It has literally been years since I last watched a "real" gig. And I miss it. As of late, I have been to a few mall shows and the like. And while I still get the same amazing music from the musicians on stage, the feeling is not the same. The environment is just not suitable to maximum entertainment. For one thing, mall shows are done primarily to promote a new album. That means they are limited to one set with very few songs (most of the time). The show is also free so just about anyone can walk in. This is opposed to a concert setting where people pay up to watch which means you're in the company of real fans and not just curious passers-by. Having the right crowd hypes up the feeling of the songs and the concert.
But, even if the mall shows are free, they end up with less people on the audience. Crowd control is rarely an issue. I guess it's also cause mall shows are also done on the afternoon. This can also be the reason why very few people bother to watch. For me, this "early" gigs kind of kills the moment.Managing people in indoor settings usually just means having a velvet rope and some stanchions plus a few security personnel. This is opposed to a full security team around a concert venue including a beefed up team around the stage and the backstage.
I guess what I'm truly missing the the feeling of being in an honest-to-goodness gig, the whole package. I miss that feeling of being around real music fans who would cough up money just to see their favorite bands play live. Granted, there will always be a few posers and rich kids who have nothing else better to do that night. I miss listening to several sets of songs and not just one set. I miss the crowd, the mosh pit, the tight security, the bright stage lights, the concert fog, everything. I miss going home very tired late at night but very satisfied knowing that, as a music fan, my money could not have gone to a better alternative.