The unprecedented ability of nanometallic (that is, plasmonic) structures to concentrate light into deep-subwavelength volumes has propelled their use in a vast array of nanophotonics technologies and research endeavours. Plasmonic light concentrators can elegantly interface diffraction-limited dielectric optical components with nanophotonic structures. Passive and active plasmonic devices provide new pathways to generate, guide, modulate and detect light with structures that are similar in size to state-of-the-art electronic devices. With the ability to produce highly confined optical fields, the conventional rules for light-matter interactions need to be re-examined, and researchers are venturing into new regimes of optical physics. In this review we will discuss the basic concepts behind plasmonics-enabled light concentration and manipulation, make an attempt to capture the wide range of activities and excitement in this area, and speculate on possible future directions.