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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    I've always wondered this... It's actually a big part of why I rarely ever go to a concert, not if I'm going there to hear the performance. I'd understand cheering after the performance is over, but if the point of the concert is to hear the music... Making a whole bunch of noise and drowning out the actual performance seems rather counter productive. Especially if the performance is one of a kind, and you'll never get another chance to hear that song played in that manner.

    Is there more to it than just listening quietly to a good performance?
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    It gives positive feedback to the performers.

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    I've never had this happen at a classical concert. Rock concert yes, but a lot of bands try to make their audiences highly energized during the show, and I consider it part of the experience. Especially when the audience sings along to the music, like at a Maiden concert when Fear of the Dark or any song with chanting, like Heaven Can Wait, are played. It is kind of an ethereal feeling, and it's amazingly fun to be a part of.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2017-12-24 at 11:14 AM.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    I think part of it is an attempt to make the event more interactive. One of the things that makes live music different than recorded music is that you're experiencing it with a lot of other people, and clapping/cheering/etc. is a way to let the rest of them know that you like that song too. Also, a lot of people would like to connect with the performers in some way, and this is pretty much the only way they're given to try to do so.

    It seems like the times I hear clapping/cheering/etc. are usually:
    (a) when the song starts - intended message is probably "yay! the song I like is playing"
    (b) after a technically difficult section - intended message is probably "yay - they got through that part without screwing it up, and that's a difficult thing to do"
    (c) after a punchline or other key moment - intended message is probably to react to the story (I listen to a lot of folk music, so lyrics/story are a big part of a lot of concerts I go to)
    (d) after the song is over - intended message is probably appreciation for the song

    I don't go to large concerts because I find them kind of overwhelming, but I also suspect this is partially a function of really loud sound systems. The band can definitely "perform over" a certain amount of crowd noise, and I suspect that the noisier the performers are, the noisier the audience feels they can be.

    I really like performances where the audience is supposed to sing along on the choruses and/or some of the songs are more of a group sing-a-long led by the performer, but that really only works with certain songs (and audiences). There are some songs that almost everyone knows that you can get really nice harmonies going on when you have 50-100 people who all know the words and tune singing along on the chorus and finding good harmonies, but there are other songs where this just makes a mess.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    The point of a rock concert is less to hear the music than to experience the band live - which includes clapping and screaming and singing along. I find that clapping and cheering is most typical at the very beginning of a song when the audience is indicating their approval of its inclusion in the line-up.

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    I'd like to know why they sometimes do it at the end of a movie at the movie theatre.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I'd like to know why they sometimes do it at the end of a movie at the movie theatre.
    Back when I worked at a theater, When they applauded at the end, I just took it as them appreciating my work when I was in projection.

    Conversely, if it was the last set and I was on exit greetings, if people to me it was a great movie while walking out, my go-to response was, "thanks, I made it myself."

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    "thanks, I made it myself."

    I amuse myself.
    Well I would certainly appreciate that response. :)
    Last edited by Crow; 2017-12-26 at 10:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeySage View Post
    Is there more to it than just listening quietly to a good performance?
    Yes, it's a shared experience of joy. Clapping and cheering are part of the shared experience.

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeySage View Post
    Especially if the performance is one of a kind, and you'll never get another chance to hear that song played in that manner.

    That's what DVD's/Live versions are all about!


    But seriously, I think that's the difference between "vernacular" music (rock, pop, folk, etc) and the more "elevated" kind (orchestra, Genius Guitar Man, etc). For the vernacular, it's all about the interaction of the public with the band. It isn't only praise. It's a communion with your Metal Gods favorite artist. It's about joining them in the same experience. It's something that both the band and the fans are looking for.

    The other kind, being more solemn and closer to actual praise; it's all about the wonder. So people just sit amazed, unable to do anything but listen to them.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Personally, I attend live performances with my parents: really darn good live performances of choral, Classical, Romantic, or Baroque music; with those sorts of music, you can see people practically composing themselves for meditation as the lights dim at the start. Nobody claps during the performance. That would be disrespectful and rude (at least in that setting), and pretty much impossible considering we're kinda spellbound.

