#917 The moment at a concert after the lights go out and before the band comes on stage

You go early, you grab a drink, you buy a T-shirt, you find your seat or you edge up to the stage, you listen to the opening act, you people watch, you watch watch, you talk to your friends, you guess what songs they might play, and then the moment finally arrives: the background music fades down, all the lights suddenly go out, and there’s total blackness.

You feel a massive wave of anticipation sweep across the crowd, people stand up, raise their arms, and scream — and everyone clamors for that first view of the band walking onstage.


Photo from: here

74 thoughts on “#917 The moment at a concert after the lights go out and before the band comes on stage

  1. I love that moment. In fact, at the risk of sounding like a psycho fan, I just had one of those moments last week when I saw NKOTB at their reunion concert.


  2. This one is actually becoming a lost art. As more an more douchebaggots (like that word? You may use it if you wish.) listen to whiny music for queers (I’m looking at you, Vampire Weekend, My Chemical Romance and AFI), the theatrics are slowly but surely being taken out of concerts. I’m old enough to remember some awesome-ass concerts. From KISS in 1994 to Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones in 1997, those were some fucking showmen. And, lest you think my musical taste is confined to dinosaur rock, Jet and Tool both put on awesome shows. Hell, I’ve even seen Insane Clown Posse (against my will, mind you) twice, and their stage show is amazing. I weep for my future grandchildren, and the concert-free world they will grow up in.

    1. okay, first off, your a stupid, narrow-minded bigot that needs a serious reality check. trashing some of my favorite bands, while claiming to like some of my other favorite bands, is absolutely stupid. i saw afi YESTERDAY, and it was a WAY better show than when i saw aerosmith (and the moshpits were certainly better) Davey Havok is a showman if anything and you have no freaking clue what you’re saying. just because you’re old as dirt, doesnt give you the right to be an ass and dog everyones music, id like to see you get up on a stage in front of a crowd thats never less that 5000 people and rock like they do. and id like to see you do it completely sober like they do, you’re a miserable old fool stuck in the past that needs to get over yourself. you have to be, what, 40? please, get over yourself, im 13 and I at least know how to be polite when expressing my opinuions of dislike when it comes to music. jonas brothers? they suck. you see, thats all i said, i didnt call them gay or compare them to a bunch of drunk old rockstars past their prime. learn to adapt, don’t make a moron of yourself, its unbecoming.

      1. Oh man! For real? AFI is my favorite band and seriously, their concerts are amazing. I’ve see Bruce Springsteen, Butch Walker, The English Beat, The Lemonheads… none of them compare to AFI. Davey Havok has such a stage presence and an incredible voice- they always have the best sound out of any band.

        That rush of adrenaline that you get in anticipation of seeing your all time favorite band (or any band that you happen to be seuing that you like…) is the best!

      2. No, no, if you were polite you wouldn’t call someone older than you a “stupid, narrow-minded bigot”. And unlike you, he can write, and you wrote “your” instead of “you’re”. That being said, and with your(see, one uses “your” as an adjective) concert-going experience being quite a few times less than his, we can all conclude that you are too young to engage in conversations with persons older than you, id est adults.
        Those bands really do suck. So does the Jonas/Gaga/Bieber/Cyrus crap. The truth is that the audience those bands want to reach is the teenage population and is considered to be “whiny music for queers” by adults. If your personal music genre of choice is similar to mine, exempli gratia Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Tool, Protest the Hero, Opeth, Vandenplas, Porcupine Tree et cetera, that music appears retarded, or worse!

      3. I’ve seen AFI live before. they’re not a bad live show but by no means is their stage performance great or even really good. go see Primus live, or Gwar or hell even go see a big name electro/clbstep show like skrillex(incoming haters) pretty lights or diplo. they put on shows that would be entertaining without the music. you loved AFI because you live the music. dont confuse good(in your opinion) music live with a good show live.

    2. Your word “douchebaggots” and use of “queer” is insulting to the gay community. The webmaster should delete your post immediately.

      1. 2013 isn’t looking much better. I heard Demi Lovato the other day – someone needs to remind me why deaf people want cochlear implants again.

  3. Awesome indeed! And the band had better have a “And now, I am proud to present” introduction voice in a good deep tone. Plus a flash of lights when they stride onto the stage, give a little wave, pick up things and just go for it. Yes, yes, that’s what we want!

  4. Blegh. Not to be confrontational here, but I saw Mötley Crüe with Aerosmith a few years ago, and Crüe was absolutely miserable. They stood in the same spots on the stage the whole time, swore like highschoolers, and were almost too drunk to perform. Aerosmith, on the other hand, was one of the greatest things I’ve ever witnessed in my life.

