Loads of variables determining your enjoyment of a gig. Some biggies are-
It doesn’t really matter whether you’ve listened to it all your life, knowing every lyric, or whether it’s something mind-blowingly new. The fact is though, that the music will almost always sound better (and the way the artist wanted it to sound) on a studio recording.
The communal experience:
Many of us crave ‘the warm thrill of confusion- that space cadet glow’ Pink sang about, but that tribal feeling of togetherness/belonging is not limited to concerts. Sporting events, political rallies etc. elicit very similar responses. It does combine magically with music- like coffee and chocolate
For me the most important part of a gig is the sense of relationship with the performers. A good performer knows this and will be able to convey that sense of interaction with individuals (even if it is not really there) and consequently be able to make tens of thousands feel they are being directly engaged, even if via a large screen up in the nose-bleed section.
“We love you [insert city of your choice] Clap your hands!”
I’ve never been a fan of large venues, in fact the smaller the better. I love watching an artist’s direct response to my holler/clap/heckle etc. Whether they ignore, smile or respond, it’s the interaction that makes the experience memorable.
Last week I saw the fantastic Burning Hell in a basement in Liverpool. I baked them some brownies before the gig (maybe 40 people) and had a full saxophone solo blasted right into my face
I’ve hosted a couple of House-gigs and my living room is my favourite venue by a long shot.
This interaction is also what appeals to me in the community open mics. I know the people. I know if I cheer or tease, they will respond. I love you all but wouldn’t give up my night out to go to your gig if you were strangers. Sorry
Last night I went along to the open mic at our local arts centre.
Everyone there had a guitar.
Everyone got up and performed two songs.
The quality of the music ranged from virtuoso to… well, me. (I ritually sacrificed Schrödinger’s cat )
It’s all about relationships & interaction