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Tips for Enjoying a Concert

A good concert can be the highlight of your month. However, experienced attendees know that there are some best practices to ensure they always get the most out of their ticket. Here are their secrets.

Protect your ears. This is the most important item on the list. Prior to attending a concert, you have no idea how loud it’s going to get. Depending on the venue and seating (or standing) arrangements, you could even end up next to one of the speaker stacks. It’s a great idea to have earplugs handy. Skip the cheapo foam earplugs and get a pair designed for musicians. They’ll be pricey (about $20 a pair), but they won’t make your favorite band sound like mashed potatoes. Also, don’t worry about looking weird. Other than the rock stars, sound engineers are some of the coolest people at a concert. They always wear earplugs.

Get familiar. Concerts can be a great way to fall in love with an artist, but if you’ve never heard them before, you might not enjoy the show as much. If you have a few days before the show, pull the artist up on your favorite streaming service and try to listen to each of their hits. That way, when they play the opening chords to those songs, you’ll understand why everyone else is losing their mind.

Arrive early. Some people head to a concert halfway through because they only bought a ticket to see the headlining act. The first issue you would face with this approach is difficulty finding a choice-worthy parking spot. Next, once inside the venue, you can expect your favorite vantage point to be taken, whether that’s standing up against the stage or sitting at a raised table.

Listen to the opening acts. Even among those who arrive when the doors open, there are people who ignore the opening acts, or worse, carry on a conversation while they play. Obviously, this is extremely rude for anyone who is interested in checking out the openers, not to mention the artists themselves. Furthermore, by ignoring the openers, you rob yourself of the opportunity to discover great new music. Remember, all the big headliners were just opening acts at one point.

Don’t saturate yourself. On the way to the concert, choose something different to listen to. Live performances usually differ from studio recordings. This means that it might sound like the band is “messing up” your favorite song if you just listened to it on repeat while waiting for the venue doors to open. Artists often use concerts as an opportunity to experiment with new ideas in their hit songs to keep things fresh. By going in with “untuned” ears, you’ll be able to appreciate their changed vision.

Bring fellow fans. If you know some other people who are into the artist you’re going to see, ask them to join you. Even if it’s a coworker you seldom talk to or a friend you haven’t seen in years, one of the best ways to enjoy a concert is with company that loves the music as much as you do.

Don’t be afraid to enjoy it alone. At some point in your concert attendee career, you’ll want to check out an act that no one else has any interest in. When that day comes, remember that it’s better to go it alone and satisfy your curiosity (or enthusiasm) than stay home. You’ll get serious hipster-cred down the road when the band is topping all the charts.

There’s just one last rule: Remember to have fun!