While festival season is over until April, that doesn’t mean people stop spending time indulging in live music.
In fact, it just means it happens in smaller spaces, indoors – where it’s harder to escape acts of pure annoyance from that dude/bro/drunk girl standing next to you.
Going to shows can and should be a wonderful pastime – and it is… save for that handful of people who seem to go out of their way to make their enjoyment more important than everyone else’s in the room.
Here are some tips to follow to ensure you’re never the jerk in the room who’s ruining everyone else’s experience.
1. TALLS TO THE BACK
This should go without saying, yet it will forever remain a heated discussion between the talls and the shorts of the world. Yes, tall person, we know you paid just as much as we did and want to be close to the stage, but it should be common courtesy to look behind you to ensure you’re not blocking the view of 30 people when you know you could stand literally anywhere in the room and still see the stage. We believe Kathleen Hanna was onto something major with her “all girls to the front” rule.
2. NO TABLETS ALLOWED
C’mon, don’t be that guy. Your iPhone is definitely large enough to take a nice photo. Also, who carries tablets around?
3. NO TALKING ALLOWED
Why did you come to this show if you’re just going to stand around talking, ignoring the band who is putting their heart and soul into their work on that stage? Leave the venue if you’re not digging it. Don’t ruin it for everyone else that is trying to hear the music.
4. SING ALONG, BUT NOT LOUDER THAN THE MUSICIAN ONSTAGE
Sing-alongs can be the greatest part of the live show experience, but if you’re at a Neutral Milk Hotel show and you are scream-singing to every single word so that everyone around you can only hear your headache-inducing vocals instead of Jeff Mangum’s, you should probably take it down a notch… or five. We paid money to hear the band, not you.
5. KEEP MOSHING TO A DESIGNATED AREA
Some people love to mosh, and that’s awesome. But for others, getting caught in a randomly emerging mosh pit can be a special kind of torture where you end up with a concussion or a broken nose just because you decided to go see a show. The unofficial mosh pit designated area is generally near the stage (where it should stay), and if only one or two guys are joining in with your attempt to start one, stop shoving your body into a crowd of unwilling participants. It’s called a mosh pit – not a mosh one.
6. IF YOU TRY TO CROWDSURF AND FAIL, DON’T TRY AGAIN
Fool me once…
7. PHOTOGRAPHERS – TAKE PICS DURING THE FIRST THREE SONGS AND PUT IT AWAY
There is an enforced rule at big shows where photographers have the first three songs to shoot and then get out of the pit. At local shows, some photographers will keep their giant cameras up and block views for the entire show. Not cool, camera man.
8. SPILLING YOUR BEER ON EVERYONE AROUND YOU IN A FIT OF DRUNKEN JOY ISN’T EVER FUN FOR ANYONE ELSE BUT YOU
Congrats, you’ve sufficiently enraged everyone around you and you’re probably going to get beat up by some guy who really doesn’t find it funny to smell like your cheap beer for the rest of the evening.
9. NO GIRLS ON SHOULDERS
As if tall dudes weren’t bad enough. Short girl, you are only contributing to short person problems by selfishly combatting yours on your boyfriend’s shoulders. Move around to find a better view like the rest of us.
10. NO BUTTING RIGHT BEFORE THE HEADLINER TAKES THE STAGE
SERIOUSLY. We shorts have to be there hours early to get close enough to see anything happening onstage. How dare you come in at the last minute and push in front of us, blocking the view we so patiently earned. There is a sweet joy in coming together with your fellow early arrivers to create a human wall, blocking these jerks from moving forward.
Cover image from: istock.com/sicko_2003