Stop Being So God Damn Silly: How To Act At A Concert

This summer, I have been absolutely blessed to have experienced a concert series which i consider to be absolutely next level. A set of dates consisting of combinations of artists and performers who have the ability to get people from 0 to hype in no time flat. Boston, being the kind of city it is, makes it hard for performers to really put on a show that most people would consider to be "dense" enough compared to other cities like LA or New York, where there are no time restrictions on how long a club can stay open, or more importantly, how long people can stay out (public transport ends at 12:35am). However, that means that the people attending shows need to really put their best foot forward in making sure they enjoy themselves once they've arrived.  
 
Being 28 years old, I've come to the decision that, If I'm at a concert, I want to be at the front row. I'm tired of being in the back or off to the sides, even though there may be a better, more tranquil vantage point. For me, up front is where I want to be, mostly because If i'm going to be spending the money to attend a show, I'm probably gonna get a little wild. But lately at a lot of these concerts, I've been seeing a lot of nonsense going on at stage level. Couples having arguments about attending the show in the first place, people who are "drunk" sloshing their way around in attempts to get closer than the need to be, people wanting to become the sole center of attention behest of whoever may be playing; essentially a whole lot of people doing it wrong. So I though I'd create a quick FAQ on how to act when you're front row at a concert.  
 
Because apparently, amazingly, dishearteningly, people need to be told.  
 
Step 1: Get into position.  
 
When you arrive at a concert, you're always going to have enough time to move yourself into position. I used to get to local concerts about half an hour before doors so I'd be ensured a good spot, but most of the time that's simply a waste. Doors at 7 means nothing starts until 8, and everyone's going to be social butterflies while they want for the opening act. I've learned that this is the ideal time to eat dinner, have a few drinks, get limber and loose, use the bathroom, chat people up; get all the things that I like to do, what has nothing to do with enjoying the entertainment, out of the way.  
 
When the opening band comes on, you don't immediately have to go to the front and start staking your claim. Everyone will move up, but you still have, at the very least, two set changes before the main act comes on. Look at this video here.  
 
  

  Here is a pretty good position to be in for an opening act at a small club. You can see the full stage, you still have access to the bar or the bathrooms, you can still head out for a smoke and you can still chat people up. Most importantly, by the time to set changes, you can still move up when everyone uses the break to take care of their own business.  But even then, you have to be mindful of your surroundings. If the crowd is thin, you can often hang back until things start to fill in.  
 
  
  At this show, I had no worries about my abilities to move from the bar, to the front, and back again. 
 

 
Step 2: Wait for the push.  
 
Eventually, when the main act does come out, you will experience what is known as, "the push". This is when everyone behind you frantically tries to push forward and get closer to the stage. If you are in position, this is advantageous as you can simply ride the wave even closer to the stage. Keep in mind though, Once the push happens, you will essentially be locked in. While you can wiggle your way out, you will permanently lose that spot unless you came prepared. At certain venues, this is extremely difficult or flat out impossible. Using the push is essential to get that spot where the acts can shake your hand or give you a fist bump during the performance.  
 
  
  This is my ideal position for the push because the flow is always going to push towards the stage, opposed to crashing against it and heading towards the east or west walls. At this particular show, once the push occurred, I was directly on the wood of the stage, which was perfectly ideal. However, I did lose that spot due to a potty emergency, which forced me to rethink my position.  
 
Step 3: Never not Wild'n Out. 
  
I understand, it's hard to let yourself go at times. It can seem embarrassing to just get a little wild. Your worried about bumping into strangers, maybe you want to make a non-physical impression on that cute girl you just saw, maybe you're trying to keep your drink in one piece. And if that's the case, DON'T GO TO THE FRONT ROW! Hang back, you can still see, you'll still get the most out of it and if you're worried about the people around you, you're not going to have a good time. I will tell you right now, if I'm at the front row, and it doesn't look like this:  
 
  
Or this:  
 
  
   
 
 I get upset. If you're at the front of the crowd, stage side, it means that you are there to party. It means you love that band and you want to get a full face of it. If you are placid in the front row, you are insulting the band and the people around you. Don't get mad because, "Gugh, what's with these cray cray people, why can't they just enjoy it quietly," fuck that mess. We enjoy the music we love quietly every other day of our lives. We came to this show because live is the best way to see the stuff you love and you have to expect everyone around you to want to get a little crazy. In the past 3 months, I've experienced things from couples having relationship counselling to deadheads laying on top of the stage and sloshing about in a frantic effort to stay on their feet; not getting live, not even seeming like they were enjoying themselves. If that's how you want to be, you need to get out of the front. Mst places have balcony seating, or you can go hang out the bar and just listen, more ideal places to simple settle and absorb rather than part of the experience. So as the step is entitled, if you're in the front row, you are never not wild'n out.  
 
