Music is a universal force that unites scores of people that may never know each other through a voice that they may never meet. And that’s part of the beauty of it. The detachment that listeners have from their favorite artists is part of the reason why immersing yourself in the world that the artist’s music creates is so powerful. Because of this detachment, concerts are the closest music fans can get to experience their favorite artists first hand. But how do people feel about the concerts they go to?
Senior Lauren Nicolella is a concert veteran. She has attended a plethora of different concerts ranging from pop sensation Shawn Mendes to punk/psychedelic rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, not all of her favorite artists have lived up to her expectations.
Nicolella saw Alt-Rock/Pop singer Melanie Martinez at the Trocadero Theater on 10th and Arch. According to Nicolella, Martinez’ set was a never-ending string of songs with little time to even acknowledge that the audience was there. Not interacting with the crowd is a “pet peeve” of hers because she views concerts as “a way to connect” with an artist. She continued by saying “you see this person on a screen, you listen to this person in your headphones, and then you finally see them in real life and it’s like a reality check.”
On the contrary, her experience at Q102’s Jingle Ball in 2018 with pop star Dua Lipa was overwhelmingly in-your-face to the point where she “had to sit down” due to how uncomfortable she was watching the show. Lipa’s over the top choreography was “horrendous” and spawned countless memes the day after the concert. However, not all of Nicolella’s concert experiences have been unenjoyable.
Australian pop band 5 Seconds of Summer also performed at Jingle Ball to raving reviews from Nicolella. She explained that their set was an “amazing experience” that served as one of the highlights of her night. 5 Seconds of Summer balances typical poppy vocals with deep cutting lyrics about love and romance which was easy to vibe to for Nicolella and her friends. Fellow SLA senior Brendan Hall has also been to several concerts and has had the good fortune to see some of the best acts in rap.
Hall was fortunate enough to be a part of the legendary Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa concert where fans rushed the stage after the guard rails around the stage came toppling down. He’s also attended the always energetic leader of new school rap, Lil Uzi Vert who has been known to do death-defying stage dives, invite kids on stage to perform with him, and strip down to his underwear, giving his thousand dollars in clothing to the audience.
At Drake and Future’s Summer Sixteen tour, Hall could barely hear the two artists due to how high his seats were at the Wells Fargo Center. Yet, he still loved the concert because he “only really care about what the crowd does and how they interact with the artist.”
But not all of these concerts have been as enjoyable as they sound.
At Made in America last summer, singer/rapper Ty Dolla Sign’s microphone wasn’t working which put a damper in Hall’s mood. As an avid fan of Dolla Sign’s music, he thought that such technical difficulties could’ve been prevented, especially at an event as famous and prestigious as MIA is.
Through the good and the bad, concerts allow us to interact with people whose most effective form of self-expression can only be seen through a screen or listened to with no interaction. Whether the concerts you go to are good, bad or otherwise, they should be embraced because they are the closest thing fans have to truly know who the artists are past a screen.