Archive for October 14th, 2008

Crowd behaviour at live concerts

October 14, 2008

A few weeks back we went in to Vancouver to take in the Neil Diamond tour. It was held in GM Stadium and the seats were very good, but it is a big venue. Not the intimate setting you would like but if you couldn’t fill a stadium for these events they would never happen.

What fascinates me about concerts today is the crowd behaviour. It seems to me that years ago the events that I attended were relatively quiet affairs. The patrons came to see the performer, listened and enjoyed, applauding where appropriate, absorbed the music and basically let themselves be entertained.

That doesn’t seem to be the case any more. Today it seems that the audience wants to be part of event. They stand and wave and whistle and cheer. Some dance and rows of people wave their arms back and forth in some semblance of rhythm. In some cases segments of the audience are as entertaining as the professionals up on the stage.

No doubt some of this at least is fueled by the sale of alcohol on site. A fellow in front of us at the Diamond concert could hardly stand up by the end of the show and I am sure he wasn’t the only one who had enjoyed himself up to a state of incomprehension. Let the good times roll.

At least with a ballad singer like Diamond the crowd quiets down pretty much during the actual song. During a rock concert I doubt that they hear a word. They just vibrate with the wall of sound.

One thing for sure, the performers love the reaction from the crowd. There could be no question in Neil Diamond’s mind that the crowd loved and appreciated his talent.


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