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Questions from a live-show virgin

Old 11-17-09, 12:45 PM
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Questions from a live-show virgin

Ok, I'll admit it, I've never been to a live show.

But hey, I live in a small town, and the opportunity never really came up.

Anyway, I'm moving to minneapolis in a couple weeks and realized, I should start looking into this. I'm not sure how to go about it, though. How do you know what bands are coming, when, and to which venue? Is there some master list somewhere? Do people just have to constantly browse the ticketmaster site to see who is coming?

I'm mainly interested in metal shows, so I'm guessing those would be at smaller clubs, but what do I know?
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Old 11-17-09, 12:48 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

I think people generally go by the bands they want to see. Checking the official websites and such. I'm sure you can find a venue near where you're moving and see a list of upcoming events.
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Old 11-17-09, 12:53 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

I would bet that a large city like Minneapolis has a weekly alternative newspaper. Those are usually the best way to find out about upcoming shows as they have tons of ads and club listings.

Usually you can pick one up at a local coffee shop or record store.
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Old 11-17-09, 01:04 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Another good place to go online is pollstar. They track larger and medium sized venues. I use them a lot.
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Old 11-17-09, 01:11 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Originally Posted by zombeaner View Post
Another good place to go online is pollstar. They track larger and medium sized venues. I use them a lot.
I usually rely on word-of-mouth, sites like pitchfork.com and pollstar.
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Old 11-17-09, 01:18 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

I've got it pretty easy since all the types of shows I want to go to around here (<$20, <20 ft. from the stage) are all handled by an amazing promotions company called R5 Productions.

Just Google around. For example:
http://tcmusic.net/index.php
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Old 11-17-09, 01:28 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

R5 really has their stuff down pat and they put on good shows, they just don't cater too much to my type of stuff and I don't like going to the first unitarian church because it gets incredibly hot in there.
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Old 11-17-09, 01:35 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

I agree with going to bands' websites, if you know who you want to see.

Ticketmaster handles a very large perecentage of shows and you can search by venue, zipcode, etc......
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Old 11-17-09, 01:40 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Find the metal radio stations in that area and maybe get on their email lists. I know that is how I find out about smaller shows that are in the genres I like.

Also, if you buy tix via ticketmaster/other website, usually you can request to get on the email list and they will email you when similar artists come to the area.
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Old 11-17-09, 02:38 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

I highly recommend Pollstar. I have an account setup so that I'm notified via e-mail of any new dates added for a handful of venues I tend to frequent. It's very useful and I've only missed a small handful of shows over the last few years as a result of not knowing about them. The only problem is that their site isn't entirely user-friendly and setting up the e-mail notifications can take a while as a result (which is why I opted to use venues as a basis for e-mail notifications rather than individual bands or Seattle as a whole).

I'll also second hunting down whatever the alt-weekly paper is in Minneapolis. Here in Seattle, I rely on The Stranger and they always have a couple of full-page ads for various venues/promoters as well as a section for shows in the coming week.

Checking individual bands' websites can be pretty time-consuming and you'll likely miss out on a lot of info that way, but if you're going to go that route, Myspace would probably be more useful for aggregating that info in one place (a lot of smaller bands don't even have their own webpages these days). However, what I'd really recommend is finding an underground music site that focuses largely on metal (if it's relatively local to Minneapolis, all the better). I get a lot of show info from a handful of punk-focused websites.

Really though, there's probably going to be a small handful of venues that book the bulk of the metal shows you're interested in. Finding out which ones those are and getting on the venues' mailing lists could be all you'll need. This should help you get started on finding the right venues. Even just frequenting these venues and just meeting folks at shows who share your musical tastes helps as well.

One last thing: Not to get all preachy, but since you're new to going to shows I'm going to say this for your benefit...BRING EARPLUGS!!! I've done considerable damage to my hearing over the past 10 years from going to hundreds of shows because I thought I didn't need them. Even if you don't end up using them, it's better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck and HAVE FUN!

