Living in Austin and working in radio has given me an opportunity to see a lot of live music at a variety of venues. Unfortunately, many of the people who attend shows take the experience for granted. Maybe it is today’s youth culture, the technology or the frequency of touring acts – but everyone in the crowd at concerts seems to suck.
I would like to offer a few tips to make all of our experiences a little better. Please avoid being one of these people at a concert:
Late to the show VIP: Looking hot and taking too long pre-gaming doesn’t give you the right to cut the beer/bathroom line then plow your way to the front of the crowd. Occasionally, we all let a lady pass by, but that usually leads to a hand holding train caboosed by four tall bros in tank tops.
Grumpy Professional Concert Goer:
You don’t own the fucking venue. You can stand there with your arms crossed, legs in a square stance to block movement and yelling “put your phones away” all you like. Just realize you are as much of an asshole as they are. If anything, you are worse because you are aware of your actions. Some people like to dance. Some can’t stand in one place for three hours and we all occasionally have to piss or want to get a beer. Stop playing police officer and enjoy the show.
Chit Chatty Cathy: I understand that shows are a social gathering and opportunity to hangout with our friends. If you want to catch up, just move to the back of the crowd or stand near the bar. Maybe it’s just that one ‘friend.’ Unfortunately, the duty falls on you to ignore them, usher them away or ask them to politely to shut the fuck up. This also includes YOU lady who likes to talk to the band or shout out requests.
I get that you want people to know you are at a hip show. Also, we need to understand that we all have phones and there is no use fighting technology. There is, however, a respectful way to take your pictures. Snap your deep, colorful photographs during the first two songs. Turn your flash off. Not auto, OFF. Check in on Facebook/Instagram/whatever right away and wait until you go to the restroom to check how many jealous friends clicked like. DO NOT take a crowd selfie and again, turn your flash off. The less your phone is out is out, the more you and everyone else will get to enjoy the show.
Concert Scorsese: Let me remind you: NO ONE wants to see your terrible, blurry, inaudible footage on any medium. That being said, I like to record a little bit of every show I go to so I can track down a song or just have pleasant memories. When the “hit” comes on, please do not record more than 30 seconds to a minute. Shoot in landscape and don’t dance (your video will be worse than it already is). Don’t turn around to tape the crowd; do not check your phone to see the footage. Put it in your pocket and enjoy the rest of the show without annoying your neighbors and ruining it for everyone else. Need I address iPads, or are we clear that will get you smacked?
Really Tall Dude:
Be aware of the people around you or move your ass to the back or side. I’m 6’0 so I try my best to not stand right in front of a shorter crowd or move to the side. Also, take that stupid beanie off.
Chain Smokers: Three songs in and this is your fifth cigarette. The red glair is just as bad as a phone in the air and it stinks up the air. Go somewhere else or wait a few minutes inbetween slowly killing yourself.
Backpacking the Alps Guy:
He’s got it all. Koozies, blankets, chairs, flasks, ponchos, purses, tent, hiking gear, water and even a 12-pack of beer. It’s nice to have this person in your group. Unless he leaves his pack tightly strapped to his back for the entire show. I spent the majority of Poliça’s SXSW set battling one of these dudes. Every 3 minutes I was getting rammed with an entire platoon’s rations. By the end of the show I was fed up and positioned my elbow in-between the strap and his back restricting is violent dance moves. I finally confronted the guy but he just ignored me and turned back around. None of this would have happened if he had just set this giant pack on the ground in between his feet and out of our way.
“Woooooooo” Girl, Whistle Guy and the Over Clapper: Do you know why everyone around you is staring you down after every song? It’s because your cheers are ear-piercing loud. I can somehow hear you through the relay speakers.
Shirtless Dancing Bro:
I’m sure your dance moves and hairless, chiseled abs look great in the mirror for the pre-concert selfie – but in public, with other humans – it’s particularly irritating. Don’t touch me, don’t swirl the last of your beer all over us, don’t elbow my date’s chest, don’t leave the shot bar and come to the concert. Just don’t.
You are not the show. Take that stupid cape and costume off. Stop singing so loudly and terribly. The booze makes you think you can dance like MJ, but you look like a moron and keep spilling your beer on everyone.
Your lack of balance, strange stagger, lost and dilated eyes and constant lip-licking tell me you’ve had more molly/shrooms/beer than you can handle. That’s fine, we’ve all been there. I don’t think you are a bad person but your best friend who is way up front and should be taking care of you is. Sit down and drink some water. Hopefully they find you before security or shirtless dancing dude does.
What does all of this boil down to? Being respectful and aware of those around you.