This has been an amazing summer of music concerts for me. After covid cleared stages around the world in 2020 and left groupies fawning over grocery store stockboys with access to the new shipments of toilet paper, live music is thankfully back.
Here is the list of artists I have seen since Memorial Day weekend:
- Eric Church (Milwaukee)
- Brothers Osborne (Milwaukee)
- Parker McCollum (Milwaukee)
- Zac Brown Band (Atlanta)
- Night Ranger (Mequon)
- 38 Special (Mequon)
- Poison (Boston)
- Motley Crue (Boston, where I saw ladies do things they only do at rock shows and biker rallies)
- Def Leoppard (Boston)
Tonight my family and I are closing out our Summer Concert Series by seeing Keith Urban and Ingred Andress at the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee.
Getting The Most From The Music
I am always looking for better strategies for success and happiness. And that applies to my concerting too.
Here are 3 of my favorite concert-going tips:
1. Bring Ear Plugs. Ear plugs are cheap and slip into your pocket. Use them as needed. But you hate to want them and not have them. The closer you are to the front, and the more tattoos the artists have on their face, the more likely you are to need them.
2. Live Nation’s Concert Week
Around Memorial Day Live Nation has a concert week promotion. During the promotion they sell tickets to shows for $25 all-in. That means that the tickets, including all the sneaky concerting fees, is just $25. I snagged 5 tix for the Eric Church, Zac Brown and Keith Urban shows. Which meant my family of 5 saw 3 major concerts for just $125 per show. When we saw Zac Brown Band as a family last year each ticket was nearly that price.
2. Set List Prep
A couple of weeks before I see a concert I look up the artist’s setlist online. The setlist is the list of songs the artist performs at a concert, in the order they perform them. I usually look up the setlist from their last few concerts to see if they are consistent or if they mix it up a bit. I like Setlist.fm, but there are others.
Then I take the setlist from the most recent concert, and the additional songs that pop up from the other shows I research, and I create a playlist of those songs, in order, on Spotify.
If there is an opening act, or multiple headliners I will also add their setlists to the playlist. Then I share that playlist with my family or friends with whom I will be Rock’n into the night, like 38 Special.
Then I listen to that playlist when I am driving, working or chillaxin over the next couple of weeks.
This approach has 3 major benefits:
- It gets me excited for the concert. (I am a naturally excitable boy, so it doesn’t take much.)
- It helps me freshen up on the lyrics of the songs I know, or know-ish, but haven’t heard or sung in a while.
- I learn the songs off the new album. Traditionally, the new songs played at a concert are a downer because even if they are good songs you don’t know the words. So when they are played, it’s like a participatory timeout for anyone who doesn’t know the lyrics.
- I know which cover songs to expect. Cover songs are songs by other popular artists. Zac Brown Band is the best at working in amazing cover songs into their setlist. By adding these songs to your prep playlist you will be able to sing along and sound like you know every song by every artist ever. Like ever, ever.
The best way to maximize success and happiness is through strategic preparation. Do your homework. Find great deals. And find great ideas that help you maximize results and enjoyment. Remember that when people show up and know every word to every song, there was probably a great deal of prep involved that you just didn’t see. It’s true at concerts. It’s true in sports. And it’s true at work. Spandau Ballet taught me that.
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+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.