Now that's not to say you need to be a jerk or forget your surroundings. Be mindful of what you're body is doing so you don't accidently cold-clock the pretty thing that snuck up behind you. If you can keep mindful of your surroundings while having as much fun as you can, you are doing the front row right.  
 
Step 4: Alternatives. 
 
There will be times where you just can't get to the front. It's unfortunate but it happens. Don't try and muscle your way back to the front. You're going to do nothing but piss everyone you shove your way past off and you're potentially going to get hurt or find yourself stuck behind someone you couldn't move, and probably can't see over. It's this situation where you need to make use of your surroundings.  
 
  
  At this particular show, I had lost my good up front position and had to double back. I ended up pushing myself against a supporting pillar and used that for leverage against the push. This ensured that, while I wasn't completely up front, I had a large solid platform that I could use for things like jumping around without smashing into everyone. Other people tried the same thing without said pillar, and were escorted out by security. There are great vantage points everywhere, and you don't NEED to be up front. But everyone wants to be upfront, even if they really aren't ready to be.  
 
Step 5: But I REALLY wanna be upfront 
  
But what happens when you do need to leave the front and are determined to get back up front? Well, there's some real world issues that you need to consider. Let's face it, you'll have better luck if you are a petite young female than a lumbering male. The best thing to do is roll deep. Attending shows with friends is a great way to keep your spots static when new drinks or bathroom trips become important. If everyone knows what they're doing, they (you) can even recruit the people around  you to hold your space, given the type of show.  Ladies, find a big tree to stand under. There will be plenty of dudes at any concert who are just standing there who will not mind having you slip in front of them if you do not take up a whole lot of space. Fella, use the shoulder tap system to let people know that you're about to go by them rather than simply driving your shoulder into the small of someone's back. Be polite, but also understanding if the miasma of people is simply too thick to press through.
 
  
  Everyone at this Powerglove show I attended was very nice and I was able to retreat towards the bar to grab myself a drink and return to the front unabated. Again, it's all about knowing your surroundings and being able to adapt. You win more flies with honey and if you are nice and cordial instead of a lumbering dullard, you will get farther than you would otherwise.  
 
Step 6: No one cares about you 
 
So you've made it to the front. You're exactly where you wanted to be and now you're getting ready to enjoy the main act in it's full force. Do not do stupid shit that pulls attention away from them and focuses it on you. Don't sit on the stage. Don't beg to be brought up on stage. Don't yell out requests unless the band asks for requests. Don't try to do super complex dance choreographed dance moves (I'm looking at you anime fans...). Just enjoy yourself, but don't be an idiot. No one paid money to see you, so don't expect ANYONE to want to see you more than the band. Poor MC Chris had to yell a girl off the stage when she kept wanting to come up and be a whorish groupie tease when I saw him live a few weeks ago.  
 
It doesn't seem that complicated right? I didn't think so either, but it feels like the more shows I go to, the more people are simply doing it wrong. Follow these easy easy steps, and you too can have fun in the front row. 
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Posted by Mesoian

This summer, I have been absolutely blessed to have experienced a concert series which i consider to be absolutely next level. A set of dates consisting of combinations of artists and performers who have the ability to get people from 0 to hype in no time flat. Boston, being the kind of city it is, makes it hard for performers to really put on a show that most people would consider to be "dense" enough compared to other cities like LA or New York, where there are no time restrictions on how long a club can stay open, or more importantly, how long people can stay out (public transport ends at 12:35am). However, that means that the people attending shows need to really put their best foot forward in making sure they enjoy themselves once they've arrived.  
 
Being 28 years old, I've come to the decision that, If I'm at a concert, I want to be at the front row. I'm tired of being in the back or off to the sides, even though there may be a better, more tranquil vantage point. For me, up front is where I want to be, mostly because If i'm going to be spending the money to attend a show, I'm probably gonna get a little wild. But lately at a lot of these concerts, I've been seeing a lot of nonsense going on at stage level. Couples having arguments about attending the show in the first place, people who are "drunk" sloshing their way around in attempts to get closer than the need to be, people wanting to become the sole center of attention behest of whoever may be playing; essentially a whole lot of people doing it wrong. So I though I'd create a quick FAQ on how to act when you're front row at a concert.  
 
Because apparently, amazingly, dishearteningly, people need to be told.  
 
Step 1: Get into position.  
 
When you arrive at a concert, you're always going to have enough time to move yourself into position. I used to get to local concerts about half an hour before doors so I'd be ensured a good spot, but most of the time that's simply a waste. Doors at 7 means nothing starts until 8, and everyone's going to be social butterflies while they want for the opening act. I've learned that this is the ideal time to eat dinner, have a few drinks, get limber and loose, use the bathroom, chat people up; get all the things that I like to do, what has nothing to do with enjoying the entertainment, out of the way.  
 
