Hey crew!
So I’m getting ready to head to New York City for CMJ tomorrow. Of course I’m always down for some quality time in nyc; and for this trip, I’m also preparing myself for 5 straight days and nights of shows!
I need to get ready, so naturally I thought of you folks!
Who’s got rock-show strategies to share? How do you get the most out of the shows you see? What do you listen for at live shows? In your experience, what’s the difference between the live show and the recording? What does or doesn’t satisfy your expectations in a live show? Etc, etc…?
I’ll be posting pictures and notes throughout the week. I’d love to have your show-tips to help me along as I go.


  1. Kevin Archibald
    October 16, 2007 at 2:46am
    Bring earplugs, especially with electric guitars. If you forget, the bartenders sometimes sell them or hand them out. Supportive shoes are a must. In bad shoes, I get shin splints by the end of the night after dancing on the usual club cement floor. After five days, you'll need a wheelchair. When in doubt, where all black. If you don't drink and you want to avoid the bathroom from too many caffeinated colas, bars usually have cranberry juice. Be sure to tip even for juice. A great drummer puts on the best show. If there's a balcony above the drummer, that's the best seat in the house, even if you don't care fore the overall band sound. My favorite drummer is the drummer from Green Day. He makes the funniest faces. The lack of a live drummer usually downgrades the show for me. Dual drummers are a bonus. In a crowded room, you can find some dancing room around the perimeter of a mosh pit. Yeah, you might be bumped once in a while, but there's breathing room, even if it's temporary, and everyone's watching the flying elbows, not you. If the band compels me to dance at least once, to shut my eyes and just be one with the music, that's a great show. It's like a spiritual moment, - sacred time in a sacred place. I usually like it if the band interacts with the crowd in some manner, or allows the audience help with the music. That's something I can't get from the album. But, make sure the sound system is good for normal speech, so we don't stand around for 5-10 minutes of incoherent speech. I love it when the band jumps into the crowd and starts dancing (i.e. Prodigy). I don't really care to hear the audience sing, but it's fun when there's some kind of drum-like object with contact mics for the audience to hit (Sharkbait was good about this). I like good visuals, including videos, custom instruments, costumes, body paint, etc. I'm not as big on the fire now, after all the accidents. It's nice when overhead videos can capture of the keyboard activity (if the keyboards are actually getting played). Unless you have stage presence and/or other eye candy, don't include songs you can't play pretty much completely live. I'd rather hear a stripped down live version of a song with new live arrangements than a canned version of the original song, something simple, raw and alive like what I saw in the recent punk rock documentary, American Hardcore. I admit most layered electronic dance music would be tough live, although it can be done (i.e. Dolby). Otherwise, turn on the DAT and join us on the dancefloor. Have fun!
  2. Brent
    October 16, 2007 at 6:49am
    Michael, When I hit up a rock-show, I expect the artists to get me into the music. the openers show come out and set the tempo for the show. a bad opener for me can take away from the featured artists later in the night. however a great opener can make a name for themselves as well as make the featured artist give more than he may have originally. i got to see papa roach here in NE and the opener was a band called the Deaf Pedestrians, they were perfect for opening this show and Jacobi went absolutely nuts because the he was feeding off the intense crowd created by the Deaf Peds and Saliva. Thats my tip for you. basically get to the show early and see the opener. Brent
  3. tyesha
    October 16, 2007 at 9:48am
    hey guyz that is mad kool
  4. mark
    October 30, 2007 at 3:01pm
    make sure you check out the Orpheum in Boston
  5. Kitarah
    November 03, 2007 at 8:30pm
    PANDORA IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. Bianca
    November 07, 2007 at 11:12am
    Excellent this station!!! Congratulations guys!!! Very good job, God bless uuuu!!

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