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?
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Concert Etiquette
It’s May and if you haven’t started buying tix for festivals already you may be too late. Most people think summer starts in June. If you’re in the music industry it starts earlier. As we gear up for another busy festival year, here are our annual reminders of Do’s & Don’t’s so we can all enjoy the music.
When going to a concert we are all seeking the same thing: to have fun. The band is there for that. The audience is there for that. The problem is some people’s idea of fun, is not always the same as everyone else’s. Your behavior can, at a minimum, be considered rude, and, at a maximum, be illegal and enough to get you tossed from the venue. Here are the DO’s and DON’T’s of concerts:
1. DON’T sing every word to every song that the band is playing. They already know the words, and the people around paid to hear the band sing, not you.
2. DO sing to the band when they ask everyone to sing along.
3. DON’T scream out band members names at any opportunity. They know their own names and don’t need you to remind them.
4. DO scream & clap appreciation for solos, and songs with the rest of the audience.
5. DON’T talk through the band’s set. If you want to talk, go outside the venue or someplace where you don’t interfere with the rest of the audience. This is true of the opening act, or anyone who is performing. People paid to hear these people NOT you.
6. DON’T scream “Freebird” or any of the other usual song requests. The band has a set list. Some may ask for audience participation, but drunkenly screaming out something they NEVER play does not win you points.
7. DON’T get drunk. You may see yourself as the master of the universe when drunk but most likely, everyone around you doesn’t. If you get too drunk you WILL get tossed from a venue. If you don’t, and act like an ass, you will be remembered, ridiculed and punished.
8. DON’T get stoned. See number 7.
9. DON’T stand up for a song, or set when everyone around you is sitting down. You will block someone’s view and that ruins their fun.
10. DON’T text, talk or photograph the entire concert or set. In the smartphone era a generation has been raised to believe that you can’t actually brag that you were at a show without demonstrating you are AT a show. Professional photographers have the first 3 songs to capture the best of the band. They have better cameras and a better view than you. Take a few shots but remember the joy of a concert is BEING there. It is called a concert experience because everyone is present. If you can’t look up from your phone, you are not.
11. DON’T quote me the set. You may have seen the band 20 times and memorized their facebook, and twitter. You may be the ultimate fan and know them by name, age and social security number. If you want your band to get more popular it is because they attract NEW fans beyond just you. You want the person next to you to experience what you did as NEW. If you blab about every song, every second, they may walk out and that is a lost fan & sale for your band.
DO have fun. Remember that everyone around you wants to as well.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Concert Etiquette