how great of a stage presence these five boys have. It's one thing to get up on stage and sing your songs incredibly well, but it's another to get your fans engaged and these boys do it both.

Corbyn Jenkins

About halfway through their set, WDW member, Jonah Marais reflected on his musical journey with his hometown crowd.

"This is just crazy. Our first show here was at The Garage in Burnsville which fit about 150 people. Tonight is kind of surreal for me because I'm from Stillwater and I have a lot of friends and family here tonight. It's a special night. Thank you so much for being here and look at what we've done together. It's pretty cool."

Corbyn Jenkins

The band then took a photo with the crowd and played "Taking You" for their fans from day one. "These Girls" followed which was a total crowd pleaser and next came "Hooked" and "Talk" which were both full of smooth dance moves that had the fans going crazy.

After a quick break, the band reappeared on stage in their fourth outfit of the night and dove right into their hit song, "8 Letters" which had the crowd singing along from the first note. When the song came to a close, member Corbyn Besson gave the crowd a motivational speech on chasing your dreams and ended it by saying,

"We had this motto for 2019 and we started it with the first song we dropped this year. The motto is to make big plans."

Corbyn Jenkins

If you couldn't guess, the band then played their 2019 single, "Big Plans." Everyone loves a clever segue. The band then closed the night with their other 2019 releases, "Cold In LA" and "I Don't Belong In This Club" which are both bops that had the crowd on their feet, hands in the air, screaming along to the lyrics and having the time of their life.

Corbyn Jenkins

Overall, Why Don't We puts on an incredible show. Not only do they have catchy and fun songs, but they have such a strong stage presence that you physically cannot look away. It is obvious that all five boys love being up on stage performing and the relationship that they have with their fans is something special. It is like one big family.

Corbyn Jenkins

Setlist:

1. "Trust Fund

2. "M.I.A.

3. "Choose

4. "Hard

5. "Friends

6. "In Too Deep

7. "Nobody Gotta Know

8. "I Depend On You

9. "Runner

10. "Why Don't We Just

11. "Something Different

12. Mashup: "Taste" / "Finess" / "Lucid Dreams" / "MIDDLE CHILD" // "Better Now"

13. "Taking You"

14. "These Girls"

15. "Hooked"

16. "Talk"

17. "8 Letters"

18. "Big Plans"

19. "Cold In LA"

20. "I Don't Belong In This Club"

Corbyn Jenkins

Corbyn Jenkins

Corbyn Jenkins

Corbyn Jenkins

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