My Spring Break was spent back in my homeland—Orlando, (well Winter Park specifically but Orlando is close enough) Fla. The weather was great, and it reminded me of my incredulity at New Englander’s desire to live where the air hurts your face. While I was back in the Sunshine State, I went to a concert in Daytona Beach (#sprangbreak). The concert was for two lesser-known classic rock bands who reached the peak of their popularity in the late ’70s—Orleans and Firefall. Most people have heard a song or two by them, but couldn’t name the bands off the top of their head (i.e. “Still The One” and “Just Remember I Love You”). Anyway, I’m a big fan of old music and so I snagged some tickets for my dad and me.
We arrived at the Peabody Auditorium after some pizza at the original Stavro’s Pizza House (try the Greek salad!) and walked on in. At this venue, there was no general admission area where people stood for hours on end, tumbling over each other as they tried to record the entire concert on their phone and also grind on their significant other at the same time. Instead, the entire space was full of auditorium style seating. Everyone would have their own seat for the entirety of the show. As my father and I looked around, we noticed that I was clearly the youngest person at this show by about three decades. But given that these bands aren’t attracting any people other than those fans who sought them out, we weren’t surprised. The bands came on one after another and both played for about an hour and a half each. I had a great time, and I would see them again if I ever get the chance. But on the way home from the concert, my dad and I talked about other concerts we had been to and which bands or artists we would like to see in the future.
This conversation made me think about the disparity between some of the bands and artists I’ve seen when compared to one another. My first concert was in seventh grade. My friend Gordon, his parents, and I went to see James Taylor at the Bob Carr Theater in Orlando. Much like this most recent concert, everyone had their own seats and sat back to enjoy the music. I then reflected on the time my friend Nick and I saw the Imagine Dragons at the CFE Arena at UCF when I was a high school freshman (ah … memories). We stood for hours, trying to get a glimpse of this band (who I wasn’t even a fan of), while some drunk lady spilled appletinis on us all night.
I’ve decided that, while concerts by new, more popular bands can be a lot of fun, I prefer seeing older bands on stage. I want to go to a concert to see a band whose music I enjoy listening to live. I find that the individual seating, with a relatively older crowd, affords me this luxury. I don’t have to crane my neck and stand on the tips of my toes (I’m not very tall) to see the stage, I don’t go home with beer stains all over my clothes because people want to jump up and down while holding an open cup, and I really don’t need to worry about anything when I just want to listen to the music. Another good thing about old bands is that when they say the show starts at 7:00, the show starts at 7:00. It isn’t 8:30 when the opening band comes out, and 10:00 when the main act appears. They show up, they play the music everyone has come to hear (their hits) and then they call it a day. Get up, buy a t-shirt, go catch a late movie.
Reading this to myself, I realize I sound really lame. “That’s like part of the experience mannnn! You gotta just roll with it dude-bro.” Don’t get me wrong, you should go to the concerts you like. Enjoy what you enjoy. I just find that I would rather listen to the music than fight someone (i.e. get punched in the face and call my mom) in a mosh pit.
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