August 13, 2018
Issue 9 2018

Unpopular Opinion: Music Concerts

Music concerts. The events we risk our lives for. The performances we drain our bank accounts for. They’re essentially a compromise of paying big bucks to see your future husband (that you dream will pick you out of the large crowd and propose to you on the spot) and having to share the whole concert on social media platforms. Otherwise, were you really there?

I’d say the amount of concerts you have attended determines your experience and intelligence on the matter. In that case, I’m probably considered a noob when it comes to them, but I’ve attended enough to make my mind up about them. In order of attendance, I’ve seen (ignore the first two if you’re a cynic) The Wiggles, Hi-Five, Justin Bieber (Believe Tour, I’m an old-school belieber), Slash, Odesza, Ariana Grande, and Todrick Hall (YouTube him. You’re welcome), a wide range of genres now that I think about it.

With a total of seven semi-quality concerts under my belt, I can confidently say that music concerts suck. Each individually had a major downfall – and it is my job to inform you about my experiences, and potentially save you $80 to 200 on your next ticket. You might find after this that concerts are almost as good when watched on YouTube in the comfort of your own bed.

The Wiggles & Hi-Five: Probably the peak of childhood entertainment – the performances were professional, live, and fun. The only thing that ruined this was my gravitation towards the mosh pit at The Wiggles, and the solemn scolding I received afterwards. Also, make sure to pack a cushion for your five-year-old to sit on in the theatre so they can see the stage. Thanks.

Justin Bieber: As iconic as this infamous 2013 performance was, I couldn’t help but feel a bit let down. My poor father spent a whole 8 hours driving from Palmerston North to Auckland with the Bieb’s hits blasting the whole way. However, the concert itself couldn’t live up to the standard we previously set in the back seats of the car, as he was an hour late to the stage, and the screams of fangirls drowned out the perfection of his lip-singed performance. Thanks JB. Regardless of this I still cried the whole time and took deep breaths of the air that I was sharing with my man.

Slash: As a kind gesture, I involuntarily attended this event with my ex. Not only was I unaware of who Slash really was, but Guns and Roses was just non-existent in my musical palette. Little did I know what I was about to endure. Middle aged men spilling beer everywhere, and big belly midriffs swayed to the indecipherably loud music – it was a bogan’s paradise. I was very much a minority in that arena.

Odesza: During my explorative second year at uni, I thought I’d try and be hip and cool, and attend a concert at San Fran. Knowing one of Odesza's songs passingly, I felt it was my calling to attend this concert. With the success of my Wiggles mosh pit venture, I arrived about an hour early and eagerly took my spot at the front of the stage, raspberry vodka in hand. About 10 minutes before the music began the room started to fill up considerably and I was having second doubts about my assertiveness. Unluckily for me, my lack of height and actual enthusiasm to see anyone live gave way, and my primo spot was granted to a heard of clucky concert goers, and I found myself at the back of the room having a tantrum as I sipped on the last dregs of my beverage.

Ariana Grande: My queen. My one and only. The only thing that ruined this concert for me was the fact that I could only afford seats at the back of Spark Arena – and my jealousy of everyone on the floor was enough to count this as a bad experience. None of them even watched her. I could hardly see her from the back because of the amount of phones held up to record every moment by the pre-teens who had convinced their parents to spend big bucks, rather than saving every spare penny they had from their weekly student loan to even get into that arena as I had. RIP my sanity.

Todrick Hall: This was a stellar performance, and now that I think about it, I don't have much to complain about. Other than the fact that when I tell people that I went to go see him the in the mid-year break, they reply, “Who?” This concert sucked because it was completely underrated.

Despite my moaning and my seemingly unfortunate circumstances and timing with my previous concert experiences, I have just this week booked my seats for Shawn Mendes to serenade me out of my unemployment depression in November next year. But I’m having my doubts.

I think the point of going to concert should be not only to see the artist you admire, but to appreciate their music and its live imperfections – that’s what makes music good. It’s the culture of instant gratification that has influenced this phenomenon of capturing everything, so you can watch it later. But does anyone ever watch it back? The quality is shocking, and you can hardly hear the artist over the sound of your tone-deaf accompaniment. Record it as a voice memo if you have to and sit back and relax (or get trampled in the standing area if that’s more your thing).

So, Shawn, unless you’re Cole Sprouse incarnate and are putting on some sort of strip tease, I won’t be gambling my life by standing by the stage and will happily sit and cry while you do your thing. And write a story about how much I disliked the experience of it all later on.