Concert experiences, have they changed?

By Adam Meyer

Music itself is timeless while concert performances are specific to the time, or are they? Are all concerts the same, or was there a difference in performance from the 80s to now?

Recently there has been a larger distribution of films that correlate to bands who have legacies, Straight outta Compton, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Dirt, and coming soon Rocketman. All of these films have, and will potetially have, influenced the viewing audience to a generation of music that is different from today’s, and they show how performances on stage really were in the time of music that they played in. The example brought up is comparing and contrasting different bands and how they keep up with bands or solo artists today. Has the concert-going experience changed with the evolution of music?

“We had no phones, we had meeting points for our friends if we get lost, and if you were lucky you could sneak in a disposable camera. But it was the same atmosphere everyone dances and everyone sings, so I think the phone is the biggest difference because you couldn’t share what you saw,”

Lisa Meyer said.

Cell phones have become a huge department of how people gain information today, for instance with social media people are able to share as much as they want as long as they have the content. Today venues can’t confiscate phones like they once did with disposable cameras, because they have more than one use and are vital to communication. Sometimes certain artists will explain to the crowd the importance of being in the moment. 

“Artists now yell at the crowd to get rid of their cell phones and other distractions,”

CJ Meyer said.

As a sign of respect audience members in the 80s would bring out lighters when a ballad comes on Lisa Meyer said, but today people use the lights on their phones to give the same appeal.

With every generation, there will always be a new form of music that appeals because everyone is different. For Shannon Atkinson she explains how concerts haven’t really changed and only the music has changed. A memorable moment for her was in her senior year of high-school when she went to see The 1975.

“I went to NYC with eight of my best friends and we wandered around the city before we went. I remember being in the pit and it being so hot I could barely breathe before they came on. As soon as they started, the entire pit started jumping and screaming and singing and didn’t stop at all for the full two hours they played,”

Atkinson said.

The experience of being in a pit for concerts is one that Atkinson explains as one she would never forget. The concert would end and she would have to run to her ride and barely make it. 

“It was one of my favorite, if not my favorite, concert experiences of my entire life,”

Atkinson said.

Every concert is different for each participant due to the type of music the crowd brings in. For instance eighties bands who do reunion tours will usually appeal to an older crowd, while a newer rap group or pop solo artist will appeal to the younger generation. The types of people who go to concerts to see a specific performance is very select.

“It was my brother, my sister-in-law and her sister and I, we all went to L.A. to go the concert (Odd Future), and as we first got in I ordered a lemonade and then went towards the mosh pit area with my bro, then we saw this guy having a good time and this girl thought that he was harassing her even though he was not near her, then arguing happened then, WHAM! He was punched in the eye and started to bleed, it was a great experience that happened five feet away from my bro and I,”

Emilio Puga said.

There will always be confrontation in mosh pits as both Puga and Atkinson explained, something Lisa Meyer did not mention. Certain concepts of concert going experiences have changed as time has progressed. 

Phones are now a viable part of peoples experiences because they have a desire to record the moment and want to relive it after the shows, as CJ Meyer explained there are times performers will be against that and try to tell them to put their phones down. Overall it seems that the music has changed, but the concert experience has not entirely changed, it still consists of likeminded people going to enjoy music from an artist that they admire. 

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