Last edited by FatTony; 11-17-09 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 11-17-09, 03:24 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Originally Posted by BuddhaWake View Post
R5 really has their stuff down pat and they put on good shows, they just don't cater too much to my type of stuff and I don't like going to the first unitarian church because it gets incredibly hot in there.
Tell me about it. When I went to see Clap Your Hands Say Yeah open we had to leave after their set because between the whiskey we brought in and the ridiculous heat in there, we were all about to pass out.
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Old 11-17-09, 06:49 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Pollstar
Myspace
Local alt-mag (Denver's is the Westword)
Ticketmaster
Mailing lists from the venues
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Old 11-17-09, 07:00 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

i do the band's myspace. Also if your local venue has a website (most of the small/large club venues have one), they post updates.

Just be warned, if you go to a club show, you will be standing for a long ass time, and if your going to any kind of heavy/hard rock show, be prepared for mosh pit people and crowd surfers. And if you want a spot on the rail/front row, your gonna prob have to get to the venue hours in advance depending on the band

Last edited by Rypro 525; 11-17-09 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 11-17-09, 08:19 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Check out 7th St Entry and Turf Rock Social Club.
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Old 11-17-09, 08:32 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

What I do is simply subscribe to the local arena's mailing lists. Yea, it's a lot of junk mail sometimes, but it's the best and fastest way of knowing who is appearing where and when.
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Old 11-17-09, 09:53 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

I check Pollstar about twice a month and have rarely missed any shows I wanted to see. Just search by city and scroll through. You'll never know what you'll find.
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Old 11-17-09, 09:55 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Sign up for email lists, follow on MS or something, but definitely check out Pollstar.

My favorite site for concerts for years.
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Old 11-17-09, 10:53 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

For Minneapolis:

http://www.citypages.com/calendar
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Old 11-17-09, 11:04 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

I'm from Minneapolis and I welcome you.

Local Papers with an entertainment calendar:
VitaMN.com
CityPages.com
TheOnion.com

Great Local Music Venues:
First Avenue
Epic (Formerly the Quest)
Turf Club
The Myth
Club Underground

Wanna sound "in the know"? At the next show you go to, ask about how the local scene is doing with the Uptown Bar closing. People have really freaked out about that.
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Old 11-17-09, 11:29 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

By the way how IS the local scene doing with the Uptown Bar closing?
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Old 11-18-09, 12:34 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Ok, I think I found something that looks interesting ... Russian Circles is playing at the Triple Rock Social Club on the 25th, so maybe I'll check that out. That's the night I'm moving in though, so it would be rough.

They have a crap opening act ... can I just show up late? or do you normally have to sit through the crap?
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Old 11-18-09, 01:02 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Originally Posted by joeblow69 View Post
They have a crap opening act ... can I just show up late? or do you normally have to sit through the crap?
If you don't already have a ticket you risk not getting into the show. Russian Circles seem to be a relatively popular upcoming band, so that might be a problem for this particular show.
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Old 11-18-09, 03:37 PM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

Originally Posted by joeblow69 View Post
Ok, I think I found something that looks interesting ... Russian Circles is playing at the Triple Rock Social Club on the 25th, so maybe I'll check that out. That's the night I'm moving in though, so it would be rough.

They have a crap opening act ... can I just show up late? or do you normally have to sit through the crap?
I saw Russian Circles two weeks ago with Red Sparowes and the show was amazing. Don't think it sold out. Seriously bring ear plugs. I took my Etymotics and still had ringing in one of my ears for 6 days afterwards. They are loud, but it's pretty impressive to watch them do their thing up close.
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Old 11-19-09, 02:50 AM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

One thing that I don't think has already been mentioned, and it may be obvious to most of the people here, but...

Stay for the encore!

I can't tell you how many shows I've gone to where, when the band walks off stage, people in the audience run for the door. I'd say that, 95% of the time, the band comes back to play a few more songs (which is why most audiences continue to clap, cheer, etc.). A good rule of thumb is... the band is never truly done until the house lights come on.
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Old 11-19-09, 03:14 AM
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Re: Questions from a live-show virgin

^also a rule of thumb too, usually the encore contains the band's biggest/most popuar songs, so if they leave without playing their big hit, there's a good chance they'll come back to play it
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