Sorry for the late post, but I got this idea and couldn’t stop it.
Last night I went and saw Arctic Monkeys perform at a local venue. It was a really fantastic concert; Arctic Monkeys have become a pretty big deal, but they keep coming to a pretty small venue that holds 1500 total (to be fair, this is a pretty well-regarded venue for rock acts). But one thing I’ve noticed whenever I go to concerts for rock acts is that there’s generally not a lot of specific fan behavior; people cheer and clap, to be sure (I may have yelled REALLY loudly when they started playing my favorite song by them, ‘Flourescent Adolescent’), but it’s a really big contrast to go to a rock concert in the US (by a British artist, but still) and then watching idol acts.
It’s just interesting, how the atmosphere of concerts changes. I’ve gone to one idol live (an international one, as well, since I’ve never been to Japan), but I’ve been to really small club venues and I’ve also seen concerts at huge arenas. All of these have their own merits and demerits; seeing Freelance Whales at 7th Street Entry was really fun and intimate, but seeing Katy Perry at a huge arena was a major spectacle. However, the one thing I’ve always noticed from idol lives that I’ve never quite gotten is that sense of crowd unity that only comes with things like fan chants and glowsticks.
I’ve seen people criticize idol fan crowds because of this type of conformity of sorts; that you can’t be an individual with that. This might be true, in a way. Personally, I think the worst thing (and in a way the best thing) about fan chants is how they treat the other; unless you know what to shout when, you’re going to feel like an outsider at an idol concert. If you don’t know the mix to shout during the overture, you might have a worse experience. The reason I say this might be one of the best things is just because (I imagine) it would make you feel like part of a community.
The reason I think I’d prefer going to an idol concert is that sense of community. Going to see Arctic Monkeys last night was really fun, and I enjoyed myself a lot, but I didn’t feel that connection to the rest of the crowd. I was happy to be at a place where others liked the same music I liked, and it was fun to get pumped up when they started with “Do I Wanna Know?” from their latest album.
However, it’s easy to get drowned out when shouting at a concert like this, and I know that personally I look forward to going to more idol concerts and shouting along, as conformist as it may be.