Mind your manners

How to enjoy a casual concert and not look like a complete loser

By Stu Gallagher [Contributor]

Don't be 'that person'
Don't be 'that person'

Concerts can be breeding grounds for chaos.  They can also engender a romantic atmosphere perfect for chillin’ on the grass with a drink and a smoke.  Either way, there is a loose form of etiquette that, if commonly understood, can help make everyone’s experience more enjoyable.

Boozing: If you’re going to see a band perform, there is no obligation to get loser-pissed.  Of course, intoxication may enhance the experience, but getting too blasted may catapult you into an incoherent state of buffoonery.  You may also wake up the next morning with amnesia and a black eye.

Proximity: Be considerate of fellow onlookers.  If you feel a surge of belligerence coming on, or the need to explore the space around you, take it to the front (a.k.a the pit).  Typically people in the back are melancholy and devoid of any sense of fun or excitement, or they’re in relationships – not that I can tell the difference.

Smoke: If you’re lighting up a jay, it doesn’t hurt to check with your neighbours to see that they’re cool with it.  It’s the polite thing to do, and who knows, they might be the festive type.

Shake a Leg: You’re at a rock show, so it goes without saying that dancing is good.  If you have enough space to get loose and jam, don’t be a wuss.  Chicks love a dude who’s down to kick it.  As long as you have some rhythm in your jive and can grab a girl and spin her, you’re money.

Hang 10: If you’ve never been crowd surfing before, make a point of it.  Just make sure it’s the right show to do it at.  You don’t want to go up while the crowd spills tears to John Mayer’s ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’.  Go to a real rock show and take the leap.  It’s sort of like skydiving without a parachute and the risk of falling 10,000 feet to your immediate and certain death – so I guess it’s nothing like skydiving.  On the other hand, if you weigh more than 200 pounds, you’re more like a human wrecking ball than a fiberglass surfboard.  (Use your judgment and refer to Booze above).  That being said, if anyone eats chowder in a jump-around, it is your obligation as a member of the mosh to help pick him or her up.

Fire is Forever: I know we live in a digital age where everyone and their cat has a cell phone, but I implore you on this one: do NOT, I repeat, do NOT double your mobile device as a lighter to raise during a ballad.  Restrain yourself.  Purchase a Bic from any local corner store for the price of your dignity.  Fire has a timeless quality paramount to that of any iPhone or Blackberry.  Hold it up and embrace the roots of rock with pride and a head full of acid (acid optional).