What makes a good concert a good concert?

Loads of variables determining your enjoyment of a gig. Some biggies are-

The music:
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 :smiley:

The interaction:
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 :laughing:
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 :blush:

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 :roll_eyes:)
It’s all about relationships & interaction :smiley:

1 Like

I have to agree with this for the most part, my favourite gigs of all time were in venues with a cap of 200-300 people. I’ve had some great experiences with some massive gigs but those smaller rooms with hungry up and coming bands with die hard fans can be something special :v:


Nor have I really. Hyvinkää Rockfest where I was on Thursday, was just small enough to still enjoy it (bad weather and all). Compared to that I saw the Rolling Stones play at a huge venue (Hannover Expo area) in 2003. It was nice to see those legends live, but that’s it. That concert did not leave any lasting impression, it just was.

In comparison the Nils Koppruch-concert. An absolute commercial desaster. And yet the feeling of togetherness, the direct interaction and immediate feedback to be experienced on both sides. That’s what made it so memorable :slightly_smiling_face:

You are so right :slightly_smiling_face: I only have been in the audience of one Community Open Mic so far, but it would so lovely to know that the performers would see my feedback etc. There is a reason, why I secured my place in the audience for the next one as soon as it was possible :slightly_smiling_face:

Good on you :smiley:
One difference with the community open mics is that the interaction from a performer’s point of view is there, but ‘spread out’ over days
If you are performing, you are often making last minute preparations/tweaks/practicing and can’t concentrate on the performers before you or follow the audience chat :frowning_with_open_mouth:
The interaction is there, but much comes as a result of going back and reading the ‘live’ comments, as well as from those watching later :smiley:

I do agree with you on this Brian.
I was on Iron Maiden concert the other day… 21000 people cramped up.
By all means. It was cool and all. But it does not come close to a smaller scene with 50-300 people IMHO.

1 Like