Concerts 101

We all know by now that I talk far too much about concerts and different bands I love.  However, I just saw one of my favorite bands for the second time (yeah, it's Night Riots), so I'm still coming down off the concert high.  Therefore, you get more concert related content!  YAY!

I wanted to talk about the different types of concerts, venues, bands, fans, and experiences out there.  Granted, I've only been to alt-rock/punk rock shows.  Oh, wait.  When I was five I got to see N'SYNC!  Two words: mechanical bulls.  Anyway, here is my brief "guide" to concerts.


Venues (around the cities): 

These are just some that I've been to, not nearly all the venues that exist.

 First Avenue:  

First Ave is my favorite venue because it's small enough that you can see from anywhere in the room.  It's also relatively clean and the staff is really nice.  If you can see a concert at First Ave, do it!  First Avenue supports small bands and other venues around the cities as well, which is a major plus.

 Varsity Theater:   That's the bathroom.  How amazing is that?!  The Varsity has the coolest decor around the entire building.  It's also about the same size of First Ave, so you never have a bad spot.  Check the Varsity out, you won't regret going there.


The Turf Club: The Turf Club is where I first saw Night Riots.  I loved how small and close it felt.  Again, no bad views!  The downside to this venue is that it's not in the nicest part of St. Paul, not the worst, just not the best.  It did have a clown themed room which was terrifying, so I didn't like that, but they let us in the venue to wait rather than waiting outside, which is cool.


Roy Wilkins Auditorium: I think Roy Wilkins is the best place to see a large concert.  I saw The Killers here and was in the second to the back row, yet still had a blast.  That was somewhat due to The Killers being amazing performers, but the venue helps make the environment of a concert good too.  I like Roy Wilkins as well because it's not as big as the Xcel Center, so your view is a little better, and it's not disgustingly dirty like Target Center.  Never go to Target Center, it's pretty much the worst venue ever.  Though the Triple Rock Social Club had some sketchy bathrooms (good venue despite that).



To me, it's the best when you get to meet your favorite bands.  So, if you go to a concert and think you won't be able to meet your favorites, look for other options!  I got to meet The Wombats, another of my favorites, on pure happenstance.  We found out they were doing a free acoustic performance, and a CD signing after, at a local record store.  They were super sweet and we made them laugh, bringing up one of their old, absurdest songs.  

I've also gotten to meet Night Riots twice and they are amazing huggers!  No joke.  They give you tight hugs like they actually appreciate your support (and they do).  I'm smiling like a fool in both of these pictures, but oh well.

It is so cool to meet people so in love with music and so passionate about what they do.  And even if you don't know a band, go say hi!  If you like an opener even a little bit, you should meet them.  You never know if you'll grow to like them more (me about Charmin Liars) or be able to say you met a band before they were famous (yep, like a hipster).  I could have met fun. when they opened for Panic! At the Disco a long time ago, but I didn't.  I don't regret that too much since I don't love their music, but it would have been a cool story ><



There are a few types of fans out there, not all good.

  • The Woo Girl: (Me at any given concert) Wooing at the bands & anything they say because they can't contain their excitement.
  • The Frat Boy(esque): Drinks too much, and yells at the bands, trying to receive attention.  They also often start waves in the moshpit, which is when they surge forward suddenly, trying to get closer to the stage without caring if they knock anyone over.  
  • The Tall Guy/Girl: You know the one.  Even if you're tall, they're always slightly taller and always in front of you.  Try to find a hole to see through and stew in bitter anger.
  • The Drunk: Clearly, drinks too much and ruins the concert for you if you're standing near him/her.  If you are, prepare to smell alcohol or get it on your clothing.  Avoid these people at all costs.
  • The Weirdly Old Couple: Why are they here?  They have no kids, and are a little too into the music.  To each their own, I guess?  Honestly, this will probably be me in my later years...
  • Disinterested Millenial: We were at the Nothing But Thieves concert recently, and one girl snapchated the entire concert.  Photos and videos of the songs are cool, but enjoying the experience and the music is cooler ;)


Honestly, you're going to have bad concert experiences and good concert experiences, even if you're seeing your favorite band.  Just try to forgot people around you and even a little bit of your own inhibitions (don't stand their like a tree) and enjoy the music!  Concerts are super fun and make a great escape from the real world.  So, go see a concert.  Hey, go see Night Riots on March 21st, Laurel and I will be there :D  You don't have to pay crazy amounts of money.  Some of my favorite concerts have cost, at max, inbetween 15 and 20 dollars.  Be thrifty with what you buy too.  I personally love buying shirts, because I like the conversation it can start about your favorite band, but that gets expensive.  Get a CD or poster and then get it signed!  


Have fun and sing your heart out! 

<3/ Rachel


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