Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"How to attend a concert" written by a concert-going novice

Last year, we went to a pretty major concert, The Killers, and had so much fun. This was us before the concert started--happy, excited. Very cool and very dry.

Excited for The Killers

But I was pretty naive on how to attend a major concert with general admission tickets. This was after the concert--happy, still excited, but very hot and very sweaty.

Had so much fun, but we're very sweaty.

So when I decided to make March my music month, I knew I needed a concert-going game plan. We went to a lot of music things this month. Like a lot. I'm exhausted, but it was loads of fun. Here's the concert round-up for March Music Month's 30-Day Challenge:

  • Passion Pitt 
  • Matt and Kim (opener for Passion Pitt)
  • The Get Lucky 2013 electronic dance music party, including DJs Quintino, Tommy Trash, and Tiesto
  • Annie the Musical (a lovely junior high school production)
  • The Young Dubliners
  • Swagger (opener for The Young Dubliners)
  • The Magic Flute at the Utah Opera
  • A senior dance concert (a lovely high school production)
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Atlas Genius (opener for Imagine Dragons)
  • The Joy Formidable
  • Guards and Fort Lean (two openers for The Joy Formidable)

Having gone to a lot of different concerts in the last 30 days, here are 10 things I learned and how I would attend a concert now that I'm a more "experienced" concert goer:

1. Leave your coat or sweater in the car: It will likely be hot if the concert is indoors. When you get that many bodies dancing and jumping around, things will warm up. You don't want your coat or sweater to cramp your dancing style!

Bubbles at Passion Pit

2. Leave your purse in the car too: I was standing next to a woman who brought her purse and I kept getting whacked by it whenever she'd move. Not cool!

Hanging out near the sound booth at The Get Lucky 2013

3. Don't wear high heels: Girlfriend, if you're so concerned about looking good, then make sure you stand in the fringes or you're going to get pushed and shoved and sweated on. Plus, your feet have got to be killing after 3+ hours standing.

Annie (Hillcrest Junior High School play)

4. Pull back your hair: I get so sweaty, so I learned early that I needed to pull the hair into a ponytail and pin the bangs back. There are a lot of cute hairstyles out there!

So sweaty after the Passion Pit concert--forgot to pin the bangs back!

5. Bring earplugs: Your ears will thank you. My tip: Stand up the earplug vertically between your fingers and squish down. Then insert into your ear so the length of the earplug expands in your ear vertically--this should block a lot of the sound, but it won't muffle everything if you had put the earplug in horizontally. Or you can try this trick I've used in the past.

Earplugs--buy them cheap at Home Depot or Lowes

6. Be patient if you want to get closer to the front (aka don't be a jerk): If you didn't get there early enough to score a spot within touching distance of the stage, then don't be a jerk and start shoving people to get up there. Those people (the devotees) will shoot daggers out of their eyes and they'll also probably shove back. I found that people would abandon their spot because they needed to 1) get a drink or 2) go to the bathroom. When they leave, you just step into their spot.

Imagine Dragons at The Complex

7. Turn your body sideways if you do want to get closer to the front: It's like a knife cutting through a sea of people!

The Joy Formidable--getting close to the front

8. Go to the bathroom early: Maybe during the opener or even before that so you don't miss anything

The Capitol Theater chandelier before The Magic Flute

9. Be nice to your fellow concert goers: There were so many NICE people who scooted over when they realized that I, Mrs. Shortypants, was standing behind them and could only see their back.

So close to The Young Dubliners

10. Enjoy the music!: Put down your phone/camera and just listen to the music. There were a lot of people that would be taking pictures and videos of the show (I'm guilty), but I felt like when I was, I was missing something. So take your pics, then put it away. Feel free to bob your head and dance and sing along and jump up and down--you've paid a lot of money to be there, so get into the music!

Running into friends at the Imagine Dragons concert

We've got a few other concerts planned for later this year, so what are your tips for going to a concert that I should know about?


  1. I think your goals are awesome Winter!

    Having seen many many bands in my time, I would say you're review of going to a band is great!

    A fun secret: If there isn't a backstage and you currently aren't interested in the band playing (or just care WAY more about the last band that played), go outside or to a more ventilated area and you are sure to find band members there. They love talking to fans. Get their autographs, talk to them about whatever, dance in the parking lot, or get food together. You can also ask them for concert memorabilia (drum sticks, guitar picks, the set list signed by them, etc).

    1. Oh. My. Heck! My brain can't even comprehend even meeting band--I've never even fathomed that! That sounds SO epic! We will need to try that! Thank you for the tip--I'll let you know if I meet anyone!

  2. We used to go to concerts all the time back when we were dating. Thing I learned about general admission was that if your hair goes past your shoulders you not only want to put it in a ponytail but also make sure that your pony tail doens't go past your shoulders. Nothing hurts more than getting your hair pinned between people.

    Other thing we learned is don't miss the opening band. We had no idea who the band opening for Depeche Mode was when they were here in '09 until they got to their second song, turned out to be Peter Bjorn and John and I really liked the songs of theirs that I knew.


What's that you say?