Despite what many people think, I don’t spend all of my time thinking/reading/talking about music. In fact, one of my favorite websites has nothing to do with music; it’s a blog called 1000 Awesome Things. The site is basically a list of things that the author finds, well, awesome. He started at #1000 and counts down another one every weekday. The list includes things like “finding money you didn’t even know you lost” and “shooing a fly outside without having to kill it.” Many of them are laugh-out-loud-funny. All of them are totally true.
He’s got a few awesome things that have to do with concerts: “the moment at a concert after the lights go out and before the band comes on stage,” “the moment at a concert when the crowd figures out what song they’re playing” and “singing in the car on the way home from the concert.” All awesome, right? Here’s another twenty.
#1 When you get an actual ticket
Not that 8.5×11 piece of paper with a barcode on it that you print out at home. I mean a real ticket. Something with a cool design that you can put on your bulletin board or use as a bookmark.
#2 Opening bands that don’t suck.
I knew there was a reason I came two hours early to this thing. Extra points if you’ve never even heard of the openers before.
#3 The crowd chanting in unison.
It doesn’t matter what they’re saying. Chanting rules. The only thing better than chanting is….
#4 When the band stops playing and the whole crowd sings that part anyway
We all know the words. Everybody let it out.
#5 Recognizing your favorite song from the first note
Wow. I’ve listened to that track way too many times.
#6 When you’re all the way at the front and someone from the stage pours cold water in your mouth
I was about to go spend $6 and lose my spot at the front. Thanks, guy on stage!
#7 When the corwdsurfer goes right over you
If you’ve ever had someone land on your head and give you a mini-concussion then you can really appreciate a near-miss.
#8 Bumping into people you’re sorta friends with and realizing you like the same music and should hang out more
You love these guys, too? You were at that other concert a month ago? …so what are you doing after the show? (By the way, it’s totally fair game to judge people on what they listen to.)
#9 That part in between the main set and the encore when everyone knows what’s coming but the band is just killing time backstage
Time for more chanting?
#10 Cover songs
Hit or miss, really. But when they hit…awesome!
#11 When you see your friend all the way across the venue and think you’ll never make it over there but then finally do
Like a mini-version of The Odyssey, but with a better soundtrack. Warning: making the journey and realizing your “friend” is actually just a t-shirt on top of a garbage can is incredibly un-awesome.
#12 When the DJ samples something you recognize
It’s usually a rap song from three years ago you didn’t even like, but for some reason it sounds awesome right now.
#13 Seeing that annoying kid get thrown out
#14 When the band refers to the city you’re in by name
Sure, he gives the same speech at every tour stop. But it still feels special.
#15 Seeing a video or listening to an mp3 of the concert you were at
It’s the closest you’ll ever get to experiencing that night again. People who weren’t there think it’s just another low-quality recording. They missed out.
#16 Getting on stage
Even better: narrowly avoiding the fat security guard and jumping back into the crowd.
#17 Epic openings
It builds and builds and builds until….awesome!
#19 When the performers are dressed up
Cool t-shirts, masks or costumes…the whole thing is just a lot more fun.
#20 Finally making it home and changing out of those clothes
It’ll take three wash cycles to get rid of that concert-sweat-and-cigarette smell.
If you’re looking for a song to use for an epic opening (see #17), try either of the two below. They both follow the same format: a non-dance song that slowly builds and then drops into a very heavy beat. These songs are actually so “epic” that I’ve had them backfire at a couple of gigs. They build for so long that sometimes the crowd gets annoyed and adopts a just-play-some-dance-music-already attitude. Other times I’ve opened with these and the whole place went nuts. Good luck, and have something loaded on the other deck just in case you need to do a quick emergency crossfade.