I was recently asked what my concert "rules" would be. After some thought, the following are some suggestions I have to help make everyone's concert-going experience a bit better.
- If you're going to show up late, make sure you do so appropriately. At concert venues like The Rave in Milwaukee, it's not really a problem to show up late. People often move around to visit the bars, check out merch and whatnot, so it's not much of a disturbance. Just be aware that you may not get the best view of the stage. If you're attending a concert with assigned seats or visiting a nicer/less informal venue, try to be a bit stealthier. Or, at minimum, make sure your entrance doesn't sound like a herd of elephants running from a giant pack of rodents.
- Dress appropriately. I remember getting dressed up (in some sense) for concerts when I was younger, so I get it. But seriously? Consider a few things when dressing for a concert:
- No matter what you wear, the likelihood that the artist is going to see you and fall madly in love with you is slim to none. It's nice to dream, but reality has to kick in sometime, kids.
- You have to deal with whatever you choose to wear. If it's 20 degrees outside and you're dressed up in a mini skirt and heels, I don't want to hear you complaining that it's cold. (Of course it's cold! Did you think you were going to be magically transported from your car into the venue? Doubtful.) Also, if you dress like a skank and get hit on all night, don't act surprised or grossed out. You wanted the attention, you got it. Basically, the moral is: You chose it, you live with it. Period.
- Hats are OK if you plan to stay toward the back of the crowd, but otherwise, just leave it at home. You might think it makes you look cool or fit in with the crowd, but odds are someone is going to secretly hate you because your hat is blocking their view. This goes for big hair, also.
- Being drunk is fine; being drunk and obnoxious is not. I have no problem if you want to get a bit drunk and listen to some awesome music. Have fun! But once you reach the point of obnoxious, take my advice and stay by the bar. If you start screaming, dry humping, bumping into people, etc, the likelihood that you're going home short a few teeth is going to increase. Most of us paid to see the show. If our experience is ruined because you just had to push your limits, we might just push back. And if you're really so horny that you have to get it on RIGHT NOW, take it to your car.
- If you aren't interested in the show, shut the hell up. Maybe you're bored because you don't know the opening act or because you're "forced" to be there as a chaperone for your teenie-boppers. It happens, I get it. But that does NOT mean that you should try to have a full-blown conversation above the music. Here's a shocker: People around you might actually be interested in what's going on! I'm not saying everyone should be silent, but shouting to one another about the mundane details of your life isn't going to endear you to anyone.
- As a side note to this, phone conversations at a concert aren't only rude, they're pointless. The person on the other end of the convo probably can't understand what you're saying or hear you over the music/crowd/etc. If your phone rings and you HAVE to answer, step into a stairway or something. Shouting, "What?! WHAT?!" into your phone is just as disruptive as shouting at the person next to you.
- Last, but not least: Be appreciative. Don't take any concert for granted; you never know if you'll get the opportunity again! Artists are busy, and they have a lot of places they'd like to (or have to) be, but right then and there, they are playing for you. Soak it in! If you can't appreciate the work that goes into shows, then you're better off watching DVD specials and youtube clips.