    But yeah, great entry today.

    1. I saw Aerosmith and Cheap Trick a few summers ago. Best concert I’ve ever been to in my life.

  5. Drunken rock stars? Swearing? Surely you jest! I refer you to my previous comment about taking the fun out of concerts. If I went to see Motley Crue and they were sober, I’d demand my fucking money back.

    Shit, if I wanted to see a gay-ass concert where they just praised Jesus and talked about how bad drugs and alcohol are for 2 hours, I’d go see Amy Grant or Evanescence or some other whiny group of vaginas.

    Aerosmith does put on a good show, but ever since they got off drugs, the music is ass. Drugs and booze make the musicians better. Plain and simple. The Doors? Jimi? Janis? Robert Johnson, for Christ’s sake! I’m no Nirvana fan, but if not for the heroin, nobody else would be either. You think Led Zeppelin would be so hesitant to reunite if Page hadn’t kicked the horse? Not a chance.

    Live fast, do lots and lots of drugs, make kickass music, die young, and leave a legacy. End of story.

  6. I’ve been to several concerts and Bon Jovi’s starting on the “Have a Nice Day” Tour was one of the best, the background music was on, then the lights went off, after that, a giant screen with the red smiley from that album began to come down, the background music became louder and louder (the band were on stage (but nobody watched came in) and were playing the same music, then they stop and they started the song “Last Man Standing”, when it was time for Jon Bon Jovi to start singing, he did it from the middle of the crowd and made his way to the stage during that song.


    1. Agreed jdurley- I’m one of those old people about to hit 40 as mentioned by the 13 year old, and U2 still gives me the shivers at that moment.

  7. I went to Fiend Fest last year (07) and The Adicts put on an awesome show. It’s amazing to see a band go on stage and PERFORM instead of just shoegazing.

  8. all i can ever do at this moment is look at the person i’m with and smile like a retard

    and maybe shit my pants

  9. This is indeed a great moment. I saw Rush a few years back and they played audio of crickets that started out soft and gradually grew louder before the band took to the stage. Very cool!

  10. Lets not forget one of the best live bands of all time, Queen.

    I managed to see them live with Paul Rodgers fronting them this year and yes, the lights went out, the background graphics started up. Then Bang, Tie Your Mother Down hit the speakers at 11. It was electrifying.

    I just wish I was old enough to have seen Freddie front them.

  11. 1981, December; The Boston Garden

    AC/DC; lights go out, single spot light on a giant bell being lowered down from the ceiling above the stage. Crowd of course going absolutely crazy…

    The bell reaches the stage level and Brian Johnson walks into the spot light and begins slowly hitting the bell with a sledge hammer; it’s familiar, Angus joins him; you know it… Hells Bells opens the show, I think everyone there began literally fucking their tour tshirts and filing for divorce of their future husbands and wives… that’s how crazy it then got…

    pure genius …

  12. I guess theatrics are nice, but most of the shows I go to focus more on the music than a light show. I enjoy talking to the band as they set up on stage rather than standing 30 rows back watching a fireworks display. Not to say that there shouldn’t be any theatrics, by all means the light operator is extremely important, but I just want to hear some music you know?

  13. The best moment of darkness I ever had was when Tool performed in Kalamazoo, MI. I swear 30 chicks ripped off their shirts in anticipation, and when the lights came back on it was nothin but boobs, music, and a deafening roar from the crowd! One of the best concerts ever, IMHO.

    1. I can easily say that Tool is one of the best live bands in music right now. The combination of surreal videos and insanely good music just put you in a different place, man. So so good.

      I will be attending the AiC/Deftones/Mastodon show in Boston come September. I’m expecting my brains to be blown out, especially since the new Deftones is incredible and Mastodon is one of the best bands to come out in a long, loooong time.

  14. I love this feeling so much. I was at a DragonForce concert (don’t laugh, they were fabulous) last weekend, and they had that whole dark, band run out, laser show thing going and it was pure magic. I love concerts so much. <3

    1. Too bad DF can’t play their instruments as fast as they sound in studio. Seeing them live was a joke. I couldn’t even hear them over people talking 20 feet away. They were considered a warm-up act and even at that they still fucking failed.

  15. As a resident of Chicago, I’m lucky enough to find myself at way too many concerts in a year. I often take this exact moment for granted. Thanks to this post, I’ll be sure to absorb every bit of awesome from it next time!

  16. I had that EXACT moment when I saw the New Kids On The Block in concert for the first time in 16 years last month.

    It was something I had dreamt of as a young teenager and thought would never happen. So to have my young adolescent dreams fufilled was truly a magical moment.

