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If you’ve read some of my past posts, you probably know that I love music. I’ve been singing and playing instruments for as long as I can remember, and I am currently pursuing a Music minor here at Arcadia. But, this love extends past just singing solos and playing in the orchestra. Ever since seeing my first live concert, I had to keep buying tickets. I was addicted!
There’s something special about seeing bands perform live, and I think it’s due to the atmosphere. Whether the venue and bands are big or small, there’s palpable energy to be felt. The air is filled with excitement and nervousness, and an undeniable connection builds between those around you, regardless of whether you know them or not. I love being completely surrounded by sound, while also being surrounded by people who love music as much as I do. I’ve been brought to tears many times during concerts because of these feelings swirling around in the air and in me.
I grew up in a small town with a population of around 19,000 (compared to Philadelphia, which has a population of around 1.5 million). My town didn’t have very many concert venues. The bands I actually knew and listened to either stopped nowhere near me on their tours, or the tickets were far too expensive. On the rare occasion that I did snag concert tickets, it would be for bands big enough that they sold out large venues—which often meant that I had to buy tickets for lawn seating. Even all the way back on the lawn, I experienced those feelings I mentioned before, but they were slightly lessened. Seeing the band members on big screens that projected a camera’s view of what was happening on stage made me feel disconnected from the band and, in turn, the music.
I always dreamed of seeing my favorite bands in concert— and of performing live myself. (Though the latter is still a dream I hold on to, I will most likely hold back on pursuing it, due to my interest in other careers.) Thankfully, in both Philadelphia and London, I’ve had easier access to concerts, both big and small. Each semester I’ve been at Arcadia, I’ve gone to at least four concerts, sometimes more. I’ve actually found much more joy in going to medium- to small-sized venues for concerts.
In Philadelphia, some of my favorite locations include Union Transfer, The Foundry, World Cafe Live, PhilaMOCA, and First Unitarian Church Philadelphia. In London, I fell in love with Electric Ballroom, Roundhouse, and Alexandra Palace; and these are only a few of the many options in both of these cities! These venues have not only given me unforgettable memories, but the chance to see bands up close.They were small enough to offer intimate experiences between the band and audience, but still packed a lot of people into the space to accommodate more well-known bands.
If you haven’t been to a concert in Philadelphia yet, I highly recommend researching if some of your favorite artists are making a stop here on a tour. You won’t regret it.