What makes a good concert a good concert?

Was at a festival yesterday for many hours, and while I’m too tired today to think, do or play anything useful, there is a question I cannot get out of my mind:

What makes a concert a good concert, both from the audience’s and the performers’ point of view? :milky_way:


The songs!

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The people you are with and the connection/relationship the band/artist has with its audience are a vital part of the gig experience imo :v:

If the love goes both ways between band/artist and fans, you can feel it in the room, a togetherness forms and it feels like you’re part of a tribe. A good gig can make feel good, but a GREAT gig… that can take you places only a few things in the world can :v:

Hope you had a blast at the festival :v:

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3 to 4 hours. ebbs and flows, ballads and rockers. good seats. sitting in the roof or makes any concert suck. good sound system. a tinge of altered states without going over the edge. good company.


I agree. What songs however? Songs that sound exactly like on the album? Songs that the audience knows and will sin along to?

True. That happened to me with Rancid yesterday. They didn’t talk to the audience for maybe the first three or four songs, but there was just such a vibe in the air. An unspoken connection. People were just enjoying themselves so much, both band and audience. Things happened very organically. No need to animate the audience to clap along or sing along. It just happened. I and people around me were dancing and singing and there was just such happiness in the air.

True. Perhaps also a good sound mix, I would add. I had been looking so forward to Steve’n’Seagulls gig, but something was off with the mix yesterday. The double bass was just way too loud and dominent, it drowned almost everything else. People partied and mosh-pitted (if that’s a valid word) nonetheless, but I would have loved to hear more if thrme other but unusual instruments they are using (e.g. kantele, mandoline, banjo, balalaika) more clearly.

That’s maybe more true than anything. I had gone to the festival alone yesterday. The last band’s gig started at around midnight and it was seriously cold. Maybe 5 degree C. The sound system was good, the mix was brilliant, the special effects were something to behold, band and most people in the audience were having so much fun. And I was standing there, freezing, mostly :speech_balloon:thinking about how I would get home etc. I guess, things would have been very different if I would not have gone there alone.

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The vibes in the air :blush:

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It’s called the entertainment business for a reason. If it doen’t entertain you I’d say it wasn’t a good concert.
What you find entertaining may not be anothers cup of tea. So I think it’s different for everyone.


I love it when the performers are clearly having a good time, too, not just the crowd.


This is a band that I have followed for years, this is their first visit to Europe in their career. They are from Mexico and speak English and Spanish no German; the crowd really warmed to them and actually joined in with this song that is just one of two songs that they have released in Spanish, to me it really does make a huge impact on how a concert feels, crowd appreciation and participation drove the girls to give one of their best live performances!

At the moment they’re opening for Muse on their European tour, also doing their own headlining gigs at smaller venues (like this one).


@DarrellW I love The Warning too! I am always endlessly inspired by them. I have not been able to see them live, but have watched a lot of recordings of their live performances and I think they put on a great show.

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Hmm… So what made the band happy and most of the rest of the audience as well, can still not be a good concert for me, because I didn’t feel entertained, because of reason x?

That makes a lot of sense :slightly_smiling_face:

Exactly. I find the Beatles to be one of the most boring bands ever to be on stage yet millions of screaming teenage girls disagree with me.

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True. Just as yesterday with Steve’n’ Seagulls and the mix being off so badly in my opinion. There was a young woman next to me with her significant other and she was ecstatic almost. She was turning around to her man ever so often and asking from him (translated) “Isn’t that fantastic? Isn’t that great? Best concert ever”

I was looking at her, smiling, while in my mind silently grumbling “Are you seriously not noticing haw badly the sound mix is off?”

But… If we go with this approach, does that then mean that there are no objective criteria but only subjective ones?

This !! Probably the best day of my life and don’t tell the missus.

Footage of support groups is hard to find but it was a blistering musical extravaganza and I nearly melted my Triumph Daytona travelling to south London it was so hot.

Its a shame there does not seem to be any video footage around but The Who set was unforgettable. Audio below is a bit sus but brings back great memories.

The whole place went into darkness during the synth type bridge, as the boys did Won’t Get Fooled Again, just a few flash lights flickering around the stage. Then floodlights all came on when Daltrey hit that iconic YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH (@ 01:04:20. 'Kin magical.
I’ll take that along to my grave.



Thank you so much, Toby, for this story. Moments like this, they are a treasure…I really mean it :kissing_heart:

I have a similar, yet very different experience. Germany, Heidelberg, 2006 or 2007. Indie location. Indie artist: Nils Koppruch (Wikipedia does not even an entry on him in English, but given that your are located in France, there you go: Nils Koppruch — Wikipédia )

So little people had shown up to be in the audience. 30; 50; 100 maybe. I don’t remember. Very little. Disappointingly little. But he went onto the stage and played. For us. Until he could not take it anymore. Then he took his guitar and microphone stand and came down to us, where we the audience were standing. Stood maybe 5 or 10 meters away from us and sang and played his heart out. I don’t remember anymore how long it lasted. Maybe 30 minutes, maybe less, maybe longer. But during these moments the audience and the artist bonded without probably ever having exchanged a word before.

That was magic. Something I will take to my grave, just as you said.


I know exactly what you mean. When you look at the line up of that concert back in 74, there are many iconic household names. For us at the time it was just a shed load of great music from around 11am in the morning until gone midnight. The day was made more special by the friends I was with that day. My best mate back then had the same bike as me, we met at his place and another friend who’s sadly no longer with us, rode with him, while we crossed north London to pick up another friend who hopped on behind me. Traffic was really slow and even for motorcycles it was difficult to make headway across London and meet up with another couple of pals at a pre-arranged spot not far from the stadium. Shoot 50+ years ago it was also easy to find somewhere to park ! Man it was so hot but a real festival feel but those bands, wow what a friggin line up. Seen many of solo concerts but that day is etched into my soul.


The good old day’s “when sex was safe and motorcycles where dangerous.”
Music festivals where the big thing back then. To bad I was only 9 years old when Woodstock happened.

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The Daytona never made it the Isle if Man that year as it split a crank case oil bleed late May. And I am sure that trip was a factor. Let alone my heavy handed mate who tweaked the tappets. Went two up on my mates Daytona and caught a great Mungo Jerry concert on the island. Was a great year ! :sunglasses:

Meaningful lyrics. Meaningful performance. Memorial participation.

I see what you did there. Alliteration. But… Aren’t all lyrics meaningful? And what constitutes a.meaningful performance? :slightly_smiling_face: