Experience Music in a New Way

I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my twenty years of life. I’ve been to music festivals and concerts at huge venues, but I have also been to smaller, more intimate venues. There are good things about all these different live music experiences, but recently I have found myself being drawn to the experiences at smaller venues.

When attending a huge festival or stadium concert, the price usually mirrors the size of the location—big. I am all for splurging on life experiences, concerts especially! But, if you want to get your fill of live music more regularly and are on a college student budget, like myself, smaller concerts are your jam.

Last week, I saw a beautiful concert by the amazingly talented band, Caamp, with one of my best friends (for only $13 I should add). Not only is the cost appealing, but these smaller, general admission, type shows have a more intimate feeling than your normal stadium concert. There is a feeling of connection between the musicians and the audience. I experienced this connection at a Birdtalker concert earlier this year. The band came off of the stage, gathered the whole audience around them and sang one of their songs completely a cappella. These types of moments are impossible to achieve in a large concert setting. 

The audience at these types of concerts just add to the unique experience. There are so many different types of people at these smaller venues. You have the college kids, the couple in their 50s, the mid-twenties hipster guy going solo, and the parents with their fourteen year old kid and her friends. But, although we all seem very different, we are in the same space wanting to hear the same music. Good music can bring the most different of people together in one shared experience, creating a sense of community. 

I find that with bands like Caamp, where their music is very lyrically centered and many of their songs are softer, this type of setting is best. This smaller venue allows you to completely focus on the artists and the message they are trying to send. I find myself listening more intensely and relating to the songs more during these types of performances. With an artist like Caamp, songs like “All the Debts I Owe,” “Strawberries,” and “So Long, Honey” combine beautifully relatable lyrics with strong instrumentals, making it hard to not get emotional. 

I knew some of their music before this concert and I enjoyed the songs I knew, but after the concert I can now say they are one of my favorite bands. I find that happens a lot when I see a band up close at a smaller venue. Something about seeing them perform their art live makes me love it even more. Maybe it's the passion with which they play or something else, but it has been a week since the concert and I’ve been listening to their music on repeat. 

So while stadium concerts and music festivals hold their own appeal, try out a smaller venue concert to discover and enjoy smaller bands for a more affordable price. It may be different than your normal concert experience, but you will gain a deeper connection with the artist and a new appreciation for live music.