When the opening band comes on, you don't immediately have to go to the front and start staking your claim. Everyone will move up, but you still have, at the very least, two set changes before the main act comes on. Look at this video here.  
 
  

  Here is a pretty good position to be in for an opening act at a small club. You can see the full stage, you still have access to the bar or the bathrooms, you can still head out for a smoke and you can still chat people up. Most importantly, by the time to set changes, you can still move up when everyone uses the break to take care of their own business.  But even then, you have to be mindful of your surroundings. If the crowd is thin, you can often hang back until things start to fill in.  
 
  
  At this show, I had no worries about my abilities to move from the bar, to the front, and back again. 
 

 
Step 2: Wait for the push.  
 
Eventually, when the main act does come out, you will experience what is known as, "the push". This is when everyone behind you frantically tries to push forward and get closer to the stage. If you are in position, this is advantageous as you can simply ride the wave even closer to the stage. Keep in mind though, Once the push happens, you will essentially be locked in. While you can wiggle your way out, you will permanently lose that spot unless you came prepared. At certain venues, this is extremely difficult or flat out impossible. Using the push is essential to get that spot where the acts can shake your hand or give you a fist bump during the performance.  
 
  
  This is my ideal position for the push because the flow is always going to push towards the stage, opposed to crashing against it and heading towards the east or west walls. At this particular show, once the push occurred, I was directly on the wood of the stage, which was perfectly ideal. However, I did lose that spot due to a potty emergency, which forced me to rethink my position.  
 
Step 3: Never not Wild'n Out. 
  
I understand, it's hard to let yourself go at times. It can seem embarrassing to just get a little wild. Your worried about bumping into strangers, maybe you want to make a non-physical impression on that cute girl you just saw, maybe you're trying to keep your drink in one piece. And if that's the case, DON'T GO TO THE FRONT ROW! Hang back, you can still see, you'll still get the most out of it and if you're worried about the people around you, you're not going to have a good time. I will tell you right now, if I'm at the front row, and it doesn't look like this:  
 
  
Or this:  
 
  
   
 
 I get upset. If you're at the front of the crowd, stage side, it means that you are there to party. It means you love that band and you want to get a full face of it. If you are placid in the front row, you are insulting the band and the people around you. Don't get mad because, "Gugh, what's with these cray cray people, why can't they just enjoy it quietly," fuck that mess. We enjoy the music we love quietly every other day of our lives. We came to this show because live is the best way to see the stuff you love and you have to expect everyone around you to want to get a little crazy. In the past 3 months, I've experienced things from couples having relationship counselling to deadheads laying on top of the stage and sloshing about in a frantic effort to stay on their feet; not getting live, not even seeming like they were enjoying themselves. If that's how you want to be, you need to get out of the front. Mst places have balcony seating, or you can go hang out the bar and just listen, more ideal places to simple settle and absorb rather than part of the experience. So as the step is entitled, if you're in the front row, you are never not wild'n out.  
 
Now that's not to say you need to be a jerk or forget your surroundings. Be mindful of what you're body is doing so you don't accidently cold-clock the pretty thing that snuck up behind you. If you can keep mindful of your surroundings while having as much fun as you can, you are doing the front row right.  
 
Step 4: Alternatives. 
 
There will be times where you just can't get to the front. It's unfortunate but it happens. Don't try and muscle your way back to the front. You're going to do nothing but piss everyone you shove your way past off and you're potentially going to get hurt or find yourself stuck behind someone you couldn't move, and probably can't see over. It's this situation where you need to make use of your surroundings.  
 
  
  At this particular show, I had lost my good up front position and had to double back. I ended up pushing myself against a supporting pillar and used that for leverage against the push. This ensured that, while I wasn't completely up front, I had a large solid platform that I could use for things like jumping around without smashing into everyone. Other people tried the same thing without said pillar, and were escorted out by security. There are great vantage points everywhere, and you don't NEED to be up front. But everyone wants to be upfront, even if they really aren't ready to be.  
 
Step 5: But I REALLY wanna be upfront 
  
But what happens when you do need to leave the front and are determined to get back up front? Well, there's some real world issues that you need to consider. Let's face it, you'll have better luck if you are a petite young female than a lumbering male. The best thing to do is roll deep. Attending shows with friends is a great way to keep your spots static when new drinks or bathroom trips become important. If everyone knows what they're doing, they (you) can even recruit the people around  you to hold your space, given the type of show.  Ladies, find a big tree to stand under. There will be plenty of dudes at any concert who are just standing there who will not mind having you slip in front of them if you do not take up a whole lot of space. Fella, use the shoulder tap system to let people know that you're about to go by them rather than simply driving your shoulder into the small of someone's back. Be polite, but also understanding if the miasma of people is simply too thick to press through.
 
