the 5 best concerts you need to experience at least once in your life
“Concerts are life,” a small voice at the back of your head chants until it becomes a battlecry.
Sure, you may not be able to attend a concert every week like you hoped you could, but when you do, it feels as if time doesn’t exist. You are alive in the moment.
Maybe you’ve been to dozens and dozens of shows over your lifetime. Or maybe you’ve just begun to explore more of the concert-loving lifestyle. No matter which stage you’re in, one thing is certain: there’s nothing like the feeling of belonging in sea of strangers connected by the music.
Experiencing a concert is one way to explore the music scene of any place. Wouldn’t you agree that when you travel, attending a show is something that would be something on your itinerary especially if your favourite band is playing the same time you’re in that country?
So whether you’re a concert newbie or a concert junkie, these are the 5 types of concerts you need to experience at least once in your life. And if you have, kudos to you! You’re a true concert aficionado.
You may be thinking, “How on earth do I find concerts like these?” Don’t fret. Here are some helpful guides:
Now that that’s out of the way, here are 5 best concert experiences you need to know.
The Intimate Gig
This type of concert could be the gateway to the wonderful world of concerts and live music. This is definitely the most common type of show you can catch with loads of gig venues in the area. And it’s a great entry point because it’s an affordable way to explore the music scene. Venues typically charge a small door fee and it can even come with a free drink. There are other venues that host free shows, so keep a look out for those. Another good thing about this type of concert is that if you’re an aspiring music photographer, you can practice during these shows since these kinds of venues don’t usually require photo passes. You are free to bring your camera.
The Secret Show
This is one of the more fun types of concerts because of its mystery. Yes, some of you may be thinking that the “secret” aspect of it makes it seem elusive and limiting, but there’s that thrill of not knowing who will be performing. It’s like a blind date with music, and you may just fall in love with an artist’s sound during their first song.
The only details you’re given is the date, and a vague location i.e. the city of the show. But the exact address of the show is revealed a day or two before. Another thing that makes the secret show fun is that the venue changes every time. It could be in a backpack store, in a train station, or in someone’s house. You never know.
I’ve attended a few secret shows and I’ve discovered great artists from attending them.
The Mall Show
Mall shows are one of my favourite types of shows because of its accessibility and early start times. In the Philippines, we spend our weekends in malls. We meet-up with our friends in malls… going to malls is somewhat of a cultural thing.
It can be tricky to get tickets because it usually sells out fast. Normally the mall sets up mechanics for you to redeem a ticket. i.e. buy something or spend a certain amount of money in a specific shop for you to be able to exchange your receipt for a concert ticket. However, if you don’t have a ticket, it doesn’t mean you can’t watch the show. A concert ticket guarantees you a spot inside the mosh pit or gated area, but you can always watch the show from outside the barriers or from the other floors of the mall.
What I love about mall shows is that if you want to, you can watch all mall shows. For example, last year, LANY had a mall tour with 5 shows in a weekend, and some people were able to attend all five.
The Headliner Concert
If you’re a massive fan of an artist, there’s no better way than being able to see them at a concert that they’re headlining. The best type of concert for a big fan would be an intimate gig because no matter where you are standing or seated, it’ll still be a close distance from the band, and the likelihood of meeting an artist after the show is greater when it’s an intimate gig in a bar or small venue. But if you want longer set times, then a headliner concert is the way to go.
Sometimes if you’re catching an artist at an intimate venue, chances are there are other artists also on the line-up, which means set times per band are usually 30 minutes or about 4-5 songs. For mall shows, you can expect about 10-11 songs. With headliner concerts, an artist is able to perform a longer set, which sometimes may go up to more than 20 songs. This, of course, varies from artist to artist. For me, this kind of show is the best if you’re aim is to experience many songs live.
Headlining concerts can happen in different venues—from a bar, a medium-sized theatre to an arena.
The Music Festival
This type of concert is a whole other ball game because of the fact that it happen from as short as half a day to a whole weekend. Music festivals are a great experience because of the number of artists in the line-up. It’s cost effective having that kind of line-up. For example, a VIP ticket to a headliner concert could cost just as much as the GA ticket to a music festival where you have more than five artists in the line-up.
With music festivals, there are also lots of activities available in between set times. There are booths that sell merchandise, food, and even games. You just have to be able to pace yourself when attending a music festival since it’s much more tiring that your typical concert.
Document Your Moments in Music
To recap, the five best concert experiences you need to know are the intimate gig, a secret show, mall show, headliner and music festival. Each type of concert has its distinct qualities and come with different experiences.
Have you experienced all these types of concerts? Which one is your favourite?