As a lover of music, and live music specifically, I’ve been to my fair share of concerts. My first was the Backstreet Boys in 2007 on their Never Gone tour. My favorite memory of that show is how mesmerized I was by the experience. I danced and sang the night away and worried about nothing but enjoying the music. It’s a joy that can’t really be matched anywhere else, so I’ve made a habit of seeing my favorite artists live ever since. Over the years, I’ve gained some insight on what to expect and how best to approach each show depending on the artist, the venue, and the time of year. With that said, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
1. There’s nothing wrong with going to a concert by yourself.
One of the rules I have for myself is not to let “having no one to go with” be what stops me from going to a concert. The only time during a concert that you interact with your friend(s) is before the show starts. Once the lights go down and the artist steps onstage, the music and the performance become the main focus of the night. If you know you’ll regret not going, then I encourage you to take a chance and go alone. There are generally friendly people at concerts so you can always make friends with the people around you. Just know that once the show starts, it won’t matter whether or not you’re with someone.
2. Make sure you eat before you leave.
Something I have a habit of not doing is eating before I go to a concert. While most venues do sell food, it’s incredibly overpriced and not always worth the money. So, usually, I end up with a growly stomach and a headache. Do your best to eat throughout the day and have a hearty meal before you leave for the show. There’s nothing worse than not being able to enjoy yourself because all you can think about is food. Another important thing to note is to keep hydrated, especially at shows during the summer months.
3. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
Keep an eye on the weather the day of the show and make sure you’re appropriately dressed. Typically, shows at outdoor venues during the summer are hot before the sun goes down and become cool as it gets dark so make sure you bring a sweatshirt, just in case you think the cold will bother you. At GA (general admission) shows, where you’re usually standing from the minute you find a spot on the floor until the show ends (around 3-4 hours), it is crucial to have comfortable footwear. If you want a close spot, you have to be prepared to stand in your spot for not only the length of the show but the pre-show as well.
4. How to get a prime spot at GA shows,
If you’re like me and crave the prime spot at GA shows, then there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Depending on the artist and age of the fanbase, you may have to arrive earlier than the official time doors open. That can range from a half hour to an hour beforehand. Also, it’s important to note that the crowd tends to shift as the night goes on, so it’s not hard to make your way towards the front if you’re not as far up as you’d like. Pay attention to the people around you and move into empty spaces when they become available.
5. Try to spend as little time taking pictures and videos as possible.
This is something I have to remind myself not to do more often that I’d like to admit. The excitement of the show can be distracting, and I know you want to capture every second so you don’t forget. Trust me I know. But, remember to soak it all in while you’re physically still there. Having pictures and videos to look back on is a great part of the experience, but you don’t want all your memories to be through a screen. Put your phone down, sing, dance, and enjoy what’s happening right in front of you.