In-person concerts vs online concerts: student and teacher viewpoints


Allison Kelly

Liam Payne’s online concert.

From screaming and dancing to blaring music in a packed venue to watching a live-streamed performance at home, sophomore Val Garza has found bliss in both in-person and online concerts, no matter the circumstance.

“I really like online concerts,” Val said. “I would take an actual concert over an online one any day, but the online shows are a great thing that artists have been doing to just give you a moment to kind of forget that you’re in quarantine and a pandemic.”

Throughout the years, Val has cherished her concert experiences and has developed a lot of memories from them. They give her pure joy and the feeling of being whole. From the start at almost any concert, Val has undergone a vast variety of emotions.

“When I was younger, I’d cry a lot and almost pass out,” Val said. “I don’t really know why; I guess it was like excitement and just being little. But now I think it’s a rush. Whoever you’re watching, you’re there for a reason. You’ll probably like them and it’s just fun.”

But when COVID-19 surfaced, obviously the tone shifted. No more crowds, no more concerts. For some, the virus had negative impressions on people and has limited their cheer, but Val has found the silver lining in the situation.

“I’d say online concerts are very accessible and easy,” Val said. “You can watch it from anywhere and it’s very affordable. It’s also nice to see that [the artist] is also going through it and that you’re not the only one that’s locked up. [Online concerts] just give you a moment to watch something live and still feel excited about something.”

But, of course, online concerts are not quite the same as real concerts. Sophomore Allison Kelly, even though she has only been to one actual concert in her life, has found that the online ones do not meet the bar in terms of excitement and overall fun.

“Some cons are that, obviously, you don’t get to meet new people,” Allison said. “Online concerts are still fun, but you just don’t really have a connection with [other fans], so it’s not like you can meet new people that share the same interests.”

Math teacher Tracy Will—a concert connoisseur—also feels that online concerts can buffer the success of the performers and artists.

Even though in-person concerts are not available or safe at the moment, online concerts offer a different environment with the same beloved singers.

“The cons would be that the artist isn’t raking in the dough nor are the venues,” Will said. “I do feel bad financially for the artists; hopefully they’re still being compensated.”

Even though the socializing aspect and overall financial abundance for the artists are not quite up to par, online concerts do have a lot of positives, other than just keeping everyone safe.

“It’s really easy to buy a ticket and it’s not as stressful at all,” Allison said. “The typical [ticket] price is around twenty dollars, and there are a couple of different websites for online concerts. The main one is called Veeps.”

With all of the pros and cons aside, there are relevant things and advice about online concerts that are very helpful to know beforehand. 

“Buy your ticket with time,” Val said. “I bought one of my tickets like 10 minutes before it started, but just make sure you go in [the concert] with time. Also, get a bunch of snacks, get comfy, hook [the livestream] up to some speakers, and just have a good time. It’s a moment to relax and just enjoy it.”

Other than just the fun of any concert, live-streamed concerts can serve as great catalysts for enrichment in music and expanding horizons. Will has attended a few concerts online throughout the pandemic and emphasizes how they have helped her grow her liking for artists, as well as introducing her to new ones.

“Early in the pandemic, I fell in love with Billie Eilish.” Will said. “My kids had liked her, but I had never before. I was so impressed at what she gave us. So [online concerts] introduced me to some new artists, certainly. It definitely enhanced our lives in a positive way. I’m impressed by the artists who chose to give us their talent that way.”

Additionally, Will has grown to like certain types of music and songs that she previously had not liked, because of online-concerting.

“I love Taylor Swift, and every time I go to one of her concerts, she makes me like a song that hadn’t really been one of my favorites,” Will said. “And [that song] could be a least favorite of mine on an album, so when I see it performed, I can understand, like, ‘Oh, that’s what she meant by this’ and I start to like it.”

These online concerts have proven throughout the many infection-ridden months that music and concerts are a truly unifying aspect for people. Artists and fans have shown their resilience in terms of adapting to unpredictable situations while continuing to showcase their talents and passions. Even though in-person concerts are not available or safe at the moment, online concerts offer a different environment with the same beloved singers. They have proven to be accessible, easy, affordable all while maintaining the nature of a true concert. 

“I leave feeling happy and satisfied,” said Val, when describing her general feeling towards any concert. “Whether it’s online or in-person, [I like] just being able to hear the songs differently to change it up.”

Everyone needs a break in the schedule or a crack in the norm because the worldly trappings and problems of life don’t allow for much movement. It’s excruciatingly vital to have a few moments of prosperity and let the high spirits flow, especially during a pandemic. Hopefully, in the near future, regular concerts will be a possibility.

But for the time being, online concerts will hold a satisfactory place and provide a semblance of musical felicity.

“I would say we are just fans of what we’d like to choose what we consume,” Will said. “So we’re going to record it and fast forward through songs which is a bummer. I guess when you’re in person, you hear that song and maybe enjoy it. But the online concerts that we’ve watched, we haven’t really paid for any, they’ve only been pushed to us, and I think that that’s great as well. Just to carve out some time and treat yourself to that little musical experience.”