Oh the Places You'll Go...

My first concert: I'm eight years old, standing alongside my older sister on top of white folding chairs, craning my neck to see above the rows of heads to the stage where Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, is crooning away. My dad’s head bobbing along to the music just below me, laughs as his daughters eagerly soak in the experience of seeing music live for the first time.


Ever since this moment, I have been drawn to see live music and have been known to throw down any amount of money for the chance to see a range of artists perform on stage. Over the years I have lost track of the exact number of shows I have seen, yet each one still uniquely stands out as a distinct memory: who I was with, how old I was, how bad the opener was or in those rare occasions how good the opener was, and how that band seemed to understand exactly what I was going through at that time and was playing just for me.  


Yet another thing that I love about living here is that you do not need to pay the big prices to see live music. For only $25, I have seen some of my favorite bands—Passion Pit, Jenny Lewis, Good Old War—in venues so close you could (and did) touch the lead singers.


After an invite from a friend, on a recent weekend I went to the Pearl Street Theater in Northampton to see Rachel Yamagata and Joshua Radin. While I knew of these artists it had been years since I had listened to their music, but this did not bother me.


I have found that it hardly matters whether or not I am obsessed with the band about to enter the stage because it can be just as exciting if the person you came with is the one eagerly hypothesizing what the opening song will be and anxiously checking the time to see exactly how much longer you'll have to wait. This was true for this most recent concert as this was about to be my friend's third time seeing Joshua Radin and could not wait to share her theories with me. To me good music can only get better when you have someone to share it with and a memory to look back on.


If you are a sucker for a good concert, but don’t want to have to pay ridiculous prices for tickets, then you have lucked out. Check out some of the local concert venues for artists coming to the area.

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