In general, you just have to be a nice person and not mind getting bumped into a lot. Pretty basic stuff, mostly. But there are some no nos.
Earlier this week, Spin posted a selection of 10 things not to do at a concert from comedian Dane Cook. Cook goes to a lot of concerts, so I thought his list would be an interesting one. Turns out, he was mostly trying to be funny and most of it fell flat (“Don’t use a bathroom stall if the prior occupant comes out covered head to toe in their own shit.” Hi-larious stuff, right?)
I thought I’d augment his list and present my own.
So, when you’re at a concert, DON’T…
… get annoyed when somebody bumps into you. It’s a rock concert and there are between 100 and 15,000 people in the same room as you. Bodies are going to touch. There might even be a mosh pit.
… burn me with your cigarette. We’re outdoors. You’ve lit up. Good times, eh? Sure is, until you find it necessary to forget that about 5,000 people are standing all around you and gesticulate wildly while describing how your new bong works and you poke me in the chest with a burning hot ember. Thanks for ruining my shirt and thanks for giving me something I’ll always remember from this concert: a small, round burn scar.
… “try to cop a feel of the girl’s tit crowd surfing over you.” The only one from Cook that I like, although his reasoning is pretty awful. He follows that by saying it’s because she’ll kick you in the eye with her high heels. I’d say it’s more because that’s disrespectful and the girl came here to have a good time, not to get felt up by a bunch of meat-heads who don’t have girlfriends.
… yell out “Free Bird.” First, even if it’s Lynyrd Skynyrd, they’re probably not taking requests. Second, unless it’s Skynyrd, there’s no way they’re going to play it. Third, it’s not 1976 any more and you’re not funny. That joke was barely funny then. (An aside: Comedian Stephen Lynch makes fun of his audience for doing it, which is pretty funny.)
… answer your phone and then scream loudly into it that “I’m at a concert. No, Becky… No… I’m at a concert.” If this happens during an acoustic show (say, Bon Iver), audience members are within their rights to behead you. Better idea: Let it go to voicemail and then quietly text them to say you’ll call them back.
… be one of those “I’m at a concert!!!!” people. We’ve all done it. We’re all guilty. Those first handful of shows were so exciting because, look… that’s them… right there! But that doesn’t make it any less annoying when you’re “woo”-ing and jumping up and down and screaming because “It’s MY song!”
… get angry at the crowdsurfers. Yeah, it can be annoying, but your job is to help them not fall on their head/neck/junk. So please don’t punch them or “miss” when they float on by. If you didn’t want crowdsurfers, you shouldn’t be standing within the first 25 feet of the stage.
… pick fights. The idea of mosh pit is to dance around and run into each other at full speed. If, accidentally, someone bumps you too hard, that sucks. But you got into the mosh pit in the first place, so it should be expected. Hitting the guy in the mouth as hard as you can isn’t going to help at all and is probably going to stop the concert and get you thrown out.
… let your friend get that drunk. If he/she cannot stand, they are too drunk. If you’re in the unfortunate situation of having a friend that gets that drunk, don’t leave them on the floor of the venue/amphitheatre or crowdsurf them to the front. Pick them up (read: throw them over your shoulder) and carry them out. You’re supposed to be their friend. Get ‘em some help.
… throw your shoe/water bottle/cell phone/baby at the band. As it turns out, they don’t like to dodge flying objects while they’re trying to play live music. You and I can barely play guitar in our basements with no one else around. Think of how hard it is in front of a few hundred/thousand people with beer bottles coming at your head. (Corollary: Throwing a bra onstage is a different matter entirely.)
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