The benefits of seeing local shows
By Cazzy Lewchuck, Staff Writer
Music is an integral part of almost everyone’s life—especially the average college student’s. Almost everybody has gone to or would like to go to a concert, whether your tastes are dubstep DJs mixing the latest sounds or professional violinists serenading by candlelight. Some concerts are held in stadiums big enough to hold football games, others in places no bigger than a kitchen. In addition to the live experience, we all enjoy listening to recorded music, whether on MP3s, CDs, or vinyl.
Whatever genre and way of enjoying music you like, there’s one great way to improve the experience: supporting local music. Just like with food or other types of art, supporting the local industry can really benefit you, your friends, and the people on the other side of the music—and a local concert definitely beats staying home on Saturday night and watching reruns of Friends.
For starters, local concerts are much cheaper than most touring shows. This is because bands can charge less since they don’t have tour expenses or service fees from giant ticketing companies. Most local bands sell the tickets at independent record stores, or direct to you straight from the musician’s hands—a bonus if you’ve never met the person or if you’re a huge fan. Every single local concert I’ve attended has cost less than $20, and there are usually multiple bands on the bill. You’d think seeing more bands would make ticket prices higher, but the opposite holds true.
Smaller venues are another benefit to local shows. They usually don’t hold more than a couple hundred people, allowing for a better view of the stage and an improved ability to hear the band. Musicians interact with the audience a lot more, and almost always hang around to talk after. It’s a much more intimate experience, yet the tickets are a fraction of what you’d pay to see Katy Perry at Rogers Arena. Small venues also allow you to meet your fellow show-goers—great for making friends, hookups, or dates.
The Lower Mainland music scene has a huge variety of music: there’s pop-punk, rock, indie, rap, dubstep, and many others. With such a wide range of tastes, there’s something for everyone. You could easily entertain yourself with a variety of sounds without even having to entertain the idea of paying exorbitant prices to a touring band.
Local bands usually do their music as a hobby or side job and aren’t professionals; by supporting them, you’ll have a direct effect on their ability to do what they love. Connections with local bands are really easy to form, and you’ll probably make friends with the musicians you see multiple times. Whether it’s through buying merchandise and CDs or just seeing the show, supporting local music benefits musicians, venues, and the local economy—plus, they can be a much greater experience than going to a big touring show.