Do You Know What A Concert Is?

On a lazy afternoon, a few weeks ago, I was flipping through cable channels and I went from watching the Sundance Channel’s intimate sessions of the Live from Abbey Road series to watching live concerts filmed at venues with hundreds of fans cheering and I started to wonder…

what makes a concert, a concert?

Is it how, when or where it takes place?

Does the number of people in the audience determine an official concert?

Is it what we do at the concert that defines it?

Is soundcheck part of the concert?

Big questions. I know.

But I still have to ask them because so much has changed when it comes to what we classify as a live concert.

And it’s by far one of the most fascinating social events we take part in.

Concert Environments

Sometimes we see them live.

Sometimes they’re recorded for later broadcast (DayTrotter, Stereogum, Daily Habit).

Other times they take place in small confined areas where we wouldn’t think a concert can take place (NPRs Tiny Desk Concert).

Other times the environments are morning shows, late night shows, online podcasts or live streaming broadcasts (NPR, Sound Opinions, Pitchfork.tv, Daytrotter, Stereogum, Daily Habit, Live From Abbey Road)

But one thing is always constant in all forms, environments and venues.

There’s always some type of element of community, a communal cord that connects us all.

And depending on the size and tastes of the community or audience, the concert can mean so many things to so many different people–and still accomplish the goal of uniting us all under a universal love for live music.

So whether you call it an event, a concert, a gig, or a show, always know that your experience is shared not only with those around you at that moment, but also with millions of others in the big communal concert community.

So tell me…what is a concert to you?

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