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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

My Top 13 List of what I love most about guitar concerts

In a previous article (published here in May this year) I wrote about my top 20 list of what I hate most about guitar concerts. I don't want you to think I have nothing good to say about them. I do. I have thought long and hard and come up with a select list of nothing-but-nice comments. My reluctance to commit them to paper any earlier is due entirely to the devil himself, for just as he has all the best tunes, so too a negative tirade has an advantage over the softer edges of positive comments. This time my hate factor is replaced by a like factor, and I offer advice too, although you may consider some of it is in jest.

So here we go: accompany me to this imagined concert presented by an imagined guitar player.

1.
Tingling sense of anticipation
Dressing up, leaving home with my beautiful partner on my arm, and arriving with enough time to have a drink, all give me a tingling sense of anticipation.
Like factor: 8/10
Advice: arrive early and enjoy the build-up.

2.
Meeting old friends and avoiding others
Let's face it, there are some people you would rather not chat to not only in a concert hall foyer, but anywhere else, especially if they are munching one of those silly little tuna sandwiches while speaking loudly right up close reeking of fish. Successfully avoiding interaction with them, even if it means hiding behind a pillar is a big plus. Greeting old friends of whom I am fond is a different matter and a pleasure.
Like factor in meeting old friends: 8/10
Advice: avoid the others by taking a hat large enough to hide your face.

3.
A programme with surprises
Now I have the printed programme in front of me let me see what is on offer...oh good, there are a few unusual items I don't know. How exciting - actually hearing something unfamiliar. That is very enterprising of the artist.
Like factor: 9/10
Advice to aspirant concert artists: stand out from the crowded field and stake out new territory.

4.
Good lighting and excellent acoustics
I can think of no better support for an enjoyable performance.
10/10
Advice: take time to get the lighting right, and even more time with the sound if you need amplification.

5.
A well-turned out artist
I do like to see an artist who has taken the trouble to dress up, rather than one who popped out for some groceries and then suddenly decided to give a concert instead.
Like factor: 8/10
Advice: nothing gives me greater pleasure than a well turned-out artist except for a well turned-out artiste.

6.
A new insight
Very soon it becomes apparent that this artist has some interesting and original interpretations of her own. Taken together with some unusual items on the programme I am beginning to have a very good time indeed.
Like factor: 9/10
Advice: keep it up.

7.
A beaming smile
Each burst of applause is greeted with a lovely smile from the performer. She appears genuinely pleased every time. Now I think she is a nice person, not just a good artist.
Like factor: 10/10
Advice: smiling is a beautiful gesture. If you have never done it before, try it now.

8.
Well-measured introductions
She introduces some pieces, not all, and judges well how long to speak. She has a nicely modulated speaking voice and has interesting comments to make which really engage the listener, me included.
Like factor: 8/10
Advice: none, this is turning out to be a treat.

9.
A pleasant interval bar
I grant I am quick off the mark, and run to the bar fast enough to get there first. It gives me great satisfaction to take my drinks without queueing.
Like factor: 8/10
Advice: call me superficial, but queueing at the bar for two thirds of the interval makes me fume, and not queueing at all is the next best thing to being at the seaside.

10.
Encores' surprise
I have really taken to this artist. And she has not disappointed me with the choice of encores. They are unexpected and yet they complement the programme too.
Like factor: 9/10
Advice: choose well. Encores are like dessert: when they are good they are a perfect ending but when they are bad they ruin the meal.

11.
A pleasant manner with fans
I go to congratulate her after and notice how gracious and friendly she is with everyone.
Like factor: 9/10
Advice: be yourself and show you are pleased with compliments received. You are pleased, aren't you?

12.
Stepping out into a warm evening
I like the return to reality of car horns, traffic, and other humans walking by oblivious to the fact that they have just missed a great concert. What's more it's not quite dark.
Like factor: 9/10
Advice: go for a pleasant meal in good company and exchange impressions.

13.
Stroll home
Finally it's time to go. With the sounds of the concert echoing in my head I walk still under the wizard's spell. Yes, that guitarist was a wizard for through her playing she made the magic box sing, speak, cry and laugh. Truly she showed it can be a magic box.
Like factor: 9/10
Advice: walk till you tire and then hail a cab - that's my idea of a perfect ending to the evening.

I have tried to capture the best feelings I have from a good concert. Just writing puts me into a very positive state of mind.
I hope it does the same for you too.

Derry, Northern Ireland, 26 August 2012

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=1559 .
© 2017.

1 Comment   »

  • Matthew Sear says:

    Dear Carlos

    Isn't it lovely having a nice meal afterwards; for me the after concert tradition pizza and red wine with my wife and friends.

    As usual, I loved reading your thoughte because under the lighthearted blog style are some excellent tips for fellow performers.

    Thanks for sharing these insights - an excellent read!

    Matt

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