On Friday 31st January I went to my first proper gig: Liverpool's Battle of the Bands. It was a totally new and crazy experience!!
Getting to the O2 Academy was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride as it was hidden down a side street near Lime street station (be sure you Google maps this in advance). When we got there we watched a variety of bands all the way from a group of 12 year old kids (called The Start) to a very hippy style band that could have been called Sand Patrol (but actually known as The Jupiter Blues). There was also one of my all time favourite bands who are called Ambedo Blue!!
It was a great experience, but if you don't know what you are getting yourself into with your first gig then it might not be so great. So, I thought I would share some tips and tricks that I learned.
When deciding what to wear I had one of those classic teen movie moments where my clothes were sprawled all over my floor. My key piece of advice is to be sure to layer, because it can get very warm in the venue, but because of British weather it will be freezing outside. Although the O2 Academy did have somewhere to hang coats, not everywhere does so you don't want to be stuck carrying around a super large coat, especially when you are trying to dance. So, I would always suggest wearing something with zipped pockets to ensure that you don't lose any of your valuable belongings. But as long as you feel comfortable then you will look great in it!
A word of warning is that mosh pits are very common as they are fun but can be quite hazardous to those of us who are small. However, saying that my quite small friend was loving it. But it is definitely not for the faint of heart. I managed to get nudged numerous times and even got some bruises without even being in the mosh pit! Luckily there was a lack of crowd-surfing. Remember, if you feel unsafe, or you’re hurt, make your way to the sides of the venue. There will usually be some security to help you out!
You should always take some money with you. I know this seems obvious but it is always best to take some extra cash with you, as you never know when you could use it. Maybe you get to the venue with a pre-bought ticket which turns out to be the wrong one, maybe you get lost and need to get a taxi home, or maybe you just wanted some McDonalds afterwards. Speaking of food and drink, if you are planning to get something whilst you are out purchase it a while before or after the gig because most places won't let you take anything in as they sell their own stuff. But buying from inside the venue can end up being pretty pricey. You might also wish to buy some of the bands merch or their music after the show.
My last piece of advice is always take a friend. Not only do they make a great night a lot more fun. It is always good to have some you know to get there with, and get home with. Even if you know someone is going to be there or you know the band members there is no guarantee that you will see them or that they won't be busy or they may even decide to cancel. So ask a good friend (or maybe a new friend in the making) and have fun!!
But as Cher (from Clueless) said "the band was kickin' ", overall it was a great experience. I recommend that everyone goes to a gig at least once, it is like a key college experience.