Shortcutting… Concerts

20 May

I have been to a lot of concerts in my time (I’m talking pop etc., not classical, although I don’t really go for mosh pits either), and have recently obtained tickets to Coldplay’s upcoming UK tour (yay!), which gave me the idea to do a little post about how to get the most out of your concert experience. There are several things you need to think about beforehand: Do you want to be fully involved in the action? Do you want to know all the song lyrics? Do you have the need to frequently empty your bladder? These are all important questions that will help you shape your concert experience.

  1. Sitting vs. standing: If you want to be fully involved in the concert vibe, then standing is definitely the best option. If, on the other hand, you’d rather take a more relaxed approach, or you simply don’t like standing up for long lengths of time, then seating would be better.
  2. Front vs. back: If you’re a massive fan, then obviously the nearer the stage the better. Unfortunately, unless you want some serious hate from fellow fans, you’ll have to queue for quite a while to get anywhere near the front. Queue lengths depend both on the popularity of the artist and the size of the venue but expect a bit of a wait. Also, if you think you’ll need the toilet at some point during the concert, it’s probably better to hang somewhere near the back, unless you’re prepared to fight your way through a lot of people to get to the bathroom, and risk losing your place on your return.
  3. Setlist: If you want to be able to sing along to all the songs, but can’t really be bothered to learn all the songs, then try heading to setlist.fm, where you might be able to find the setlist of past dates in the tour (usually a good indication of what will be played on your night), meaning you can only learn songs that will definitely be played.
  4. Bags etc.: If you’re standing, only bring a very small bag packed with the bare essentials (i.e. oyster card, wallet, phone). When you’re running in to the stadium you want minimum air resistance, and you also don’t want your bag-searching to take half an hour. If you’re sitting, take whatever the hell you want.
  5. Support acts: If it’s a small venue then there’s a chance of you meeting a support act backstage afterwards so it’s worth having a listen to a couple of their songs and maybe learning their names so you can pretend you’re a massive fan.
  6. Memorabilia: You have a choice: you can either buy official memorabilia (t-shirts, posters, badges) at extortionate prices in the venue, or you can usually find some unofficial stuff being sold outside for slightly less. And let’s face it, a ‘fake’ poster of Chris Martin is still a poster of Chris Martin. Oh yeah, and you can also not buy anything, which is generally a lot cheaper.
  7. Refreshments: Eat and drink up beforehand. I have been to a concert where they passed cups of water to people at the front who were on the verge of passing out, probably so as to avoid a lawsuit, but most of the time, you’re on your own. Having said that, if you do faint, beefy security guys carry you over the barrier, which looks quite exciting, although I’ve never tried it myself. Remember, you’ll be there for a couple of hours, so it is likely you’ll get thirsty (although keep your bladder in mind when drinking excessively before the show).

You should now be able to enjoy your concert to the max! As a wise old man once said: ‘This could be para-para-paradise’…

Keep shortcutting,

Zoe

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