“Let me clear my throat…”
Forget a crafty opening paragraph and all of that hullabaloo. Call me a pretentious hipster, a music snob or even a Pitchfork writer; I don’t care. I’m here for one reason and one reason only: To pitch a bitch. Maybe I’m right. Could be wrong. Perhaps I’m bitter or have just been listening to The Adam Corolla Show too much.
Regardless, it’s time for me to spit fire about Concert Etiquette. Yes, I’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of musicians at many shows and I’ve experienced the good, the bad and the ignorant. So I’m stepping up, putting my foot down and proclaiming six concert-going laws that go into effect immediately. These are my laws and I make them up!
Law #1: SHUT THE FUCK UP
The biggest peeve I can think of. I’ve nearly blown blood vessels from holding in my rage at you people who feel the need to talk loudly at concerts, often even louder than the musicians. Why do you do it? Actually, I don’t want to know. SHUT THE FUCK UP. “But I want to talk to…” SHUT THE FUCK UP. “I have the right…”
SHUT THE FUCK UP!
There is no reason you can not speak to someone else in the room one sound notch below the musicians on stage. Sometimes they play a quiet part, so then whisper what you have to say. Or send a text message or a smoke signal or something. Not only does it drive me crazy but I’ve talked to many musicians over the years and it bothers them also. They’re just really polite about it.
Venues like The Showbox in Seattle and Bogarts in Cincinnati are not local bars you visit to have a happy hour drink at and chat. They are music venues and they are only open for music events and you usually pay a good fee to get into them. You knew this when you bought your ticket, so SHUT THE FUCK UP.
I’ve argued with people who say they have the right to blab all they want in dive bars where there just happens to be a band. Nope, sorry, SHUT THE FUCK UP. While you have a mild point about the environment of this event, do you really want to be talking at a place where you sometimes have to yell to be heard by the person right next to you?
You can seriously ruin many good times for those around you. SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Law #2: LOVE YOUR BROTHER
Moshing. It’s a decades-old tradition that makes no sense. You run into people.
Perhaps this is a sign of me aging and I can’t hang with the big dogs anymore crammed in the front of a crowd. While that is a good point, I still don’t deserve to suddenly catch an elbow to the back because some drunken, presumably un-educated and un-laid asshole chooses to celebrate the music he’s hearing by slamming into people.
A recent example: I was in about the fourth row at a Beastie Boys’ show and all was well for most of the show. They started to play “Sure Shot” and it was fun to jump and flow with the band. Then jackoffs started moshing and the fun turned to fear as I was suddenly in the middle of a mosh pit. A huge, fat, bald guy kept shoving people in their backs trying to keep the pit going. When they would turn around, he’d look down and hold his hands up with either a “wasn’t me” or “you can’t do anything about it” gesture. I’ve even seen people mosh to “Blister in the Sun” at a Violent Femmes’ show.
Only those who attend metal shows will now be permitted to mosh because I don’t care what people at metal shows do anyhow. Come on folks, the mosh is almost as out-dated as the flash of the devil horns.
Law #3: FRONT TO BACK
Yes, if young girls can learn this simple maneuver at, um, whatever age they learn to do that, then so can the average drunk. When you decide to crowd surf, ask the folks standing directly behind you to help lift you up and send you backwards and not forwards.
I know the goal is to get as far up as you can and part of the thrill is to get as close to the band as you can. I’ve done it plenty of times in my youth and there is sort of a rush to it. But I was also kind of scared going forwards because I never knew what would happen.
You see, the people in front of you have no idea you’re coming so there are no hands to catch you….only heads. Many times I’ve been at a show and caught a foot, arm or leg to the back of the head from some idiot crowd surfer. When this happens, a rage boils over me and I literally want to reach up and pull your throat out of your body, regardless of gender. Plus, if people don’t see you coming, there is a better chance you will be dropped and injured, perhaps even paralyzed. It’s simply not worth it.
So try to go backwards where the people see you coming. Trust me; you’ll stay up longer this way too.
Law #4: TOO TALL JONES
Being a tall guy in a club probably sucks, so there are some exceptions here. By no means are you forced to stand at the back of the room just because you are taller than most people. But if you’re 6’3 or taller, please give it a lot of thought to move to the back or to the side. It’s just difficult for anyone to see over you at that point. You folks are pretty much off the hook though since you have issues already.
But if you’re 6’2 or shorter, you do have a new law to follow. You are free to stand closer up front and pretty much where you wish. But if you see a girl who is 5’2 and enjoying the show, don’t plop right in front of her. Be considerate and try to make it work for others to see past you. Drunk or not, you’re being rude.
Law #5: PUT A CORK IN IT
My grandma lied to me as a kid; all humans do fart. It is a part of nature; however it can also be controlled. It took a while, but the smell of cigarettes is rapidly leaving venues across the country, so personal gas needs to go with it.
This law provides the reader with one accidental fart in a venue per month. It’s possible to be liquored up and you laugh too hard or maybe sit down oddly and let the cheese fly a little. That’s okay, but repeatedly beefing in public, especially when it’s really ripe (and you know when it is!) is completely un-acceptable.
Seriously folks; grow up and stop farting in public. Go outside or go take a shit if you really need to.
Law #6: EXIT, STAGE LEFT
In 2003, one of the worst nightclub tragedies in history happened in Rhode Island. One hundred people perished and more than two hundred more were injured from a terrible fire that quickly broke out. One of the several factors here was that many people did not know where the exits were.
So each time you go to a club, just try to take a quick glance around to locate the exit doors in case something like this might occur again. You don’t have to obsess over it, just be aware, that’s all. Safety First!
So the laws are set and they will now take full effect. You will each receive a copy of these rules with your next pay stub.
As you were.