    That feeling of anticipation was palpable!

  17. I beg to differ about there not being good shows anymore. Just this year we had two of the most awesome shows in years, imo. Radiohead’s IN_RAINBOW/S 2008 tour and Nine Inch Nails’ Lights In The Sky 2008 tour. Both incredible shows. Just because classic rock has died out doesn’t mean that theatrics and shows have lost their touch. And not just those two, but also Justice’s CROSS North American Tour, Widespread Panic, Wilco, etc. not to mention all of the small bands out there playing smaller shows, like Sound Tribe Sector 9 or even shows like Girl Talk.

  18. Van Halen 2008 tour was perfect. After the shitty opening act there was about 20 minutes where the lights were on and nothing was happening. The crowd starting becoming anxious. Then, all of a sudden, the stadium just goes completely black. A huge curtain falls and Eddie plays the opening power chords to “You Really Got Me.” I jizzed my pants.

  19. Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet tour in 2008 was amazing. Pure adrenaline high. The opening was amazing, people going crazy, and the bass from the opening mix…there is no way to describe the energy you get from her shows.

  20. see, I much prefer the moment right before that. When the house music just stops. Every single time a song ends before that builds the anticipation slowly and surely. And when you just hear a song start to fade out, minutes before it’s done…you know what is about to go down.

    1. totally agree. love the moment when you chant for an encore and than the band actually sings another song. Epic. (thanks Breathe Carolina!)

  21. There’s that moment, which is perfect, and then there’s the time after the concert, (which if my favorite) when you can’t hear a thing and you’re riding the train home deaf and still high on adrenaline.

  22. And, all of a sudden, a big cloud of funny-smelling smoke rises like fog from floor level. And you’re instantly ready for music. Oh, yeah!!!

  23. oh no…i love that feeling, but when you know its ending, you dont want it to…when its all over its like you’re paralyzed and you dant want to leave.you’re amazed and you think about it over and over again,its amazing. that feeling like omg i was there i’ll never forget it.it leaves me paralyzed every single time.

  24. Glow in the Dark tour, when Kanye West got on stage, the atmosphere in the stadium was amazing. You may not like his music or him in general, but let me tell you when he gets on stage he PERFORMS. He is the real deal.

  25. i have this on every Metallica concert – lights go off – guys walk onto the stage and while you wait your your heart pumps like crazy beacsue you know that in a second you’ll see these guys. seen them 12 times and still got the same feeling.

  26. Last night I paid $5 to see 12 bands. From 4:30 to 11, I saw Take the Ark, CDVR, Lakeland, Call it Karma, Smiles & Anchors, Cassandra Nova, Dismember the Fallen, Your Highway Home, SycAmour, Forever in Fate, Oath and Honor, and Failure by Design.
    I screamed, moshed, and every time the next band came out was breathtaking. Sure, older people would complain its nothing but a “scenie-weenie wannabe hardcore show” but it wasn’t. Sure, some “scenesters” were there, but that doesn’t mean the music wasn’t good. I stood in front of the stage at my 4’11 and red-pink hair and had an amazing time. The bands put their hearts into and after I got to chill with them in the back. Oh yeah, I’m only fourteen. I’ve been to amazing shows, I’ve been to horrible shows, and this is my favorite moment.

  27. I’ve been to a few concerts, like Bowie’s Ziggy Stradust concert, ZZ Top, some really awesome shows, but a few years ago this topped them all…
    My husband knows “The Boss” has been my dream since I was like 12. He surprised me with tickets and that moment- “The Rising” show, all the classics, “Born To Run”, I tease Bruce Springsteen really wrote for me… is aglow forever…eternally grateful and it is AWESOME!!!

  28. Oh God, this is awesme, universal feeling of common emotion in a crowd, and people are here discussing about bands, and arguing over silly details. The post is about the same feeling each person experiences, independently on which bandi is gonna play. This blog is wonderful, and universal sublime little things like that are quickly reduced to arguing and fighting on the web. Sad.

  29. This has happened twice. Once in 1989 in Houston as I waited for Soundgarden to kill my eardrums, and in 2005 in Dallas for Switchfoot. Both are shockingly awesome bands. If only I could snag tickets for Radiohead and Alice in Chains…

  30. I’m going to a Jedward concert next month! Yep, I know that you’re all going to say either that you have no idea who Jedward are or that you hate them. Well, if you don’t know who they are, they’re an Irish pop duo, twins that went on the X Factor. If you hate them, please reply. I really want to know. Why?

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