Sunday, June 09, 2013

Seriously Annoying Concert-Going Habits

I recently read this Rolling Stone article about "The 10 Most Annoying Concert Behaviors" which had been linked to another one about annoying rock star behaviors. As someone who goes to concerts rather frequently, I have my own list of annoying habits.  In addition to all the points mentioned in the RS article, here is my own list of annoying concert-going habits:

1. Taking pictures the entire freaking show.  With a flash.

At the OK Go show, January 2010.
Not possible with a flash.
I totally agree with this first point from the RS article. Seriously, stop taking pictures the entire time and then posting them to Facebook or Twitter.  Go ahead, take a few pictures, but the effort that you put in to taking the picture, writing a caption, and tagging stuff is making you miss the point of being at a show.  Your big ass smartphone/tablet/camera screen is also really, really distracting.  And you know how you have the flash turned on?  Basic rule of photography: you're too far away for it to make a difference.  So turn the flash off because you're just going to end up with crappy pictures anyway.  Namely, you're just taking pictures of the guy's head in front of you.  Luckily, I haven't yet gone to a show where someone has their iPad out to take pictures.  However, if that did happen, that person probably deserves to get punched or thrown into the mosh pit with their iPad.  Note to anyone reading this who actually takes pictures with your tablet at a show: everyone thinks you're a jerk.  And you are because your iPad is distracting and blocking everyone's view.  Not to mention you look ridiculous.


2.  Looking at your smartphone the whole concert.

Why are you at a concert if you're going to just be texting or looking at Facebook?  Some girls in front of me at The Killers went together, but all of them were looking at Facebook the whole. freaking. time.  They didn't even talk to each other between Louis XIV and The Killers.  Do your texting or Facebooking between bands.  But when a band is on the stage, please stop.  And if you're bored and the music is not your thing, just leave because you'll do everyone else a favor.  Also if the opening band is not your thing, there are other people around you who are trying to enjoy the music.  So go get a drink.


3.  Cuddling/making out with your significant other when the music doesn't really call for it.

I saw Dropkick Murphys earlier this year and was way up front against the stage barrier.  It should be said that a DKM show is on the rowdy side and everyone just surges forward, crushing everyone in front.  There was a couple in front of me making out the entire two hour set.  Yes, at a Dropkick Murphys show.  Honestly, if you want to get your freak on, get it on somewhere else where you're not going to have other concertgoers crushed up against you who are trying to mosh or jump around or whatever.  Or at least go to the back.  This girl and her boyfriend were making out and her back was to the stage the entire night.  Every time I would get shoved up against them, she would put her hands out to try to prevent everyone pushing up against them.  She only wound up scratching my eyes out.

But generally, nobody wants to see you fondling your girlfriend's ass or with your hand down your boyfriend's pants.  Now, if the show were for Celine Dion or Michael Bublé, cuddling would be more appropriate. But it's sort of weird and out of place at a punk show like DKM or Rancid.


4.  Pulling hair in the mosh pit or otherwise.

Yes, I've actually experienced this.  The mosh pit is a place of mostly no rules -- punching, kicking, shoving is all allowed.  But pulling hair?  Really?  I sometimes end up in the pit not on my own free will, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't pull my hair.  I get it, I'll probably get shoved or punched or kicked, but pulling hair requires a sort of motor skill where you're actually targeting something/someone.  So, stop.


5.  Kids and their parents with general admission tickets all the way up front against the stage where they will most likely get crushed even though there's seats available.  

(Whew, that was a long one.)  I'm all for bringing kids to shows if they like the band.  In fact, I encourage it.  Going to concerts is awesome.  But it's not so great when the parents think it'd be a good idea to go up front against the stage at a show that's quite clearly going to get rowdy.  Usually being in the back is a little better because it's not as brutal as up front.  Parents should seriously consider this point because if there are seats available (like in a stadium show or even if there is open seating on the side or in the back), they'll be much happier, their kid will be able to see, and they won't get crushed against the crowd.  Basically, everyone wins: no stress for the parents, the kid can say they went to the show, and nobody in the crowd is annoyed that there's a 10-year-old with their parents yelling at everyone uselessly to stop pushing forward.  Obviously, this is dependent on the type of show -- Bruce Springsteen all the way up front?  Sure, go for it.  The Boss might even bring your kid on stage.  Green Day?  Not so much because people might actually mosh.

6.  Getting annoyed that other people are reasonably cheering, screaming, whistling, or dancing.

Maybe this is a thing here in Germany, but I've experienced this quite a bit.  For example, I was at Lady Gaga stadium concert and my friends and I were cheering between songs as people normally do.  We were also dancing during the songs (we also had general admission tickets, so it wasn't as if we were dancing and blocking other people's views).  Some moms and their teenagers were throwing us dirty looks and were loudly complaining about us.  We weren't the only ones cheering; in fact, they were the only ones not cheering/screaming/whistling/dancing (come on, it's Lady Gaga).  And we were next to the stage.  If you're going to get annoyed by this sort of behavior and the behavior is within reason, maybe going to a concert really isn't your type of thing. 

7.  Being on a call in the middle of a set, so you have to scream into your phone.

If you call and just let your friend listen because they know you're at a concert for xyz, that's cool.  Spread the love, as long as your smartphone isn't above your head and distracting me.  But being on a call in the middle of a set and screaming into your phone, "I'm a concert....What?  I can't hear you...I'm AT A CONCERT!" is not helping anyone out.  You or the person on the phone or everyone else.  It's kind of like this:

 But worse because it's not 1955, you're not backstage, and it's not Back to the Future.

8.  Pretending you have friends up front so they let you through.

Honestly, if you're going to be pushing your way up front and pissing everyone else off to begin with, just do it without the pretext of looking for friends.  It's already douche-y enough to shove your way through, but pretending you have friends so people are nice to you is just not cool.  As the RS article pointed out, those people up front got there early and claimed their space.  So deal with being elsewhere.

9.  Sitting on someone's shoulders so nobody behind you can see.

I'm short, especially here in Germany.  But I deal with it by moving over to the side closer to the stage or by positioning myself to where I might be able to see over someone's shoulder.  It's always a pain when some chick is sitting on her boyfriend's shoulders.  Everyone behind them can't see.  Sure, the argument is that you're at a show to hear the music, but seeing is also part of the experience.  So don't block everyone else's view just because you can't see anything.  Frankly, I think this is more annoying than people crowd-surfing.

10.  Loudly talking about the opening band and how they suck.

Not every opening band is great or even good.  And yes, the majority of people are not at a show for the opening band.  But if you're going complain about them where everyone around you is clearly trying to listen to them, please stop talking.  If you think they're so crappy, go get a drink or some fresh air.  I personally like listening to opening bands because I've discovered quite a few bands that way.  Not only that, the opening band is trying and they're putting their music out there.  I can't imagine that it's easy to put out your own music that means so much to you and having complete strangers judge both you and your music.  Not only that, the crowd is probably already against you because they're not there to see you.  So as a concertgoer, be at least polite because it'll make a more pleasant experience for everyone.

1 comment:

Darren Mcandrews said...

Those tics I can take. I don't really go to concerts for those people. I go for the bands and the music. What I can't stand is the needless ringing in my ears, when organizers don't set up their sounds right, and there's lots of garble and feedback. This should be an issue one takes up with organizers, I guess, but perhaps we can take our own precautions. And in fact, augmentations such as what earplugs do.

Darren @ Ear Peace