As much as your friendly neighborhood hipster might try to convince you that vinyl is truly the best way to experience music, we all know that live music is the unparalleled best way to enjoy a band. However, for every blessing there is a curse, and live music events are often fraught with peril. From long lines to overpriced drinks and rowdy crowds, sometimes the shows we look forward to the most aren't all that they're cracked up to be. As purveyors and explorers of music, Baeble staffers know all about that, and shared some of their worst concert and festival experiences.
Emma Dugas - The Front Bottoms
It was a concert for the Front Bottoms, a band that I love. First off, it took us forever to get there because of traffic. We left early in the afternoon because we wanted to walk around Yale, but by the time we got there it was dark and the show was about to start. Once we got into the crowd, I swear there were three guys making a wall in front of my friend and I. Now these guys weren't regular guys -- they were giants, like I'm pretty sure one lives in the sky and you get to his house via beanstalk. Meanwhile, I'm 5'2 and my friend is 5'7 and even she can't see. We had asked if we could get in front of them for the show, and they said no. It was so packed in there we couldn't really try and find a better spot. So I basically watched this guy's shirt slowly get darker with sweat, while listening to the Front Bottoms. Oh and I got kicked in the face by someone crowd surfing with Dr. Martens on.
Elissa Fertig - Electric Forest
At Electric Forest this past summer, one of our friends got a little too drunk and decided to run off. Unfortunately, she is the sober type of drunk who seems very calm and reasonable--"I'm just going to run to the front really quickly!"--until you realize that she is in fact wasted. I was tasked with watching over her to make sure she didn't continue running away, as she'd been doing the whole evening, but was really in no shape to do this myself. Eventually I did end up losing her in the crowd and had to go and to interrupt two of my other friends who were very busy in a hammock near a different stage and ask them to help me find her.
After a wild goose chase that I cannot remember, we eventually found her and all ended up together, just as it started raining heavily. We missed DJ Snake so that we could stampede with the rest of the festival back to our campsite in the pouring rain, trying to hold onto our friend who kept trying to run away. The friend woke up nearly fourteen hours later and had to ask two different people exactly what had happened.
Kirsten Spruch - Tove Lo at Elsewhere
So nothing bad happened during the actual concert — how could it, this is Tove Lo we're talking about — however it's what happened directly after the concert. It was a special album release show so Tove was set to come out and meet fans afterwards. She did just that, but it was crazy unorganized and everyone smushed together in one gigantic crowd, trying to reach her first. I was with Indy when we finally made it to the front (after lots of pushing and soaking up strangers' sweat) and then Indy got to meet her. I was next, and you know what happened? One of Tove's reps took her away. Poof. She was gone. Right when I was next. Indy ended up getting a photo and not me. But that's okay, because Photoshop:
Shane Croghan - The Coronas
After finishing school in 2010, I went to now-defunct Irish festival Oxegen (RIP) to celebrate. Unfortunately, the opening act for the weekend was The Coronas. I don't think The Coronas are very well known here in the US, rightfully so, but the fact that they've named themselves after an extremely mediocre beer says it all for their depth of imagination really. Given the choice between a Coronas album, and an hour-long, totally silent concept album about paint drying, I'd happily throw on my headphones and think about paint for sixty minutes. Nonetheless, they were the opening act of the weekend and I was drunk, obviously.
Attending a Coronas gig would probably have a strong claim for worst concert experience on musical merit alone, but the fact that I lost my beloved phone as I was inexplicably, and involuntarily, crowd surfed during the very first song just sealed the deal. My battered old phone that had seen me through countless teenage dramas was gone - drowned in the mud, trampled by underage drunks. In a way, not having a phone probably made the weekend a bit more exciting. Despite this, my hatred for The Coronas has endured. Don't worry though, I've finally gotten my revenge - with this scathing critique that they'll definitely never read.
Chris Deverell - Harvest Boone
When you attend concerts as frequently as I do, chances are you're going to have some lows to match your highs. My front right tooth is fake, courtesy of an errant mic stand in a mosh pit. I've lost several pairs of glasses and most certainly my dignity, but my worst experience with live music came from a small, local festival in North Carolina known as Harvest Boone. The lineup was mostly a bunch of forgettable jam bands, with a few gems sprinkled throughout, but mostly it was an excuse to celebrate passing/failing midterms and getting drunk in a field. Well I did the latter with unparalleled deftness, and in the midst of my drunken shenanigans I lost my entire keyring, house, car and all. I came to the realization at about four in the morning, long after everyone else had gone off to sleep and as a late autumn storm was coming through. Unable to find my friend's tent and stuck without the means to get my own out of my car, I spent the night huddled under my car, doing my best to avoid the rain. Turns out I leant my keys to a friend so he could shotgun a beer and then left them with him. I don't like to associate with hippies or jam bands anymore.