Monday, October 27, 2008

Tips For Experiencing Live Music

1. Loud music? Earplugs. But wait, not those industrial use foam earplugs for blocking out jackhammers. These Etymotic earplugs are designed for LISTENING, without muffling the sound. With these I can make out vocals and hear distinct instruments, no matter what the volume, and I'm protecting my hearing. Plus they're reusable. Seriously, I swear by them.

2. Feeling crammed in at sold out or standing room only show? Many times at First Avenue or the 7th Street Entry it may appear packed, but if you can get a view of the front you'll often see that there is plenty of space. Maybe there's something about us Minnesotans that cause us to "Nice" ourselves into a corner and not want to be the one up front. But when you're short like me you get used to just walking right up, and surprisingly often there is a perfect spot for me.

3. Avoid Will Call and buy your tickets in person or have them mailed. More people are buying tickets online and then they have to wait in another line to pick up their tickets at the venue. It's always nicer to just walk on in, and with winter coming soon you'll want to get inside as quickly as possible.

4. Did you get free tickets to a concert? Or just want to give more support to the artists? Do 'em a solid and purchase some music directly from the performer at the merchandise table. Most club shows will have reasonably priced CDs and t-shirts, and the majority of the profit goes directly to the artist. Musicians make very little money from selling CDs in stores.Touring and selling their own merch pays the bills allows them to continue doing what they're doing. Plus you're likely to find interesting limited edition items, such as a self-produced CD or record, a tour poster, or a home-made t-shirt. I've picked up national band's t-shirts and CDs for as little as $5. Several years ago at a Robyn Hitchcock show at The Cedar I bought a one-of-a-kind hand drawn cone, directly from Robyn.

5. Is somebody chatting too much for you? Don't like your view? Move around. You may find that the sound is sweeter in another spot, or maybe the company will be sweeter. Even at reserved seating events you will typically find empty seats to try. Whether you came to party, came to dance, or to listen to every word and every note, you can generally find some compadres by roving from time to time. Don't be shy.

1 comment:

Angel of Rock said...

I also swear by those ear plugs. Ever since I decided to stand next to MIAs extra speakers, I don't leave the house without them.