2010 was another good year for live music. Many of us have seen at least a few shows here or there, and some of us have spent more time in front of towering stacks of PA speakers than with the very persons we claim to love. While tastes and genres may vary from show to show, there are a few undeniable truths and dynamics present at almost every club, concert hall or arena — no matter who is playing that night. The live music experience is defined — and measured — by the way fans react to the performance, and music of any kind has the ability to trigger piloerection (that means to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, not what those of you with your mind in the gutter might think).
There are also many differences in the way people “do” things at a concert that, when compared to audience behavior and etiquette twenty years ago, seem odd, out of the element, or extremely annoying. In this article, I will reflect on some of the more memorable shows of 2010 and examine the good, bad, and lessons learned over the course of the past year in concert-going. Some phenomenons are present across various genres and types of shows, yet each show retains a unique nuance that serves as the sole fleeting memory of what transpired on any given night. And some of these phenomenons just plain kick ass.
First, let’s examine an item of ubiquity sure to be present at each and every concert, no matter how big or small: the video camera phone.