Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Concert Etiquette.

I wrote this years ago, but since some old links and pages are currently deceased, I thought it needed a new location...

Going absolutely bat-shit-crazy for a band/music is all well and good (actually, this is what you're supposed to be doing), but some people nowadays are ignorant in terms of their own behavior. The point of seeing a band is to have yourself a little moment, whether it's personal and emotional, or raucous and high-energy, and it's also to enjoy the communal experience of sharing this music with others who love it. In the past few years, I've been all-too-often surrounded by jerks who fail to obey simple rules of etiquette that I assumed were common concert-goer knowledge. 

Maybe people just don't attend many shows, and they're only interested in listening to the latest iTunes downloads on their pods. Maybe the loss of smaller venues and the popularity of big-budget stadium shows have caused fans to treat concerts like football games. Maybe people use concerts now as excuses to get drunk and let out what I like to call "male aggression." Maybe people feel too distanced from the music, or from the scene in which it exists, and since they don't seek out smaller shows, or feel connected to other fans, concerts become few and far between. Whatever the reason, everyone knows the notorious "Don't be that guy!" rule, as in, "don't wear the band's T-shirt," but there are plenty of more important, unwritten rules that ought to be followed:


   1. Don't stand directly in front of the shorties. Honestly, there ought to be a section specifically reserved for us 5-foot crowd, but, since there isn't, consider who's behind you. There's nothing worse than your face being pressed against a big huge sweaty guy who doesn't give a shit but could easily see from another "row" back.

   2. Respect the ladies, respect the ladies, respect the ladies. Especially if the crowd gets rough.

   3. No elbows, unless they really deserve it (though, I've been known to pull an elbow move or two).

   4. No kicking, biting, scratching, hair pulling, or anything they don't allow in boxing.

   5. Girls, put up your hair. We don't need a face-full of it every time you bounce around, and I'm sure you don't want it ripped out either.

   6. Guys, keep the shirts on. This isn't a sports game, so try not to behave like drunken idiots.

   7. Shower. You'll only get sweatier and stinkier. And please deodorize. Again, rock shows are not jock shows.

   8. Do not make out with your significant other (unless you're both super hot) for the entirety of the show. It's nauseating to us all.

   9. Either you're in the mosh pit, or you're out. None of this in-between crap. And don't force a mosh pit to happen by slamming yourself into someone out of nowhere.

   10. Do not, under any circumstances, raise your cell phones in the air to take pictures, or to let your friends hear the show, or to god forbid use them as lighters. It makes you look lame, very lame, and stands as a general reminder of the lameness of our times, as well as everything that is wrong within the world of commercialized rock n' roll. Don't talk or text on the phone either.

   11. Help the crowd-surfers/stage-divers, don't hurt them. And do not crowd-surf if you are vastly overweight or abnormally tall.

   12. Spiky anything is a serious no-no. It may look cool, but don't mosh with 8-inch spikes, man.

   13. Refrain from obnoxiously belting the sad songs.

   14. Throwing water/beer is fine, but be careful with actual bottles. And if you accidentally plow into someone and spill their drink all over them, do apologize.

   15. Do not consistently yell out a request your favorite song, or some phrase you think is funny, or a barrage of curses between every single song. The band is not going to care.

   16. Do not become a barricade hog, and by this I mean that there's usually more room than you think there is, so no need to squeeze others out.

   17. And, finally, stop knocking my glasses off! (I know, I know, I should wear my contacts).


Okay kids, go nuts, get dirty, keep it real, and always wear protection! 
(a)amy.

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