Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Concert Don'ts

In the last few weeks, I've had the pleasure of attending concerts from both Minus the Bear and Flight of the Conchords. Both shows were fantastic. I would strongly recommend either of them. But a few friends and I noticed some troubling patterns of behavior in our fellow concertgoers.

Six-foot-three guy: Obviously I'm not going to sit here and call you out on your height. You can't change the fact that you have four inches on me, and almost nine on the average American concertgoer. What you can change, however, is where you're putting those inches. If you're going to tower over the rest of the crowd, do us all a favor and tower over it from the relative back. Rule of thumb: if you can comfortably take a picture by lifting your camera over my head, you're encouraged to do so.

Totem-pole couple: As a sort of corollary to "six-foot-three guy", if you're closer to 5'3" than 6'3", it is not okay to perch yourself on your boyfriend's shoulders and then stand in front of everyone. In this case, I might suggest the method of "stand closer to the stage"... as long as you've gotten there legitimately, of course.

Elbowing to the front: Look, I appreciate that you're a fan of the band, and that you're excited to see them live and in person. After all, that's why you're at their concert. But... I'm a fan of the band too, and I'm also excited to see them live and in person. After all, that's why I'm at the concert. If it's imperative to you to stand twelve feet nearer the stage, then I admit being a lesser fan than you. In that case, it would befit you to arrive earlier than I do so you can secure that prime spot.

Spilling your beer: I don't feel like I should even have to say this, because presumably you paid money for your beer, and it is not something you would like to waste. But an inordinate amount of time, it would appear that the enjoyment you derive from drenching the floor in front of me with beer is greater than what you would have gotten from drinking it.

Make-out couple: If you started saliva-swapping on some street corner, chances are good that you'd get some dirty looks, and people would sarcastically tell you to "get a room" or something similar. Therefore, why would you assume it's okay to do it at a concert? I'm all for affection, but might I suggest the more subtle "holding hands" or "arm around the other person"?

Getting in a fight: To quote Jake Snider, lead singer of Minus the Bear, "we're all cool people... how about you just relax and enjoy the music?" Seriously, if you feel like you must join a mosh pit (and a Minus the Bear concert is an odd place to do that, to be sure), keep it peaceful.

Weed cloud: I'm every bit libertarian enough not to care if you want to go to the privacy of your own home, light one up, and rock out to some Minus the Bear. That does not mean I want to smell it at a concert.

"You mind if I squeeze in here?": Let's think about this for a second. We're at an event with general admission seating. I'm on row 15 out of 20, which is not the best seat in the house, but at least it's not on the lawn behind all the bleachers. All of the seats in the bleachers--all of them--are taken. During an intermission, you see some open seats. Either 1) you have stumbled upon the only three open seats in the whole venue, or 2) those three people are using the restroom. Which seems more likely?

Wearing the shirt of a lesser band: It's a bit like wearing a Mississippi State shirt to a Florida-Alabama football game. You're supporting a direct competitor, and not even one that's any good. It's bizarre and out of place. I think you could get away with wearing a shirt of an entirely different kind of band--like wearing a Juliana Theory shirt to a Flight of the Conchords concert, or a Cal shirt to the aforementioned Florida-Alabama game.

But wearing a Phoenix shirt to either Minus the Bear or Flight of the Conchords? Nope. I'll conclude with a quote from my friend Nicki, who actually knows what she's talking about when it comes to music: "Phoenix is a band for people who haven't bothered to discover anything better. Not bad, but this album is absurdly overrated."

Currently listening: "Goodbye Girl", the Shins covering Squeeze


Andrew said...

I was definitely at a Mars Volta concert where a totem pole couple got violently attacked. It was sweet.

With regards to the weed cloud, I don't see that changing any time soon, and as far as Phoenix, at least it wasn't Animal Collective?

Matt Pavlovich said...

Good point about Animal Collective. Or, you know, Neon Indian or some crap like that.

I really hope that attack is documented on YouTube.