No More Front Row for Me

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by joealso, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. joealso

    joealso Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I've always been a front row guy. I've been right up against the stage in bars for Stevie Ray, Thorogood, Fabulous Thunderbirds, NRBQ, Lucero, Little Feat, Toots & the Maytals, Johnny Winter and many more. In small theaters, I've been in the front row for BB King, Bobby Blue Bland, Santana, Stephen Stills, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Randolph, and others. At festivals and larger venues for Neil Young and the Dead.

    No more.

    I recently went to show in a nice theater (maybe 1500 capacity) to see a guitarist I've admired for many years. I got seats in the 2nd row and I was so excited. But the sound was so terrible. I know that the sound is always better a little further back, but in this case, I could barely hear the guitar at all. They had 4 or 5 small speakers set up on the stage but they only ran the vocals through them. I did get up and attempt to speak with the sound guy but he, understandably, waved me off. The sound at the board was great. It was a great show, but I was so bummed that I couldn't truly hear the guy I had come to hear play.
     
  2. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You moved and it got better ... Good decision !!!
     
  3. Slip Kid

    Slip Kid Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I’ve lucked out over the years with a few front row and first several row seats. My issue is, depending on the type of show, dealing with whatever idiots are around me.
     
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  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’ve never experienced the front row thing.
    I can’t afford it anymore, anyways.
     
  5. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    We got right up on the barrier for Big Wreck, and didn't regret it. Heard Thornley loud and clear, and he was brilliant.



    - D
     
  6. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Last outdoor show I attended I managed to get right up front. Of course, I was stationed directly in front of the subs. Blah.
     
  7. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Holic

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    I was front row at Robert Cray a couple years back. That was pleasant, it was at a legit venue with good sound and the band played dynamically.

    But yeah, I’m too old for being front row at a rock show. In my younger punk rock days it was more about the experience than the sound, even was let on stage at Andrew WK.

    Now I always try to get a spot around the middle for optimal sound and grown up experience.
     
  8. gitold

    gitold Poster Extraordinaire

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    Was right up front for the Dixie Dregs reunion last year. The sound was great except Steve Morris was playing through 2 of those full stack Engels he use and jease.o.pete he was loud.
     
  9. mally

    mally Tele-Holic

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    I blame the front row of sabbath and uriah heep concerts in the 70s for the birds twittering in my ears these days !
    Oh and Lee Enfield and English Electric Lightning didn't help
     
  10. Stisch

    Stisch TDPRI Member

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    One of the first front row experiences was GWAR.....

    They sounded surprisingly good and are WAY better than thier albums suggest.

    Then there is the stage antics to top it off.
     
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  11. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    I spent 25 years desperately being in the front row at concerts. It's great to hear amps and monitors coming off the stage. But now with IN EAR MONITORS and amps in ISO cabs and Helix devices and few stage monitors...

    It all ended when I saw John Hiatt with the North Mississippi Allstars as his band. (loudest and most anoying drummer I've EVER heard. Just painful everytime he hit his snare). It was a tiny amp tour --- I didn't hear any guitar or bass or even vocals from my front row position. The P.A. was 50ft. either side of me. We walked out. (it sounded good at the soundboard on the way out.)

    Now I buy seats up beside the stage (to watch the production). Or the cheapest seats WAY UP in the nose bleeds (to see the whole event and the people). Sound is usually okay way up there. But not always.

    We also look around after the first 45 minutes --- and see what sections are closer and often empty. And move over. Lots of success doing that.
     
  12. Lake Placid Blue

    Lake Placid Blue Poster Extraordinaire

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    When my kids were little they wanted to see Jaci Velasquez in concert at the fair in Fresno. We got front row seats and our view was blocked by speakers. Sounded great but we couldn’t see a thing. The people next to us started drinking whiskey and smoking weed which wasn’t allowed. I told them what I would do to them if they didn’t put it away. They got mad but they all left. We took their seats and had a great view of the stage for the rest of the show!
     
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  13. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I remember back when I was young we'd go to general admission shows and the whole goal was to push our way up front until we were hanging onto the stage. As I got older I started settling for not reaching the stage, but as someone who is 5'7" I'd usually be staring at tall people's backs and heads. Finally realized if I hung back 20' or so behind the crowd, I could see the show perfectly. Now I'm a "hang back" kinda guy.

    As far as sound, the quality in most venues has improved so much since the '70s when I first starting going to concerts. Used to be you had to up close and right in front of the stage, now you can pretty much be anywhere and hear it well.
     
  14. Straydogger

    Straydogger Tele-Holic

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    Yep. I saw ZZ Top in about 1973. Front row in front of Gibbons. Marshall stacks going full bore. Fantastic! Of course, my ears are still ringing.
     
  15. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    Yup - in the late 70s I was down the front for Sabbath, Quo, Thin Lizzie, Slade, The Ramones etc and they've caused havoc with my hearing, too.

    I last saw Status Quo several years ago and was right down the front. The amount of compression that the sound guys were using meant that it was just a 'mush' of noise and there was no separation between the guitars. I suppose it might be due to the noise regulations but I was very underwhelmed by it.
     
  16. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    I like the balcony. :cool:
     
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