  
  Everyone at this Powerglove show I attended was very nice and I was able to retreat towards the bar to grab myself a drink and return to the front unabated. Again, it's all about knowing your surroundings and being able to adapt. You win more flies with honey and if you are nice and cordial instead of a lumbering dullard, you will get farther than you would otherwise.  
 
Step 6: No one cares about you 
 
So you've made it to the front. You're exactly where you wanted to be and now you're getting ready to enjoy the main act in it's full force. Do not do stupid shit that pulls attention away from them and focuses it on you. Don't sit on the stage. Don't beg to be brought up on stage. Don't yell out requests unless the band asks for requests. Don't try to do super complex dance choreographed dance moves (I'm looking at you anime fans...). Just enjoy yourself, but don't be an idiot. No one paid money to see you, so don't expect ANYONE to want to see you more than the band. Poor MC Chris had to yell a girl off the stage when she kept wanting to come up and be a whorish groupie tease when I saw him live a few weeks ago.  
 
It doesn't seem that complicated right? I didn't think so either, but it feels like the more shows I go to, the more people are simply doing it wrong. Follow these easy easy steps, and you too can have fun in the front row. 
Posted by StarvingGamer

I will probably never attend a concert like this but I appreciate the insight into this subculture.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

Hm. These are good lessons. I'm branding this with my seal of approval.

*tssss*

That was the sound of the iron burning the seal into the blog.

Posted by wemibelec90

I've never been to a concert but it's always annoyed me to see videos of them where the crowd sings OVER the band that is playing. If I'm going to a band's concert, why would I want to hear your sucky singing?

Edited by Mesoian
@wemibelec90 said:

I've never been to a concert but it's always annoyed me to see videos of them where the crowd sings OVER the band that is playing. If I'm going to a band's concert, why would I want to hear your sucky singing?

Cuz if you're doing it right, you are singing right along with everyone else. It's not just one or two people, it's a cacophony of voices joining the bands. It's really amazing when it happens.
Posted by LiquidSwords

FUCK THAT, MOSH THE SQUARES!

Posted by CaLe

I feel so glad I'll never have to personally experience this type of social calamity.

Posted by Mesoian
@LiquidSwords said:

FUCK THAT, MOSH THE SQUARES!

Moshing is okay because if you're in the pit, you know how you got there and what you are there for. You will never accidently be in the pit. The pit will never suddenly surprise you. That being said, try to make sure people don't get trampled...And give security a break. Security at places that allow moshing seems like the worst job.
Posted by Napalm

I'm good. Keep your stupid indie concerts to yourself.

Posted by SMTDante89

@Mesoian said:

@LiquidSwords said:

FUCK THAT, MOSH THE SQUARES!

Moshing is okay because if you're in the pit, you know how you got there and what you are there for. You will never accidently be in the pit. The pit will never suddenly surprise you. That being said, try to make sure people don't get trampled...And give security a break. Security at places that allow moshing seems like the worst job.

From what I hear about moshing, most people in a mosh try to look out for each other. Was going to make the suggestion to maybe reword the "Nobody Cares About You" section to something more like they don't care about your antics or attention whoring, I would like to think people try to be careful so nobody gets seriously injured at concerts. Mind you, I haven't been to an actual concert (only things I've been to are bands that occasionally play at my college's small stage in our student center) so I don't really have the experience that you do.

Posted by Kidavenger

Nothing about crowd surfing? I haven't been to a concert in ages but that must still happen, it was practically my favorite part of most shows.

Posted by Demoskinos

Eh. Concerts are not for me. I dont like large groups of people.

Posted by Mesoian
@Kidavenger said:

Nothing about crowd surfing? I haven't been to a concert in ages but that must still happen, it was practically my favorite part of most shows.

That's just part of being in the front. Most crowd surfers aren't going to be able to clear the amount of people who are expecting that type of thing off the front row. It's only an issue in larger venues were "seats" are sold.  
 
I don't see audience members crowd surfing all that much anymore, usually it's members of the band. At the Balkan Beat Box show i went to, the lead singer lept into the crowd once almost every other song.  
 
Again, everyone wants to be up front, but not everyone SHOULD be up front.
Posted by ShaggE

So... DON'T hop on stage, grab the mic, say "Hold up. Everybody, hold the hell up. I got this", then riverdance so goddamn hard that the band implodes and everybody in the crowd trips over their own faces?

Online
Posted by Mesoian
@SMTDante89 said:

@Mesoian said:

@LiquidSwords said:

FUCK THAT, MOSH THE SQUARES!

