What experience do you want?

By: Rachel Fechser

You want to know about concerts? Jack Childress, a Chapman junior business major, can put you into concerts:

“The energy is supposed to be there and it’s meant to be transferred right into the audience who can’t help but feel the bass and see the lights flashing right in your face. This is a friggin show! Physically there is a connection between you and the band that comes from the sensory overload hitting you square in the chest. And all of this, despite the noise and lights, only focuses your attention on why you’re there in the first place: the band.”

There is a rare connection felt between the audience and an artist or a band during a live performance.  It doesn’t matter the size of the venue: A quality concert can be a small, intimate gathering or a sold out stadium with 25,000 screaming fans. Nothing seems to compare to a weekend shared among people who have left their reality for their passion of live music in a festival setting.

“Music is about expressing emotion and feeling the intensity of the sounds the artist makes, and you can’t have that sitting 20 rows back in a stadium or you’ll break the bank trying to get front row at Madison Square,” said Annie Zheng, a sophomore at New York University.

The younger generation is on a festival craze with popular festivals like Coachella, Outside Lands, and Electric Daisy Carnival selling out within minutes of passes going on sale.  The festival vibe is not comparable to either an intimate performance or a stadium full of fans.

“I'd prefer to be at a festival rather than just a concert because of the community and cultural aspect.  You get to sleep, eat, breathe where the magic is happening! There's nothing like it,” said Susan Whitman, a junior at University of Boulder Colorado.

People feel a sense of togetherness during a festival that is unique and cannot be imitated during a regular show.  Everyone seems to be at a festival for the same reasons, “We are there to celebrate the music, as well as celebrating the happiness that music brings into our life.  The beauty of a festival is that expression is welcome with love and acceptance,” said Michele Underwood, a junior at Southeast Missouri State University.

When given the choice between a smaller venue like a bar or club and a packed stadium, most people agree they would rather see a band during an intimate performance rather than be a part of the energy of an arena. 

“In small venues you feel like the artist is interacting with you on more of a personal level,” said Jacob Zanoni, University of Nevada-Reno graduate.  There is more opportunity to feel closer to the band during a performance if there are less people and distractions.

“While large stadium events are fun, you can't say you felt like you were apart of the music,” said Katie Velishek, former Southeast Missouri State University student.  The meaning of live music can change person to person but people go to a concert to feel the emotion an artist puts into their music.

 “It seems as if a stadium can sort of drown out the mood and feeling being portrayed by the artist,” said Underwood.

Some people feed off of other people’s energy, making them enjoy a stadium filled with people.  “A lot of people will be more excited if they’re with 80,000 other people cheering and yelling and screaming even if they have to have crappy seats,” said Childress of Chapman.

How close you are to a band can change the entire concert experience.  Most prefer to try and achieve a personal connection with a performer based on the emotion put out by sound.  Others are satisfied with being with their friends and just enjoying what they can, not asking too much of venue or band.

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