    We have a CD of a Roger Whittaker concert where the audience clapped at the start of every song, though, and that seemed to be because they liked the songs and were glad to hear them. Mr. Whittaker was actively trying to get everyone participating, too, which was probably part of it.

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorGirl View Post
    Mr. Whittaker was actively trying to get everyone participating, too, which was probably part of it.
    Oh, if you want to see someone try to get the audience to participate, check out videos of Ozzy in Japan. The culture there is largely to be respectful and polite, while Ozzy loves a really high-energy crowd. I hear his concerts over there play like a battle of wills.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Oh, if you want to see someone try to get the audience to participate, check out videos of Ozzy in Japan. The culture there is largely to be respectful and polite, while Ozzy loves a really high-energy crowd. I hear his concerts over there play like a battle of wills.
    I notice this when watching pro wrestling matches online. While American crowds like to get involved with cheers, boos, and chanting, Japanese crowds are quiet out of respect for the performance. At most there will be some polite clapping after a particularly good exchange.

    Having seen Ozzy several times over the years, it's pretty funny to me to imagine him trying to rouse a crowd that's observing quietly. We usually got two or three "I CAN'T #$%(ING HEAR YOU!" shouts from him even making as much noise as we could, so I can only imagine that like 50% of the show is Ozzy screaming for more noise from the crowd.

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Oh, if you want to see someone try to get the audience to participate, check out videos of Ozzy in Japan. The culture there is largely to be respectful and polite, while Ozzy loves a really high-energy crowd. I hear his concerts over there play like a battle of wills.
    Oh, that would be funny. I'll see if the magic of YouTube can deliver it to me.

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    As has been said, the genre plays into it. When I attend an opera, it is considered bad form to applaud when you recognize a piece. That's just expected. However, the conductor will pause after particular arias to allow the audience to show their appreciation to the artist.

    Switch to a Jimmy Buffett concert, where Jimmy has an entire audience participation schtick going where parrotheads applaud favorites, hoot and hollar when asked or a hometown video flashes, applaud again after songs well done, and sit respectfully during the ballads to appreciate the words (or just rest your voice). This turns the concert into an entertainment event.

    Still Monkeysage has a point that this can get out of hand. The most famous example is the Beatles who stopped touring when they came to the realization that their audience couldn't hear their music over the screaming fans.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Knight View Post
    Still Monkeysage has a point that this can get out of hand. The most famous example is the Beatles who stopped touring when they came to the realization that their audience couldn't hear their music over the screaming fans.
    I'd have thought the most famous example was Altamont.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I'd have thought the most famous example was Altamont.
    Altamont's problem was violence, not excessive cheering.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Knight View Post
    Altamont's problem was violence, not excessive cheering.
    Gah, mixed up my threads. Thought this was about high energy audiences in general, and not just cheering and drowning it the music. My bad.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    I clap and cheer during movies...

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Thirst View Post
    I clap and cheer during movies...
    Why? 10 characters

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Thirst View Post
    I clap and cheer during movies...
    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    Why? 10 characters
    I've done it occasionally. Did do a little clap at the end of The Greatest Showman, but that reminded me of a stage musical to the point I wanted to do it after every song.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I'd like to know why they sometimes do it at the end of a movie at the movie theatre.
    Or when an airplane has landed.
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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeySage View Post
    I've always wondered this... It's actually a big part of why I rarely ever go to a concert, not if I'm going there to hear the performance. I'd understand cheering after the performance is over, but if the point of the concert is to hear the music... Making a whole bunch of noise and drowning out the actual performance seems rather counter productive. Especially if the performance is one of a kind, and you'll never get another chance to hear that song played in that manner.

    Is there more to it than just listening quietly to a good performance?
    I'm not going to try and understand you humans with your emotions, but you can also do that at home without spending a lot of money on a ticket. I think it's more of a social exercise, bonding with others who like the music, and being able to say you saw it in person.

    Besides isn't it just like rock and metal concerts where people do that? Classical music concerts people only clap and cheer when a song comes to an end while the musicians are getting ready for the next song.

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    Default Re: Why do people clap and cheer during a performance at a concert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Or when an airplane has landed.
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