The concert experience can be magical. There is the rush of finding out how sweet (or un-sweet) your seats really are (Sure, you’ve got row A … of section R6), that moment after the lights go out and the crowd goes nuts and that feeling when they finally break into your favorite song. Unfortunately, just like any event that involves large numbers of people, there are always a few bad apples that are responsible for teeth-grindingly, fist-shakingly evil shenanigans that draw out the curmudgeon in the most mellow music fan. What follows is not only a list of the most egregious sins at concerts, but a plan of action to combat these blunders.
Sit or stand? This is an age-old struggle that will probably never have a clear resolution, mainly because, well, there are always going to be a lot of jerks out there who just refuse to understand that I’m right and they’re stupid. So let us dissect this conflict in the hopes of reaching a cease-fire.
When you are at a concert, the general rule is that you sit your ass down unless there is some compelling reason why you should be standing. (Needless to say, open-floor, general admission events are excluded from this rule, as sitting down will likely cause ill-advised contact with numerous diseases and/or fungi.)
Furthermore, the decision to stand or sit is a collective one; it is democratic, but it is democracy with an iron fist, for you do not have the right to peaceful protest. If you get the sense that the majority of the crowd has chosen to make this a sitting event, you must obey immediately, lest you irritate hundreds if not thousands of people who surrendered their hard-earned money to attend the concert.
Right now, many of you standers are probably indignantly saying: “We paid our money just like everyone else; we paid our Ticketmaster service charges and “convenience” charges – we have the right to stand up if we want!” Yeah, and I have the right to hurl small pebbles at your head if you are standing up right in front of me when every other person in the place has decided to sit. By the way, in no way do I endorse bringing small rocks to throw at annoying people at concerts … But if, hypothetically, you just had to throw something, a pebble is the smart man’s weapon. Balled up paper doesn’t do nearly enough damage, and while pennies (or other coins) would seem to be a good choice, since they are both easily accessible and heavy, they can catch reflections of light and possibly identify you as the thrower, which can result in you being on the receiving end of a bouncer’s $6.75-an-hour-fist. (Note: This rule goes for almost any metal object, including throwing stars, so leave them at home and save yourself the trouble and the beating.)
Oh, and to the guy who decides that he is going to get a really good view by standing on his seat or getting on someone’s shoulders … death. No jury, no trial. Instant death by stoning (see above).
One of the worst things that can happen to you, the gentle, respectful audience member, at an open floor event is that when space is tight, some guy or girl in front of you decides that now is the time to dance wildly, gyrating in all directions, lunging around like a large, hairy spider has worked its way into his/her shirt. This person will invariably knock you around, step on toes and generally violate your space. You may ask, “How am I to deal with such a person? Is direct confrontation the answer?”
Absolutely not. Like all good reactions to the antics of concert jerks, the solution is to develop a good, strong, passive-aggressive response. In this case, you throw an elbow. Hey, now hear me out. I’m not suggesting that you drop them to the floor pro-wrestling style or anything dramatic like that (although technically, that would work). Here’s what you do: 1) Plant your fist in your chest with your elbow sticking out in front of you 2) Sit back and wait. That’s the beauty of the whole plan: You don’t have to do anything. If those dancers get close enough to get the business end of your arm in their spines, they are too close. It’s nobody’s fault but their own. Criticize this plan if you want, but I guarantee you will try it.
There comes a time during every concert when people in the crowd decide that the so-called “set-list” is not good enough for them. They want to hear that certain song right now, and they’ll be damned if they aren’t going to let the singer know. Please don’t. Unless they ask for requests, the odds that they are going to hear your request, stop the band and say, “Hey, if that jackass holding up the T-shirt he just bought at the merch. stand wants me to play it, then what the hell!” are slim to none. One more thing: If you are the jagoff that still thinks it is hilarious to yell “Freebird” at the top of your lungs at any extended period of silence during the show, kill yourself.
There are scores of other sins that can be committed by the inconsiderate concert-goer, but they are too numerous to count, and most of them are clich