Moshing is okay because if you're in the pit, you know how you got there and what you are there for. You will never accidently be in the pit. The pit will never suddenly surprise you. That being said, try to make sure people don't get trampled...And give security a break. Security at places that allow moshing seems like the worst job.

From what I hear about moshing, most people in a mosh try to look out for each other. Was going to make the suggestion to maybe reword the "Nobody Cares About You" section to something more like they don't care about your antics or attention whoring, I would like to think people try to be careful so nobody gets seriously injured at concerts. Mind you, I haven't been to an actual concert (only things I've been to are bands that occasionally play at my college's small stage in our student center) so I don't really have the experience that you do.

Fair point, and yes, at most concerts that I've attended where there is moshing, people try to take care of one another, break up the pit just long enough to pick someone up off the floor so they don't get waffled, and as soon as everything's okay again, it all starts again.  
 
Mosh pits are fun, I haven't been in one in almost...4 years.
Posted by Mesoian
@ShaggE said:

So... DON'T hop on stage, grab the mic, say "Hold up. Everybody, hold the hell up. I got this", then riverdance so goddamn hard that the band implodes and everybody in the crowd trips over their own faces?

You'd be shocked by how often things like this actually happen.
Posted by LiquidSwords

@SMTDante89 said:

@Mesoian said:

@LiquidSwords said:

FUCK THAT, MOSH THE SQUARES!

Moshing is okay because if you're in the pit, you know how you got there and what you are there for. You will never accidently be in the pit. The pit will never suddenly surprise you. That being said, try to make sure people don't get trampled...And give security a break. Security at places that allow moshing seems like the worst job.

From what I hear about moshing, most people in a mosh try to look out for each other. Was going to make the suggestion to maybe reword the "Nobody Cares About You" section to something more like they don't care about your antics or attention whoring, I would like to think people try to be careful so nobody gets seriously injured at concerts. Mind you, I haven't been to an actual concert (only things I've been to are bands that occasionally play at my college's small stage in our student center) so I don't really have the experience that you do.

Not into bro moshing (Push Mosh) that's the worst! Usually found in bigger concerts. When I go to shows it can seem like chaos, but it's controlled, plus no security at most of them! Glad it's not like what older friends saw in the old days, in the pit swinging chains or people almost getting stabbed.

In any concert or show, staying in the front is not easy, especially if people are stage diving.

Posted by ShaggE

@Mesoian said:

@ShaggE said:

So... DON'T hop on stage, grab the mic, say "Hold up. Everybody, hold the hell up. I got this", then riverdance so goddamn hard that the band implodes and everybody in the crowd trips over their own faces?

You'd be shocked by how often things like this actually happen.

Not too shocked. Everybody's gotta try to outdo the act.

That said, if my scenario were to happen and somebody interrupts a concert for a riverdance session, I would be very happy.

Online
Posted by TheHT

I can get behind each of those except number 3. If I want to be in the front but don't feel like wild'n out, if someone came up to me and told me to get to the back they'll get a nice and calm "go fuck yourself boy-o".

I'm there to have a good time, and if I want to be up close with all the excitement but don't want to flail about (not to suggest flailing about is the only/correct way to wild out) then I won't. I agree if you're pissy at the front, you're probably better off elsewhere, but just as they're wrong, you telling people how they should be enjoying themselves is wrong.

What they should do is understand how things are at the different sections of the venue and decide on the spot they'll find most enjoyable, whether that means going to the front where it might be a bit noisy and cramped but bloody exciting, or a bit farther back where it'll be a bit calmer, or in a seat, or on a balcony, etc.

Online
Posted by guiseppe

Can't you just attend and enjoy the show? You seem to have so many issues that are totally out of your control anyway. So just.. Get to the front and do whatever you want. That's what I do most of the time.

Posted by Alexander

You don't have a position, you can go to the front any time you like, it's just more work for some (The Prodigy) than others (Cut Copy). Sometimes no work at all (Camera Obscura). It depends on the gig but clinging to a rail having your guts pushed out gets old very fast, and when you're over it you'll let go of the rail and actually start having a better time.

Posted by Bocam

@TheHT said:

I agree if you're pissy at the front, you're probably better off elsewhere, but just as they're wrong, you telling people how they should be enjoying themselves is wrong.

This

Posted by Jrinswand

I dunno. I saw Pallbearer, Taurus, and Agalloch last night and it was mostly just a bunch of stoned/drunk/alloftheabove metalheads standing around swaying and nodding their heads slowly. My kind of metal show. LOL. I hate moshing and I've outgrown headbanging.

    
  
  Also, way to go on posting an El-P video, OP.
Posted by NMC2008

@Demoskinos said:

Eh. Concerts are not for me. I dont like large groups of people.

