We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Bad acoustics”

Colonial Life Arena
Ranked #11 of 109 things to do in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 26 July 2014

We went to see Bruno Mars, and the acoustics were very bad. We were sitting in pretty decent seats on the stage left side, not great but not horrible either. We couldn't bring in our camera, not because no cameras were allowed, but because it had a removable lens. My mom brought her camera, a little one without removable lens, and they said nothing to her and she took pictures throughout the concert. What's the difference? The price of food is RIDICULOUS!! We got Bojangles and for 3 chicken tenders and 2 drinks it was about $50! Oh, and you can't use straws or lids on drinks...another really weird and nonsensical decision on their part, especially if you have one of their huge $10 drinks. Apparently they're okay with cleaning up tons of drink spills when people during concerts get up and knock cups over.

1  Thank timofmylif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (139)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

108 - 112 of 139 reviews

Reviewed 17 June 2014

Bruno Mars was my fourth and final show at the Colonial Life Arena. I have heard of similar issues from several friends. My 1st experience there was for the American Idol show the year that Taylor Hicks won. While not a Taylor Hicks fan, I do love Daughtery and Katherine McPhee. My son was the 11th person in line at the arena the day tickets went on sale. We were assured the tickets would be great. But alas, when we arrived, we were, in fact, seated in the handicapped section on the rail. Not acceptable. Spoke with management about this, and we were re-seated to the fifth row from the floor once I told them I would like a refund if they could not or would not put us in a better location. So seating is purely discretionary on their part!! The AC was not working properly (August 5th in SC? Really??), the acoustics were abominable, so much so that Taylor Hicks threw down his microphone and walked off stage!!
Second experience was for Shania Twain which was performed "in the round" meaning there was no floor seating, and no bad seats. She played to the entire audience. Acoustics were slightly better. It took us 50 minutes to get out of the parking lot as during entry, every gate is open, during exit, ONE gate was open and fifteen cops were standing around NOT directing traffic---so thanks, CPD!!
Third experience was for Keith Urban. Again, seated up high, bad acoustics! He put on a good show and this time we didn't park on site, but at a meter a few blocks away. My friends went to see Pearl Jam and got up and walked out after the second song, it was THAT bad!
Fourth and final show was last Friday night. I waited until after this show to give Colonial Life Arena one more opportunity to get it right. They failed miserably. While Bruno put on a great show, again the acoustics were horrible, the bass was so prevalent that it actually drowned out his vocals, as well as that of his opening act, Aloe Blacc. If Colonial Life Arena needs instruction on what great acoustics sound like, maybe they could pay a visit to Peace Center in Greenville...THAT is how a music venue should sound!!

3  Thank Valleysailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014 via mobile

We sat up very high to see Bruno Mars, the view was great but the acoustics were horrible. Thankfully Bruno Mars was still fun to watch! I don't know if we would chose this venue again for a concert, if we did we would definitely sit lower.

Thank annap74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

We went to see Bruno Mars and we had nose-bleed seats, but even from where we were at the music was awesome and you could still clearly see Bruno either on the stage or on the screens. Also, getting in and out was pretty easy considering the place was packed.

1  Thank Jill D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

Was able to see my high school team come out in the top. The place is great for USC games and other events and concerts.

Thank CFordham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Colonial Life Arena? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing