En Spectacle

So I have been thinking about concerts. I haven’t hit any final answers, but it’s just where my brain is.

In a few days, we will be going to see the Sadies at the Heartwood and it’s going to be a fantastic time. However, in thinking about the experience of seeing a show, I’ve come up with a few pros and cons.

You know, in a way, concerts are rather silly. You spend extra money and set aside an entire evening to go out of your house and be amongst the masses who’ll mostly likely talk through the whole damn thing, check their cellphones non-stop, chew with their mouths open and probably get drunk and sloppy, just to hear a band reproduce songs that you could reproduce yourself from their album anytime you choose – in your house, in your car, from your phone or iPod. I’ve seen several bands who did this, and I came away wondering why I didn’t just play the CD…

Very often (for me) concerts are too loud to the point where the sound isn’t even pleasurable to listen to, breaking up and distorted. Admittedly, for certain types of concerts like punk or metal shows, that makes sense and can be fun (with earplugs), but more often, I find it would be better if it was slightly, reasonably quieter. At least, not crush-your-chest and head loud. Loud for the sake of being loud.

Also, for me, most decent shows require at least two hours of travel to a larger city, so it’s not just the expense of the ticket itself, it is the expense of time, gas money, food money and, depending on where and at what time the show is, possibly hotel money as well. It is a planned event beyond just stopping by to check it out. Not to mention we’d need to arrange childcare, and make sure that it isn’t a work night. 

So you commit to going somewhere, usually at expense, and being jostled by other people, to hear songs you’ve already heard at a volume that hurts. The mild introvert in me finds all of this very tiring. 


On the other side of the coin, concerts are special because very often bands don’t merely reproduce the songs as you hear them on the album. The best bands make the song recognizable, yet they will add solos, or change the words, or make the song shorter or longer, or even blend songs together that you hadn’t previously considered putting together. They will also play cover tunes, and talk to the crowd and tell jokes and stories, making it a worthwhile experience because it’s stuff you wouldn’t otherwise get. 

If you enjoy merchandise, you can get T-shirts, hats, pins, CDs and whatever else. If you enjoy meeting the people who make the music, sometimes you can get lucky and hang around after the show and meet them, although myself I’m more often tend to not do that than the times that I do. 

Plus it is simply a night out and doing something, just different than the usual routine and sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered.


So, there, I don’t seem to have come to any sort of resolution on these thoughts. I’ve been to shows that I loved, and ones that I was ready to leave before they were over. The good and the bad, we’ve all been there. This is just a brain barf and I’m putting it out there. I’m assuming most of you will say that concerts are a positive and that the negative parts of the concert are outweighed by the better parts of the concert… Feel free to correct, add, argue, whatever in the comments. This was just what was on my mind today.

21 thoughts on “En Spectacle

  1. J. says:

    Aw man! Have you seen The Sadies yet? Truly amazing band. Anyhoo, I haven’t been to a gig since Mastodon in January. Couldn’t even tell you who is on tour that is like to see… but I do enjoy seeing bands / solo dudes live (though the price of tickets these days means I’m often a bit more selective).


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Getting to this late but, nope, I hadn’t seen them before this gig. Truly amazing is true words, for sure! Mmmm Mastodon – I love their albums AND their live sets! And being selective is good. It’d be easy to burn out if you went to everything. Plus, it wouldn’t be special anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. deKE says:

    TBAY is hit and miss with shows as far as I’m concerned! Bluesfest is coming up this year and we took a pass on it when tickets went on sale. No single day passes were sold and out of the 12 acts announced only 3-4 interested me so for 400 bucks for me and the Boss to go is way to pricey…
    Last week I caught JOHN5/Jared James Nichols which was a unbelievable fantastic concert! Great sound and you had two dudes…JOHN5 total shredder while JJN’s was heavy blues…
    Coming up in may its Teenage Head!
    September its Maiden in Vancouver!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      $400? Hahaha NOPE. But John5 man, he’s crazy good. Teenage Head and Maiden are two excellent choices, sir, no doubt! And I gotta say, TBay gets more shows than OS!


  3. Jade says:

    I love going to gigs. Live sound is just different, and the crowd energy is infectious. Besides, the tickets are pretty much the main source of income for many artistes these days, with Spotify and whatnot on the rise. Granted the travelling is rightfully dreaded, the people I meet there are often worth the trip.

    Sadly, we don’t get a lot of metal bands performing down here. Some are banned due to religious concerns and others… Well, they just skip right past Singapore and head straight for Japan. 😂

    Have fun at the Sadies show!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Great points about the live energy, and band income. That’s a bummer about the metal bands. I’ll bet people would love it if a big band managed to play there! Sadies are gonna rule – it’s a gig definitely worth our time. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Zack says:

    I agree with pretty much everything you said there, which is why I’m a bit more picky about who I go out to see anymore. I need to see an artist who’s worth driving 2 hours and putting that effort in.


  5. stephen1001 says:

    The thing I struggle with the most is the service charges – for example, tickets to an Arkells show in Toronto were theoretically $70 but after the service fees/convenience fees/site fees/etc., they were $90!


  6. 80smetalman says:

    I know what you mean about all the expense in time and money it takes to go to a concert. One reason why I’ve retired from going to three day festivals. However, the great great majority of the time, the expense was worth it. Still, I might go to Bloodstock on the Sunday to see the Scorpions and Queensryche.


      1. 80smetalman says:

        Yes, in fact I have two in mind already. I am seriously thinking of going to Bloodstock for the Sunday because the Scorpions are headlining and Queensryche and Dee Snider are on the bill for that day. Then in October, Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin’ Stones, a band I introduced last year are coming to my neck of the woods.


  7. 2loud2oldmusic says:

    I love going to concerts, but I am picky and won’t go too far or to venues I don’t like. However, this year I am coming to the realization that some bands I like might not be around forever so I am trying to see what I can. I am seeing Kiss & Queen this Summer for that very reason. I am also seeing Bryan Adams & Led Zeppelin (I mean Greta Van Fleet) in May. So a lot coming up and hopefully a few more to throw in there before the year is out. Your positive points are the main reason I want to go; the negative ones are the main reason I haven’t gone too many over the last 10 years or so.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Great points. Man, talk about seeing a band before they die, I went to see the Stones in 1994 because I wanted to see them before they expired haha! You’ve got lots coming up, and that’s awesome. I know you’ll have a great time! As for the points, there’s probably a balance. Maybe it’s just the shows we KNOW we wanna see, no more on spec gigs!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. keepsmealive says:

          What little I’ve read said he’s alright. Will see how long recovery is, I guess. I keep saying there’s no shame in them going back to their old blues-covers roots and doing the sit-down in-the-round style show. They could do that for another decade and still be beloved!

          Liked by 1 person

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