Ouhei wrote in post #10434281Just some snaps
from a concert I went to with some friends.
They're exactly what you said they were: snaps. Don't let the arrogance of a few discourage you from participating. They know full well the difference between offering a brutally honest critique and just being an ass. Grow up folks.
In trying to "perfect" or improve on shots in this situation, I'll go a slightly different direction than what has been said. You're there to document an event and capture images of people who have special meaning to you. Applying studio portrait philosophy to such an event might yield shots that are "less distracting" or more aesthetically appealing to the masses, but overall a much less meaningful photo for your album.
Decades from now the faces of your friends will still be interesting and you'll be glad you have that record of their appearance. But so will the car you were driving, the clothes people were wearing at the time, the signage of stores in the background, etc. Instead of trying to eliminate "distractions" and busy backgrounds, pay attention to the surroundings and try to incorporate more of what makes the event special. Think about seeing old "snaps" from the early 20th century and all the interesting things happening in the background... THANK GOD the photo police weren't on auto pilot back then pushing the same old tired methods of isolating every subject into a muddy puddle of bokeh.
The goal should be to make *interesting* photos. There's definitely no shortage of blowhard photographers on the internet forums who think they're da bomb just because they take pics of a few nekked women standing in front of some lights. How original.
So my advice for the next concert: Less sky and bushes. More candid shots, more atmosphere. I agree with others about the white balance and highlights being blown, but that isn't what's really hurting these pics. Need to think about composition, the other stuff will improve with practice.