If there is one thing I love more than music, it's live music. I have been averaging about one to two concert once per quarter for the past few years now. In my hey-day, I'd get free tickets from labels to go to shows; it was pretty sweet.
On Monday night, Mel and I went to see Snow Patrol at Salt Air. I swore that whenever they came to Salt Lake, I'd be there no matter what. (I haven't been to Salt Air in over 10 years and "kinda" got a little lost on the way there...LONG story...) (Oh, and if you haven't heard of Snow Patrol and/or you don't like them, we are no longer be friends).
I am very particular about my concerts. I like to be entertained; that's why I pay money to go to them. I've never really been to a bad concert, mostly because all of the artists I've ever seen are ones I love. (I mean, why else shell out the money to see them if you don't, right?)
There are three basic elements to a good show.
1. Artists who don't play their songs EXACTLY like the radio/CD version. This can include 5 minute guitar solos or nice little jig from the lead singer.
2. Artists who keep the entire audience entertained throughout the whole set. This includes ensuring that people are singing along or clapping rhythmically or whatever. But if you have people yawning during that slow song, you might want to consider taking it out of the next evening's set.
3. Artists who have conversations with the audience from the stage. You know what I mean. After every song, DON'T just say thanks and move onto the next song. Tell us a little about the song or what girl broke your heart or a funny story from your youth--ANYTHING that helps us get to know you. We are fans, we care.
Now, Snow Patrol did a great job of #3. The band hails from Ireland and every time the lead singer opened his mouth and spoke, a fantasy of mine popped into my head. My favorite time of the night came when a girl shouted from the audience, "I love you!" He replied in his heavy Irish accent, "'ow can ya luv me? Ya don' ev'n know meh. 'aven't ya listen'd ta meh lyrics? Ai'm not a vey goo' boyfrien' ya know."
As for #2, there was a lot of singing and clapping along, but during some of the slow songs, my A.D.D. kicked in and I started making fun of people (okay, so we did that the entire night, but still). I did get chills when they played my favorite song, "Chocolate" and loved watching them sing it as it's the only song of theirs that I know every sing word.
And #1, there are only a few concerts I've been to where an artist/band has done this. And when it happens, you know you're witnessing greatness. We love songs and artists because we love the lyrics or the voice of the singer or it has a catchy tune. But when an artist is able to turn their song into something completely new during a live show, you know they are a true "artist." It was great to see them sing these songs that have so many meanings to various situations in my life. I love seeing an artist's soul on display through their music.
Overall, I give the show an eight and I'm so glad I went. It was definitely worth it.