Ultimate guide to concert at Turner Hall

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Ultimate guide to concert at Turner Hall

Matt Maeson invited the Technicolors' lead singer Brennan Smiley back up to the stage later in the night to collaborate on a The Killers cover.

Matt Maeson invited the Technicolors' lead singer Brennan Smiley back up to the stage later in the night to collaborate on a The Killers cover.

Photo by Kelli Arseneau

Matt Maeson invited the Technicolors' lead singer Brennan Smiley back up to the stage later in the night to collaborate on a The Killers cover.

Photo by Kelli Arseneau

Photo by Kelli Arseneau

Matt Maeson invited the Technicolors' lead singer Brennan Smiley back up to the stage later in the night to collaborate on a The Killers cover.

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Each Milwaukee concert venue is unique in its own way. The Turner Hall Ballroom hosted my favorite artist Matt Maeson Oct. 17.

Arriving promptly at 7:20 p.m. for an 8 p.m. show allotted enough time to use the bathroom, check out the merch table and buy a signed polaroid of Matt Maeson from Sean Silverman, a member from the opener band, the Technicolors.

While the Technicolors, an alternative band from Phoenix, Arizona, did not disappoint, I think that Betcha, a rock band and the opener for Maeson on his last tour, was better, or at least more engaging on stage.

During the entirety of Technicolors’ set, I found it difficult to actually understand what the lead singer, Brennan Smiley, was singing, but overall the band did sound pretty good.

Once Maeson graced the stage, I was able to hear his voice over the sound of the rest of the set, and after listening to some of the Technicolors’ songs it sounds like muffled vocals is part of their sound.

Maeson’s set was incredible and had the entire crowd singing along. He announced the release of the stripped version of his album “Bank on the Funeral,” on social media shortly before the performance. The album was set to come out at midnight Oct. 17, adding to the excitement of the night.

Maeson invited Smiley back to the stage to perform a cover of The Killers’ “When You Were Young,” which was an unexpected surprise for me and evidently the rest of the crowd, as the energy levels were lifted and if they weren’t before, the crowd was singing and dancing along.

Overall, the concert was fantastic and I left with ringing ears and little voice left. Seeing Maeson previously at The Back Room @ Colectivo was a more intimate experience; however, Turner Hall gave me the opportunity to be completely immersed in the music, providing a larger sound at the larger venue.

Turner Hall, according to its website, “is the perfect backdrop to an eclectic mix of shows that welcomes all ideas, ages and cultures.”

Turner Hall also has modest ticket prices compared to other venues and was a great location. This was my first concert experience at Turner Hall, and I compiled some tips for a great concert experience at the venue:

  1. Eat before you arrive at the venue! Most concerts start much after dinner time and Turner Hall is in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, which gives an opportunity to eat almost any kind of food within walking distance of the venue. However, Turner Hall also has its own tavern right downstairs!
  2. Whether you have a car or not, spending a little extra on an Uber saves so much time and energy. Parking downtown can be a mess, enough said.
  3. Turner Hall does have security so be prepared to have your belongings checked and get swiped by a metal detector.
  4. Turner Hall is a standing concert venue, get there early and use the bathroom and get a drink before you claim your “spot” on the floor. People are vultures and will push their way to the front — if you leave for even a minute, your spot will be taken.
  5. If you must use the bathroom, have a trusted friend spread out to save your spot, and go fast.
  6. Buy merch before the concert if you can! While carrying it around can be a hindrance, waiting until the end when it is all sold out won’t be fun either. You can always put it on right away! Be familiar with the opener (if there is one) so that you don’t buy merch from one of the bandmembers without knowing.
  7. While you are not protecting yourself from other vultures, be a vulture. Inch your way closer to the stage whenever the opportunity presents itself. Also, make sure to be a vulture when buying merchandise.
  8. Save your energy for the second act. Standing for hours on end and screaming is exhausting, don’t start screaming until the act you came to see actually comes onstage.
  9. Live in the moment. There will be professional pictures taken and the pictures you take won’t be that great anyway. You will want to have this experience in your memory, not in a video on a camera. Maybe even take a second to close your eyes and really immerse yourself in the music.
  10. Always wait for the encore. It likely will be the best (and most fun) song of the night! Maeson performed my favorite song, “Hallucinogenics” as an encore and it was well worth the wait.

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