Co-Signed, neither do I.

Posted by Mesoian
@TheHT said:

I can get behind each of those except number 3. If I want to be in the front but don't feel like wild'n out, if someone came up to me and told me to get to the back they'll get a nice and calm "go fuck yourself boy-o".

I'm there to have a good time, and if I want to be up close with all the excitement but don't want to flail about (not to suggest flailing about is the only/correct way to wild out) then I won't. I agree if you're pissy at the front, you're probably better off elsewhere, but just as they're wrong, you telling people how they should be enjoying themselves is wrong.

What they should do is understand how things are at the different sections of the venue and decide on the spot they'll find most enjoyable, whether that means going to the front where it might be a bit noisy and cramped but bloody exciting, or a bit farther back where it'll be a bit calmer, or in a seat, or on a balcony, etc.

And this happens, quite a lot actually. At every concert I've attended over the past 3 months, there's someone in the front who is being very quiet and very reserved, and when people start throwing their hands up and jumping around, they turn around try to push back, some times they swear and say "fuck off" but the result is always the same. They leave the front because, while everyone wants to be in the front, not everyone should be in the front. It's not about some sort of class system or keeping the true believers of the band up where they deserve to be. It's about the natural progression of people getting hype and the people who don't do as such being unable to tolerate that sort of atmosphere. Hell, you don't have to toss yourself around and swings your arms too and fro to be Wild'n Out. In my experience, the dude who is leaning against the giant subwoofer just bobbing is head is probably Wild'n out harder than most people in the front because that's how he chooses to do it.  
 
But you'll get no sympathy from me if you get squeezed out from the front because you wanted to have a nice easy going time.  
 
Earlier in the year, I went to a Bjork concert in New York City. They had areas where people could sit and take in the show like a theaterical concert, and they had standing room only sections where people could go a little nuts if they wanted to. Rather than going to either of those areas, I found my way to the back of the sound stage, which was directly beside the stage. The entire concert, I laid over the roof of the control room roof while resting my head in my arms while Bjork was 10 feet away from me at all times. It was one of the most surreal and intense experiences I've ever had. No jumping, no shouting, I actually felt a little bad by how I was taking in the concert (so serene...it's something different than I'm used to). But I was wild'n out. Absolutely. And I was able to do so by learning the area, figuring out where the key points where, positioning myself correctly and anticipating any serious changes that may have happened. I think that was probably my favorite concert to date, because I could take it in the way I wanted to.  
 
But I can't, and don't expect to do such a thing at a hip hop show, or a metal show, or even a folk show.   
 
The reason I made this blog post is because last night I saw Aesop Rock in concert and my usual section for concert going at this particular club was filled with girls who didn't seem to understand that this was a hiphop concert and people were going to be jumping around and screaming and throwing their hands up. Almost the entire front row vacated the stage after the first song. The cool ones, the ones who knew what to expect, came back and there was a place for them. The others sulked in the corner for the rest of the show. I feel no sympathy for that kind of behavior at a concert.
Posted by Mesoian
@Alexander said:

You don't have a position, you can go to the front any time you like, it's just more work for some (The Prodigy) than others (Cut Copy). Sometimes no work at all (Camera Obscura). It depends on the gig but clinging to a rail having your guts pushed out gets old very fast, and when you're over it you'll let go of the rail and actually start having a better time.

Precisely my point. There are plenty of great vantage points to take up if you just want to enjoy the show. There are a lot of cases where not being in the front provides a better time. Hell, when I saw prodigy live years and years ago, I was lost in the middle of a massive crowd I could not see the ends of no matter which direction I looked, but I had a BLAST. 
Posted by Rowr

I don't know how i feel about something as organic as a concert being so clinically Analzyed.

It's like doing Math to analyze the percent chance of fun you might have doing something. Or something.

Also to the rest of you, stop perpetuating the stereotype that people who enjoy video games are antisocial squares who hate physical contact, alcohol and loud music. It's makes video games an embarrassing hobby via association.

Occasionally jump in a Metal mosh pit, elbow someone in the fucking face and fall and break your wrist. FUCKING LIVE LIFE WE DON'T HAVE THAT LONG HERE.

Posted by mandude

I disagree with everything about 3. You seem to be equating quiet, reserved people at the front with people who can't handle the front. From the nigh-on 50 gigs I've been to, I can't recall a single time where I wasn't at the front, and not once have I ever not enjoyed myself, yet usually the most I'll ever do is tap my toes. If you get upset over that then you should leave and find somewhere else to enjoy the gig.

