Article by Stephanie Perkins | Photography by Joshua Eller | Owl Staff
I started going to live shows about seven years ago, and ever since I’ve been hooked. The crowd, intense lights, and loud music are merely perks to the main attraction: the artists themselves. One question I’ve always sort of wondered to myself is: “How much do musicians really care about their fans?” Well, my question was answered last summer when my sister bribed me to go a Maroon 5 concert by taking me to Hershey Park that same day. While I don’t really have a problem with them, they were also touring with Train, an adult alternative band that for the longest time got on all of my nerves.
The fact that Train’s singles always seem to linger much longer than regular pop songs is bad enough, but when you add in the awful, nonsensical lyrics to these so-called hits, it just further fuels my extreme dislike for their actual music. Why would you ever compare your love for someone to a drive-by shooting? Or equate that same person you claim to love to a Hefty trash bag?
Needless to say, when they walked on stage, all I could do was roll my eyes while the crowd proceeded to scream at the top of their lungs. As their show went on, however, I could easily see why their fan base was so strong aside from the fact that the show was taking place in frontman Pat Monahan’s hometown in Pennsylvania.
Despite all of the rain that night, Pat’s energy was completely off the charts. During the dry portions of the performance, he left the stage to run around the arena and sing in the crowd. When they played their arguably biggest, most current hit, “Hey Soul Sister,” he invited at least ten girls (none of which looked older than 18, mind you) up on stage to sing with the band.
Every single one of them received a T-shirt before leaving the stage, a generous act I’ve never really seen from any artist in all my years of concert-going.
Despite how much Train makes my blood boil, I could appreciate the way they showed their love for the obviously dedicated fans. As for Maroon 5, well, they sort of disappointed me.
Don’t get me wrong, the music and staging were phenomenal. Adam Levine sounded like he did on the album- but maybe that was the problem. Levine just sort of did his song and dance, pranced around like the peacock he seems to be, and occasionally pointed the mic towards the audience. There was no personal connection that was clearly displayed when Monahan and his band mates were on stage.
Let this be a lesson to musicians everywhere. Your fans, even the casual ones, are watching not only you as a performer, but you as a person. Artists owe their fans as much gratitude as humanly possible for the vast amount of their success. Zac Efron says it best: “The fans make the person a star.”