All Venues Great and Small

Just a couple of weeks ago during the Halloween weekend, I attended a local gig in Leicester. After sticking around for 4 hours to see all 6 bands, I stepped outside and noticed an extremely bad case of tinnitus. For those of you who don't know what tinnitus is, it's a ringing in the ears often caused by high pitches or volumes. If you've been to a gig, you've probably experienced it before.
Every time I attend a gig or even a club night, I leave with a high pitched ringing in my ears. How bad the tinnitus is depends on just how poor the audio quality is. It never bothered me in the past because it often subsides in a day or two, but given that the Lock 42 venue in Leicester is one of the poorest venues I've ever been to, I just had to mention it.

It was the second time I'd been to see Abgott, and I was fairly disappointed. The bands were not the problem, instead it was the awful set up. The speakers were far too close together, the drum set was too close to the front of the stage and the crowd area was only small. With the back wall being only 15 metres away at the most, the reverberation was the biggest problem. Standing in the middle of the room created a simply awful experience, and after moving around the room a bit, I discovered that the space wasn't the only issue. The sound engineer was either very inexperienced with the style of music or inexperienced in general. There was zero distinction between the lead and rhythm guitars, and the vocals were always far too quiet - some bands being forced to put their greatest effort in, just to create a sound barely close to what they're all capable of. After the first band of the night, the rest of them completely passed on their chance for a sound check. My guess is that they knew just how poor it was, and that it was never going to get any better. Even in comparison to some of the poorer venues I've visited, Lock 42 was truly awful. It became clear after a while that I wasn't the only one who felt this way. Of the 20 or so people who did attend, there were only 6 left at the end of the night, not including the musicians forced to remain.
In my time as an avid fan of many genres of music, I've attended a fair amount of gigs and concerts. Although the majority of them are hosted in smaller venues, I've experienced all kinds of stage shows and crowds - from arenas to basements and from thousands of fans to just a few.
Personally, I find more enjoyment in the less popular gigs. I like having my own space and being able to enjoy a drink while I watch the band. Too many people can be far too uncomfortable, in my experiences. I've never enjoyed mosh pits, either. They always consist of a group of overly sweaty, topless men bashing up against each other, trying to prove who's the most manly. Of course, as a teenager I did venture into the odd mosh pit every now and again, only to find that it completely prevents me from enjoying the music I paid to see. It may be because over time I've matured, and simply grown tired of certain activities, as is natural, but I digress!
The larger gig venues also have their advantages. They often have a much better atmosphere to offer among the fans, and the sound quality is a huge improvement. The larger venues usually host more popular bands who demand a specific standard. Of course, that leaves the less popular bands to play in the smaller venues, which is one of the very reasons I enjoy them just that little bit more. I enjoy discovering new music every day, but to discover a new band at a live gig makes it all worthwhile. I did discover a couple of new bands that night at Lock 42, thanks to the promoters, and I look forward to seeing them again sometime in the future - hopefully in a different venue.

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