Thursday, December 23, 2010

Five tips for attending a LIGHTS concert

Photo taken at MTV Live.

About a month ago, I went to the Lights concert at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. This was sort of the first Lights concert I've ever been to (I've seen her perform live before, just not in a concert). Here are five tips for any Lights fans out there:

1) If the venue is designed to be a seated concert, and you can't really picture a concert with the performer to be a seated one, then it's probably not!

Just the case with Lights. When I bought my ticket and read Row: A, Seat: 23 - I thought to myself, "Sweet", but then quickly asked myself, "Wait, how exactly will a seated Lights concert work?" I was right. It's almost like when you're playing Age of Empires and both sides have their army ready to attack - just waiting for the truce period to end. 3-2-1, RUSH! The entire audience somehow finds a way to cram into the non-seated areas at the front stage. So get ready to dash!

2) Sharpen your elbows, show off your boxing out skills (if you play basketball).

Concert with adults or high school kids - don't be afraid to push, because if you don't push, you'll get pushed! No, that didn't happen to me *wandering eyes*.

3) Being in the front gives you an amazing view and experience. What goes on behind you is a different story.

If you've made it to the front stage (I did for the opening by Michou), expect complete strangers to climb on your back the entire time. Apparently, being one inch closer to the performer makes a huge difference.

4) Don't hesitate to sneak in your DSLR.

I was worried that security would not let me in with my Canon T1i - what I usually do photos and videos with, however, they didn't care as I saw a couple other kids with DSLRs during the concert. I brought my Sony P&S, with low battery, and didn't get the photo/video content that I wanted to. It's a little disappointing, but on the bright side I spent way more time looking at Lights than looking at my camera :). In any case, just a quick photography tip: you will get much better shots if you are not in the frenzy up near the front stage. Enjoy the concert a little in the front, but get out soon as you'll get some pretty cool shots from further away at different vantage points.

5) Go with someone else!

The truth is, I don't have many friends that listen to Lights (sadly), so when I came across Lights early bird tickets in early October, I quickly ordered them thinking they would sell out like hot cakes. However, what I should have done was buy a few and find friends who would go after. Nothing sucks more than waiting 45 minutes for a concert to start with nothing to do - since it was mostly high school kids there, I felt like one of those kids who sat alone in the cafeteria during lunch! The fact that my cell phone was probably made in the 90s (exaggerating), didn't help either.

6) (Bonus tip?) Bring a recording device.

Whether it's the Zoom H4n or a simple recorder, it's nice to listen to the concert again later on (pretty much like a live concert CD). In this case, if you hope to film/record without the fans overriding her voice, find a spot next the the speakers/amps. If the folks in the back don't mind, try wiring up your H4n to their sound equipment to get clean sound.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy this little summary video (recorded with my Sony point-and-shoot). See you at the next LIGHTS concert?

Songs in the video: Second Go, Lions!, Ice, Quiet, Romance Is...

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