Music Monday: Smallest and Largest Gigs

A few weeks ago, I went to the biggest gig I’ve ever been to: Foo Fighters at London Stadium sold out at about 80,000 people at London Stadium. I’ve got to experience music from all sorts of genres in a range of venues holding a a few hundred people to tens of thousands… some bands in both small and large venues!

Here are my three largest and three smallest gigs (check out this page for a list of all the concerts I’ve been to and have coming up):

Foo Fighters | 24/06/18 | London Stadium, London, United Kingdom: This one is quite recent in the books.  I accompanied one of my clients to the gig as they weren’t comfortable going on their own and we had a blast together despite the shit-show that was public transport with a wheelchair. When we arrived around 17:30, it was quite sparse, but filled up at an exponential rate as the time for the Foos to takes the stage drew nearer. There was not a single square foot of free space on the floor… I couldn’t image being in the middle of all that! All in all, the stadium built for the Olympics and now primarily used by the local Premier League football team held 80,000 concert-goers in the stands and on the field.


Icon for Hire | 17/05/17 | The Rock, Tucson, Arizona: One of the staple venues in my hometown, I’ve been to The Rock about half a dozen times, including for my very first gig ever in 2013. However, this show felt especially empty. While crowds of a few hundred fill the venue in past shows, there couldn’t have been more than 150 people at this gig. It was so much fun being in the front row for my first time seeing a band I’ve come to like quite a lot and experience it with my brother, although at 6’2″, he couldn’t bring himself to stand in the very front with me.


Blink-182 and A Day to Remember| 24/09/16 | Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, Arizona: These next two shows are at the same venue, but I had two different experiences at each of them. It was hard to tell how well-sold it was as I didn’t pay much attention, but I’m guessing pretty damn near sold out at 20,000 people. It was my first time seeing Blink and we had decent seats on stage left about halfway between the nosebleed and stage.


Rise Against and Thrice | 09/07/17 | Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, Arizona: This time around, Sydney and I were in the general admission standing area closest to the stage. Again, it was hard to tell how well-sold the show was, especially this time as we were standing in the bottom of it all with our backs to the crowd. I’m sorry to say that this time, it wasn’t quite worth it. Tickets were upwards of $90 and virtually nobody else around me knew Thrice (the opening band I like quite a lot) so I felt like a twat singing along passionately and even for Rise Against, the crowd was quite weak. If Sydney wasn’t there, it wouldn’t have been worth it. I would have rather not gone.

Senses Fail | 14/10/15 | Talking Heads, Southampton, United Kingdom: My long-time friend Alex and I were really looking forward to seeing Senses Fail together at a small pub in Southampton with a capacity of about 250 people. However, it wasn’t everything we thought it would be. They played mainly new songs, which aren’t our favorites, and as they were an opening band, not many other people knew them. The show wasn’t my favorite, but it was nice to meet up with Alex.

Lady Gaga | 30/07/14 | U.S. Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona: Now renamed the Talking Stick Resort Arena, this venue holds over 18,000 people. My friend Brett and I were in the queue to go up to our nosebleed seats, when someone offered us free standing tickets. It was one of the happiest moments of my life! It is one of my favorite gigs to this day as I’ve been a fan of Lady Gaga since Poker Face and the set, dancing and production are so different from the typical rock concerts I attend.


Chon | 15/10/17 | Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton, United Kingdom: Diego and I saw Chon in the sweaty basement of a pub in town with about 200 other people. The stage was no more than a foot off the ground and the ceilings were no more than 8 feet high. You couldn’t really see the band unless you were in the front few rows. Nonetheless, I enjoyed listening at this chilled out gig and didn’t get too hot.




  1. Greatness Reinvented
    July 9, 2018 / 7:12 am

    Wow some great gigs there. We saw the Foo’s at Reading and they are fantastic. I do love a good music festival.

    GR |

  2. July 14, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    I normally see more rock type concerts, like Rise Against (I see them every time they are in my area!) and when I went to see Katy Perry for the first (so far only) time, it was SUCH a different experience. One, the audience was like 99% female (vs a Slayer concert having NO line to the lady’s restroom, ha) and was very much under 18 with their moms, but the show had so much production value!!! I would totally go to another pop concert.

    • rachelwuest
      July 17, 2018 / 8:25 am

      Rise Against is my all-time favorite band! I try to see them every time they’re around, too. I would love to go to another pop concert and while I enjoy a lot of artists, Gaga is the only one I actively follow and her UK tour was cancelled last year 🙁

  3. July 15, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Sounds like you’ve been to some amazing gigs! I’d love to go and see the Foo Fighters – they’re supposed to be amazing live… although generally I prefer smaller gigs/venues as there’s more atmosphere.
    Kate |

    • rachelwuest
      July 17, 2018 / 8:24 am

      I agree but Foos put on such a unique show, it’s something to do at least once!

  4. August 8, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    So many great memories! I think both big and small gigs have their benefits, kind of sad I don’t have any gigs lined up at the moment x

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