It’s the end of March and I’m already working on May and heading towards June. I’ve been listening to Sunflower Bean’s Twentytwo in Blue and loving it. I also have been thinking about the festival season. When I was younger another music journalist I respected would have the same column once a year on concert etiquette. I’ve emulated him in the past with my version. This year I decided to start fresh. For anyone who has had the person talking the entire night right next to you, the drunk or high idiot who is making a fool of themselves, and the person who has to record every second of the headliner with a cell phone as opposed to experiencing it, this list is for you:
- Talking – Did you come to the show to see the artist or to talk? If you’re going to talk through the entire night you’ve wasted your money and offended people around you. Go to a bar, go to a restaurant to talk. At the show more people than you WANT to hear the show.
- Screaming – Why are you screaming the artist’s name? Why are you screaming song names when the artist hasn’t asked for requests? The artist knows their own name and has a set list that most likely has your favorite song in it. If the artist asked for requests, then you can scream your favorite song.
- Singing – Congratulations! You know every lyric to every song that the artist is going to play. The people around you however paid to hear the artist sing them NOT you. If the artist invites you for a sing-a-long then feel free.
- Filming, txting, social media – Did you pay money to see a show through a 3″ screen? I didn’t. I want to experience every note and emotion in wide screen, full life. To do that I do not need to record every second of the show, photograph every second, or txt, instagram of FB everyone I know to prove that I was there. Surprisingly neither do you. It used to be if you wore the tour t-shirt the next day at school you proved you were there. Now you can instantly make your friends jealous by sending photos, clips from your phone. Just because you can…doesn’t mean you should. Experience a show LIVE not on a 3″ screen.
- Drunk/Stoned – How much of the show will you remember when you are drunk or stoned? How much will EVERYONE around you remember you if you are drunk or stoned? How many will record it and send it on social media with the quote “Look at this idiot!” Congratulations! You can get drunk or stoned anywhere. Guess what? Nobody cares. People paid money to see a show not to see you behave like an idiot.
These are a small few of the list of concert etiquette items that appear at every show, every summer. It is a funny thing that if you treat people around you with respect, they will treat you the same. If you don’t…then you can be forever immortalized on social media for being “that ass that ruined the show.” If you paid money to see a show…see a show. See, hear and experience with every sense. If not, why are you at the show at all?