Whether integral or not, music is a part of all of our lives. No matter if we play it, workout to it, or casually hear it on the television or radio, music is a mood setter. It can help get you through your lowest of lows or breeze you through your highest of highs. We all identify with at least one type of music. As a society, music is so mainstream that Google Play Services radio does not just have genre and artist stations to choose from, but also stations based on your current mood or activities.

The more we listen to music, we discover more new material, which piques interest even further. While you can identify with certain artists, bands, and songs, and hear them quite frequently around you, there is nothing quite like hearing those up close and personal in concert. Plus, hearing almost any kind of music live is a more exhilarating experience than just in your headphones. Do you want to test that out for yourself? Then you should make concert crawling a new hobby.

It is always fun to try new things and it is always fun to discover new music from alternative, to electronic dance music, to hip hop. The list goes on, but as the saying goes, “give it a chance.” How do you really know what you like or don’t in the music scene if you don’t even try different genres? However, if you are well-traveled in tunes and have a clear identity of your favorite type of genre, you should not feel obligated to listen to others because you can simply discover different styles or artists within that genre.

Being a huge alternative music fan, I love going to different concerts and festivals whether or not my favorite bands are playing at them. Most times, the opening acts are what get me and keep me excited because they offer a new delivery and new perspective. They provide a sampling; a cliffhanger of what they can do, and get me wanting to look into them more. Recently, I went to see one of my favorite groups, Balance and Composure perform in downtown Minneapolis, but it was the openers, Queen of Jeans, and From Indian Lakes that had me hooked.

Plus, the venue was First Avenue’s Seventh Street Entry, which provides an intimate and unplugged, yet raucous setting for these groups to shine. Thus, that is another beautiful thing about concert crawling. Different venues provide different vibes. If the aforementioned bands performed at say, the Target Center, I can almost guarantee you that the reception would not have been as electrifying because of not only the smaller fan base, but also, the relative unknown dynamic of the groups. There are not just arenas, bars, and concert halls either. When the weather is nice out, parks and bandshells also provide a spacious and welcoming setting and attract the general public to the newest flavors of tunes.

But again, the beauty of seeing different concerts is that of a wow factor. Most people look for only the mainstream bands because they’re a proven commodity, often leaving the upcoming, eclectic artists and bands in the dust. However, those in the dust exist for a reason. They all have their own loyal fan bases, which are amazing to see have passion for their music. All these loyal fan bases have some pretty amazing and humble people in them as well, which you may be lucky enough to meet at any concert you go to. No matter if you're going to a Nickelback concert or a Wolf Alice concert, you'll often learn something new about them just by interacting with the fans. Additionally, once you see the bands that are relatively unknown to you, more than likely, you will be impressed and wonder why in the hell you hadn’t paid more attention to begin with.

Additionally, if you haven't heard of a band or artist before listening to them live, most of the time, hearing their studio versions of their songs does not compare. This is because one tends to appreciate the organic sound of the music more in person. Last year, I completely despised hip hop until mid July when I saw Sage Francis do his thing at an underground concert. Needless to say, I gained a new respect for the genre and the effort it takes to create the artistry of it and have it flow with a proper backstory sans the body imaging lyrics most are accustomed to. While it isn't my favorite genre by any means, I am more open to it now.

By keeping an open mind to discovering new concerts, you not only gain respect for a genre and the people performing it, but also for the sacrifices the bands and artists make touring each and every night. Yes, they are the performers and doing something amazing, but if you have any chance at all of interacting with them either in concert or with a backstage pass, you will learn that they are ordinary people that do amazing things. It is no different than a hectic work week. Traveling on the road day in and day out takes its toll and performers still find enough energy to put in one-hundred percent every time out. It shows. So show your gratitude and support for how arduous touring can be.

All reasons for trying new music and concerts aside, it all provides a chance for us to get away from whatever stress is in our lives for a little bit. The experience of live music allows us the chance to envelop ourselves in the rhythms, riffs, and beats, as well as be able to jam out free-spirited and judgment free. Because whether it is integral or not, music is a part of all of our lives. No matter what your mood is on any given time, there is a tune for every moon.