Monday, 9 July 2012

5 Worst People to Stand Beside at a Concert

We all love the experience of looking forward to a good live show. When the day finally arrives, the excitement piques and you gather with your compadres in front of the stage to get your fill of eardrum abuse. Unfortunately, not everyone who comes out knows that there is a certain unspoken etiquette to which most of us adhere. I've been waiting almost a decade to get this list out one way or another, and dammit it feels liberating. This isn't an exhaustive list by any means, but it covers some of the big ones. And when I refer to 'you', I'm not speaking to you the reader, but to the perpetrator of each respective crime. So here it is, the 5 worst people to get caught standing beside at a concert.

5. The Guy Who is a Drunken Fool

This is the guy who spends most of his time at the bar and not actually watching the band play. He comes up beside you double fisting a couple tallboys with spills on his shirt and starts yelling incomprehensible words and slurs, making a point to yell louder than the lead singer's vocals coming out of the PA. I'm not against drinking at shows, I do it all the time. But if you go to a show with a primary goal of drinking to get sloshed with the band as background music, then we have problems. Handle your liquor and don't ruin it for the rest of us trying to enjoy our time.

4. The Guy Who Smells Like Sewage

Here is the guy who thought it was a good idea to avoid showering for a week before attending the event. A little bit of sweat and odor are to be expected at shows, and in most cases it is part and parcel of the concert-going experience. But if you walked into the venue smelling like a pair of old, urine-filled sneakers then I must ask why, WHY couldn't some level of personal hygiene been reached? Neither me nor my friends at the show appreciate being more overpowered by your smelling body than the band in front of us.

3. The Guy Who is a Karaoke Singer

This guy thinks it's Monday night karaoke at the local pub. I definitely don't mind people singing along with the lyrics, in fact this is a great part that both fans and the band can enjoy. But there's a limit. If you are belting out every song like you do when trying to impress your friends singing Living on a Prayer on said Monday night, it's too much. No one came to hear you mutilate every lyric of the the band's repetoire. Plus, the lead singer is RIGHT THERE in front of us singing the songs the HE/SHE wrote. I'm pretty certain they don't want to hear your version. Ever.

2. The Guy Who Thinks the Stage is a Jukebox and the Band is the Music Library

We've all been to pubs where the musician is happy to take some requests and please the crowd. That's why they play covers, because people love hearing the songs they know. But if you're at a show and the band is playing a variety of songs that they wrote, it's because they want the crowd to hear more than what you may have heard on the radio. Yelling out something that you want to hear isn't just annoying, but insulting to the band who already has a setlist drawn up just for us. It's not about you. And for the record, if you hear some guy yelling 'shut the fuck up' right after you request your favourite song, it's me. Chances are if you wait patiently until the end, you will walk out of the venue feeling pretty satisfied with what you heard.

1. The Pusher

This one is the worst, but it may not apply to smaller shows. It is also not gendered, because I've had this happen to me by both sexes. Some people who are really excited for a concert wait in lineups for hours, uncomfortably, just to get a great spot up front when they enter the venue. It's what hardcore fans do. It takes perseverance and a strong will. Often times it's a one-shot thing to be able to get that close to one of your favourite bands in general admission. So, as the gods of fairness dictate, those who wait less don't get as good a view because they didn't put in the time. If you are the guy who thinks it's fine to just torpedo your way through the dangerously packed crowd of people in order to get a spot up front you think you deserve, then you are a bad person. In your head you are probably thinking 'I don't care what people think, I'm doing this bro'. Everyone you push through is thinking of the best way to end you life. There is no greater spectacle of douchebaggery than someone who thinks they are entitled to their space at the very front with others who have waited for hours in order to be where they are.

Douchebag (n): An individual who has an over-inflated sense of self worth, compounded by a low level of intellegence, behaving ridiculously in front of colleagues with no sense of how moronic he appears.

The selfishness and ego it takes to pull this off demonstrates the kind of thing that is wrong with our society today - advancing oneself without regard for others. This doesn't only apply to douchebags, but chicks too. If you think that you are so hot that you can just waltz up to the front, you are wrong. You are ugly, on the inside. And you aren't going to sleep with the drummer.

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