Posted by Samael2138

Fuck the front row. Being a musician myself, I go to hear other musicians play. All you get up front is distortion and bass. If you really want to HEAR a band, find the sound board, and camp out in front, or behind it. Thats the point of reference that the entire venue is being mixed from. You hear what the sound man hears, which is what you want. Unless the soundmans shitty. Then you're kinda boned.

Posted by TheHT

@Mesoian: Right. Manage expectations, know what you're getting into, and plan accordingly. If you want to be in the front, expect people to behave a certain way, like you said, according to artist, song etc.

And definitely don't let someone tell you to go elsewhere just because you aren't acting like they want you to even if you're enjoying yourself.

So get wild if you want, or stand and take it all in if you want. Everyone's there for the show, for the music, and to have a good time.

Online
Posted by Mesoian

@Samael2138 said:

Fuck the front row. Being a musician myself, I go to hear other musicians play. All you get up front is distortion and bass. If you really want to HEAR a band, find the sound board, and camp out in front, or behind it. Thats the point of reference that the entire venue is being mixed from. You hear what the sound man hears, which is what you want. Unless the soundmans shitty. Then you're kinda boned.

This can be true too. Unfortunately, at most clubs in Boston, the soundmen are pretty awful. For being such a musically focused town, there are very few places that actually know how to properly manage a house system.

Posted by Mesoian

@TheHT said:

@Mesoian: Right. Manage expectations, know what you're getting into, and plan accordingly. If you want to be in the front, expect people to behave a certain way, like you said, according to artist, song etc.

And definitely don't let someone tell you to go elsewhere just because you aren't acting like they want you to even if you're enjoying yourself.

So get wild if you want, or stand and take it all in if you want. Everyone's there for the show, for the music, and to have a good time.

Right. Believe me, I'm not saying walking up to someone who's not moving a lot, tap them on the shoulder and tell them to take a hike so you can grab their spot. But don't expect everyone to placate to you either.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

I have learned a lot about concert etiquette and etiquette in general. I won't use it, but thank you.

Posted by laserbolts

I fucking love concerts and generally always end up in front. I'm all for having a good time but crowd surfers can seriously fucking die. What a stupid, selfish act and I always give a crowd surfer a good punch in the ribs.

Posted by AssInAss

@Napalm said:

I'm good. Keep your stupid indie concerts to yourself.

Well, someone's being a cranky troll.

Posted by Clonedzero

i dont like going to concerts. well i like going to mellow concerts. the ones where everyones jumping around and screaming and shit. thats annoying as fuck, i'd rather not go to those.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

@Mesoian: A fellow Boston concert junkie, eh? You've earned yourself a follow my friend. Who have you checked out this season? Chances are we've been to the same show at least once.

Your list is 100% dead on. I'm too drunk to elaborate but I'm just glad there's someone else who shares my code of ethics when it comes to shows. I'm 20 so I can't legally buy drinks at the show (but fuck that anyway because they always charge too much) but I definitely indulge in alternative choices before, during, and after the main act leaves the stage. Drunk fucks at concerts are the worst, I'd rather deal with a million people rolling their balls off on ecstasy than any of the people I've dealt with at Dropkick Murphys shows in the past.

Edited by Mesoian

@Everyones_A_Critic said:

@Mesoian: A fellow Boston concert junkie, eh? You've earned yourself a follow my friend. Who have you checked out this season? Chances are we've been to the same show at least once.

Your list is 100% dead on. I'm too drunk to elaborate but I'm just glad there's someone else who shares my code of ethics when it comes to shows. I'm 20 so I can't legally buy drinks at the show (but fuck that anyway because they always charge too much) but I definitely indulge in alternative choices before, during, and after the main act leaves the stage. Drunk fucks at concerts are the worst, I'd rather deal with a million people rolling their balls off on ecstasy than any of the people I've dealt with at Dropkick Murphys shows in the past.

Let's see, this season I've seen

El-P

Powerglove

MC Chris

Fiona Apple

Ana Tijoux

Balkan Beat Box

Aesop Rock

and I'm going to see Amon Tobin next month.

Aloe Blacc is playing next week, i'm thinking about going if I'm not too busy.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

@Mesoian: I heard great things about El-P's show at the paradise, I regret not going. Aesop Rock is one of those artists that I want to like so bad (None Shall Pass, Getaway Car, and Daylight are great tracks) but his delivery is so mumbly and difficult to fully comprehend that it often shoots the messages of his own songs in the foot. Looking up Aesop lyrics on Rap Genius always leads me to think "Damn, this guy has a lot to say" but as soon as he starts rapping it's like being on a treadmill going at a thousand miles an hour. I had the opportunity to see Amon Tobin at Camp Bisco last month but 3lau, one of my favorite DJ's ever, was playing a set at the same time so I missed him. I was gonna go to 311/Slightly Stoopid tomorrow but I opted to go to New York next weekend to catch Infected Mushroom's show at Terminal 5. I'm a huge fan to begin with but catching their new live set-up was simply too good to pass up.

