How To Meet The Band At A Concert For Free

Monday, May 28, 2018

I've met nearly every band I've ever watched live. Starting at age 16, I spent my evenings after school bussing tables at a local Italian restaurant so I could save up money for concert tickets and enough gas to make it to Atlanta and back. It was tough work, but those memories stick out to me more than anything, and it was absolutely worth it. One thing that I caught onto pretty quick was how easy it was to meet the band, from Blink-182 to Dashboard Confessional, Good Charlotte to The Offspring, Scott Weiland to Rancid, I've met countless musicians... and I've been doing it for nearly 15 years.
Andrew McMahon Pen and Piano tour bus after show how to meet the band punk groupie
The music from my high school years was mainly composed of poppy punk and emo tunes, you know, the cool music of the early 2000s. Blink-182, Green Day, Good Charlotte, Sum 41, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, The Killers... I loved it all, and made sure I spent plenty of time shouting lyrics from a crowded mosh pit every summer, and paying $8 for bottled water at Warped Tour. Back then, we actually waited in a real-life line for our tickets, and had to print driving directions before leaving the house, and missing your turn meant asking the cashier at the next gas station how to get home! A lot of things have changed since then, and one thing I'm seeing a lot of is an option of to purchase a VIP Ticket at concerts, which includes meeting the band. When I first heard of this, I thought of how unfair it was that fans with money can meet the artist, but if you don't have the funds then you're, pardon my mouth, S.O.L. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the idea of a VIP experience and took the opportunity last summer in Seattle to check it out. I paid $75 for The VIP Package to see Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness; the package included a VIP lanyard, I attended soundcheck, I got a free poster, met Andrew, AND Andrew came into the audience during a soundcheck song and took selfies with us!
Andrew McMahon taking selfie during soundcheck Seattle zombies in america tour something corporate jack's mannequin groupie

 It was magnificent, it was magical, I got a signed poster and a selfie with Andrew 'OMG' McMahon, the experience was spiritual and absolutely unforgettable... but alas, it was $75, and sometimes that's unattainable. If you can't shell out the extra money for VIP, don't worry, there's another way.
Also to be noted-- it is in my opinion that paying to meet a band totally lacks the real, organic, genuine, I worked for this experience of meeting the band (or maybe I'm just a too old school). Don't get me wrong, the VIP experience was priceless, I would do it all over again... but there's another way to meet the band, and it's my way, and it works.
Most of those pop punk emo bands I mentioned played in medium-large sized venues, they were popular, not Justin Bieber popular, but they had a good following; and thus, they had tour buses shuttling them around, just as modern day bands do today.
Here's how I met almost any band I saw live. This doesn't apply to music festivals, just medium-large sized venues with 1-3 bands playing:

  • Watch the performance and enjoy the show. Dance, sing, be merry, make memories, have a great time. Take note of what every band member looks like and is wearing, and try to learn their names before the show (or do a quick Wiki search after the show!).
  • After the concert is over, exit the venue, just like every other body in the crowd is doing, and go outside.
  • Now walk around to the other side of the building where the tour bus is. You'll see a few others doing the same, they're with you! This is where you'll spend the next hour or so, waiting by the tour bus. Yes this sometimes feels weird, or stalker-like, or like it's not worth it... keep hanging on, it's beyond worth it. As you stand out there, remember Hollywood made movies about this (if you haven't watched Almost Famous, what are you doing with your life?!). You are not the first groupie, you won't be the last. The other people standing with you are just as excited and eager to meet the band as you are, talk to them, make memories with them, get their contact info... because you'll never forget them. 
  • The band will come out. They know you're there, they know you're expecting them, and most bands are happy to meet their fans... and without you, their shows would be bare, so understand that you are appreciated, this is a total win-win. Be chill, contain your excitement, they are just as real and you are, they are just as human as the rest of us. Say what you want to say, ask for an autograph, ask for a selfie... these are all normal questions they get all the time, and you'll be glad you asked.
  • Ta-da! You will forever have that night tattooed in your pretty little head!
Prepare to insanely increase your collection of signed merch & memorabilia!
signed merch band memorabilia dashboard confessional andrew mcmahon tour groupie merchandise show

Meeting a musician you admire is one of the most magical experiences imaginable, it feels like a fairy tale of dreams, you hold onto every word they speak, every smile they make.
I've waited anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour, and never was there a time I regretted waiting, it's always worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan