THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2016|
Posted by: Mike Montemarano
Let's face it. We've all been to a concert where somebody was being rude. They're on their cell phones. They're obnoxiously drunk. They're pontificating loudly about how they knew who this band was before anybody else. Don't be that guy. And if you're worried that you may in fact be that guy, don't worry. We put together a list of 10 tips on how to not behave at a concert.
1. Don't Skip The Openers
Even if you've never heard of the opening act, stick around. I've seen countless opening sets where dozens of people intentionally walked out to the bar or outside for a smoke while an opener was mid-song. The people playing can see how many people have walked out of room, those who leave mid-set are pushing their way through people trying to enjoy themselves, and there's plenty of time in between sets. Unless you actually have a problem with the opening act and actively dislike them, what else do you have to do that's so important it can't wait until in between sets?
2. Don't Forget To Wear Deodorant
If you don't think there's a need for me to include this, you haven't been to enough shows. I wish this was less urgent than it is. Wear deodorant. Wear a lot of deodorant. People are tightly packed. You will sweat. A lot more than normal. Regardless of the place, genre of music, or size of the crowd, I feel like I always get stuck in the proximity of someone who doesn't follow this basic practice. YOU ARE DESENSITIZED TO YOUR OWN BODY ODOR AND NO ONE ELSE IS.
3. Don't Hide Behind Your Phone
Don't stare at your screen and refuse to talk to people. You're not obligated to continue the conversation that started between songs once the next song starts being played. You can spare a real person who probably has similar tastes and interests as you thirty seconds of your acknowledgement. Every conversation winds up being a blur in the crowd, and you'll stand out more if you ignore people within a square foot proximity of you. Also, unless you're really into making lo-fi movies showcasing the backs of sweaty people's heads to the score of a trash compactor, don't watch the show through your phone's camera.
4. Don't Be A Creeper
With #3 being said, don't creep on people. A lot can be interpreted through body language and tone of voice, and it doesn't take rocket science to tell when someone is actively disinterested in the conversation. Some people aren't actively looking to meet new people, and some people specifically will not be interested in you. That's the reality of any situation.
5. Don't Get Angry If Someone Accidentally Touches You
It's crowded and accidents happen. If someone elbows you, falls into you, or spills beer on you while you're seeing any kind of music that makes people move, get over it. It's just as likely that you could be the one doing it to someone else next time. If the possibility that someone may bump into you is something you absolutely cannot handle, the back of the venue is much less active. If you stand in the middle of a crowd at a punk show and have a problem with mosh pits, move out of the way.
On the flip side of this lies those who are spatially ignorant or intentionally obnoxious. Don't pull people into a mosh pit. Stage diving has a weight limit and proper technique that does not involve head walking. You knuckle-draggers know who you are and you are not being "way more punk rock than everyone else" if you're the only one doing what you're doing.
6. Do Not Wear The Band's T-Shirt To The Show
It's implied that you're a fan of the band you're seeing, and wearing that band's t-shirt is always strange, especially if you just bought it at the show. I'd like to think that most people at any given show will be able to know the name of the band by the end.
7. Don't Be The Pretentious Asshole
Don't be the person who needs to assert that they know more about "x kind of music" than whoever you're talking to. You're not above another person because you know more about the production behind your favorite gluten-free experimental anarcho-crust noise EP. Genre and music elitists behave in ways that make me embarrassed just by watching what they do, especially if they like the same music as me.
8. Don't Get S***faced Drunk
Don't get so drunk it affects other people. Enough people seem to use especially small shows as a preliminary reason for drinking more than they should and for the wrong reasons, which is something you can do on your own time without ruining people's experiences. If you don't care about the music, why go to a show just to get sick in the first place?
9. Don't Cosplay As A Dead Person
Don't spend the duration of the show looking like a corpse. If you can't at least acknowledge a band by clapping or something at the end of their song/set, you don't look like you're too cool to be there; you are a drain on the positive environment.
10. Don't Scream Additions To The Setlist
Don't complain that a band isn't playing all of their old stuff. Yelling your song recommendation will not magically alter the set list which they've been practicing for weeks prior to touring. If a band has been playing the same material on a near-daily basis for years prior to their latest release, they will want to play new songs. A live musician doesn't owe you anything and doesn't need to pander to what a crowd wants if they are trying to grow and try new things. They own their work.