Posted by CaptainCody

No. I play in a band, and I get enough of this shit already. When I go to a concert, I want to SEE the band. If I have space and shit I'll dance ironically, but fuck moshers and fuck annoying people. If you're an annoying hardcore mosher and by chance you hit me I will beat the shit out of you. Enjoy the fucking show and stop being annoying rats.

Posted by SarjuTheRapper

dude i love el-p and despot thats awesome

Edited by Icemael

#3 is why I don't really go to these kinds of concerts. Live music can be amazing, but how the hell am I supposed to enjoy it with a bunch of people around me jumping, yelling and generally acting like they're fucking psychotic? In nice restaurants, in movie theaters, in art galleries, in orchestral concerts, people have the decency to be still and shut the fuck up, because it is only when you give the food, the film, the painting or the music your complete attention, without distractions, that you can fully appreciate the artistry before you. But it seems people are incapable of going to, say, a rock concert without collectively getting drunk and jumping around screaming like mentally challenged monkeys. For me that's the equivalent of all the people in a movie theater jumping up on their seats during a fight scene in a Batman movie or something and yelling: "GET HIM BATS, OH NO THERE'S A GUY BEHIND YOU WATCH OUT, YEAH YOU GOT HIM GOOD, NICE JOB, NOW THERE ARE ONLY TWO OF THEM LEFT, OH SHIT ONE OF THEM HAS A GUN ETC." 

Takes you out of the experience completely.

Posted by Grilledcheez

@LiquidSwords said:

FUCK THAT, MOSH THE SQUARES!

I've never heard of that band, but that is some INTENSE SHIT

Posted by kindone

Honestly, the Wife and I no longer attend concerts due to the jack assery that seems to stalk us. I don't drink at all so this next bit may be a bit bias, but the atmosphere that is entangled at most concerts thoroughly intimidates and discourages me. I hate it when my friends are (drunk, tipsy, whatever), thus my entire experience generally gets ruined. Personal flaw, mostly I know, but just my two cents.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Icemael said:

#3 is why I don't really go to these kinds of concerts. Live music can be amazing, but how the hell am I supposed to enjoy it with a bunch of people around me jumping, yelling and generally acting like they're fucking psychotic? In nice restaurants, in movie theaters, in art galleries, in orchestral concerts, people have the decency to be still and shut the fuck up, because it is only when you give the food, the film, the painting or the music your complete attention, without distractions, that you can fully appreciate the artistry before you. But it seems people are incapable of going to, say, a rock concert without collectively getting drunk and jumping around screaming like mentally challenged monkeys. For me that's the equivalent of all the people in a movie theater jumping up on their seats during a fight scene in a Batman movie or something and yelling: "GET HIM BATS, OH NO THERE'S A GUY BEHIND YOU WATCH OUT, YEAH YOU GOT HIM GOOD, NICE JOB, NOW THERE ARE ONLY TWO OF THEM LEFT, OH SHIT ONE OF THEM HAS A GUN ETC." Takes you out of the experience completely.

Now I can only imagine you as Toki Wartooth during his concert going experiences. (I'd link a video to what I'm talking about, but given how morbid it can be (along with how I'd have to edit it the hell down to get to the point), I doubt I could get away with it. If you don't get the reference, trust me: it makes sense.)

Posted by Deusx

Fuck your rules man.

Edited by MarkWahlberg

Blog gets +5 points for Balkan Beat Box.

@Icemael said:

how the hell am I supposed to enjoy it with a bunch of people around me jumping, yelling and generally acting like they're fucking psychotic? In nice restaurants, in movie theaters, in art galleries, in orchestral concerts, people have the decency to be still and shut the fuck up, because it is only when you give the food, the film, the painting or the music your complete attention, without distractions, that you can fully appreciate the artistry before you. But it seems people are incapable of going to, say, a rock concert without collectively getting drunk and jumping around screaming like mentally challenged monkeys.

Jeez, check out old man Jenkins over hear, amiright guys?

I think the psychotic monkeys would argue that the psychotic-ness is, in fact, the experience they are there to appreciate - group dynamics plus hella music and whatnot. Whether that's true or not is up to you, I guess.

This has mostly just been interesting in seeing how you guys all react to concerts. We seem to run the gamut from crazy rockers to antisocial trolls (not surprising, considering).

Posted by TooWalrus
Posted by Mesoian

@TooWalrus said:

He's like your creepy uncle...::Shudders::

Posted by SexyToad

I never want to attend a concert. I'm not into all that, unless it's fligh of the conchords.

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