On October 5th, I hauled myself to Columbus, Ohio to see my friends' band, The Neighbourhood, perform. The Neighbourhood, a five piece from Southern California, identify their sound as "Alt-Pop". Their unique songs, edgy look and talented vocals by frontman Jesse Rutherford, got them noticed by Columbia Records, who they just released their debut album with, called I Love You. Their hit single off the album, Sweater Weather, was certified as platinum just days before embarking on their headlining tour.
So what makes a concert great? As a self proclaimed concert veteran, I've picked up on the things a show must have to be a game changer, thus creating my own criteria. I can honestly say that The Neighbourhood's show scored perfectly in all areas, easily making it the best show I've ever attended.
A show without crowd interaction is simply boring, and quite impersonal. The moment of bliss when the lead singer grabs your hand, or gives you a guitar pick, makes for a memory that only you have. The Neighbourhood ruled in this area; they asked the audience questions, shared stories and even had a discussion with the crowd about the college football game going on in Columbus, making it a truly unique and personalized experience.
Vibe The vibe of the show makes or breaks it. If the crowd is enjoying it, it rubs off onto you. If the audience is simply standing there, looking bored, it brings the mood down. The Neighbourhood has a cult following who is extremely invested in their music. This brought a lot of hardcore fans to the show and you just couldn't help but sing and dance along as well.
This is the aspect of live music that I feel is highly underrated, yet very important. A concert is not just auditory; their must be a visual accompaniment. Not only does it give you something to look at, it completely enhances your experience. The Neighbourhood is known for their unique aesthetic. Everything they do is in black and white: music videos, photoshoots, TV appearances (such as their recent gig on Jimmy Kimmel), ect. They've even taken it as far as only wearing black and white. This aesthetic is incorporated into their live shows, making it visually appealing and setting the mood right off the bat.
This one is somewhat simple; if the venue is awful, your show may not be as enjoyable. If you can't see or the sound is not good, your experience will be affected. The Newport Music Hall in Columbus was fantastic; the architecture was amazing and stunning to look at. The sound quality was perfect and you could see the stage from anywhere in the venue.
The simplest, yet most important aspect of live music; the band must be able to perform live. The singer has the biggest role, as his/her voice is expected to sound like the album. Rutherford’s vocals were fantastic; the songs sounded better live than recorded. After hearing rave reviews of their performance of “Sweater Weather" live, I was so excited to see it in performed live in person.
So, what do you think makes a good concert? What was the best show you’ve ever been to? Let me know!