I go to a lot of local shows in Dallas and Fort Worth. Mostly because I follow one band in particular (Navajo. you should check them out, I think they’re the best) but also because I really love live music and the atmosphere I get submerged in. Big concerts with huge crowds are fun too, but they don’t seem to share the same sense of community. Even if you arrive alone, it’s like walking into a family reunion.
Something I really like about going to local shows is seeing all the passion that the band members have when they get on stage. Even if they were dragging their feet ten minutes before, once they begin their set they have all this energy to get the crowd hyped. And when they’re at their merch tables, the band members always love to take pictures with you and talk to you. That’s what big shows lack (unless you want to pay for that VIP). Once the set is over, the band members are part of the crowd; they’re real people.
If you’ve never been to a local show I highly recommend it. Support your local artists. Support your friends. Buy that t-shirt and CD. Don’t ask for a free concert ticket. Every dollar you put into them helps them get to where they want to be. A lot of time and money goes into what they do and giving out free things doesn’t push them forward. I respect local musicians so much for everything they do to try and be successful. Artists of all kinds share the same passion for doing what they love.