Things I Hate at Rock Concerts

O.K., I know the title to my post sucks. I tried to think of something witty to no avail. So, I just went straight to the point, which is my usual modus operandi anyway. Here’s the deal though. I have been attending concerts since 1973. That’s 38-years for you Highland County folk. My first show was Brownsville Station, with Redbone opening. Again, for you younger kids Brownsville Station did the original, and infinitely better, version of “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” some 15-years before Motley Crue attempted a lame cover. Redbone is best remembered as a band of American Indians, dressed in full native regalia, who sang “Come and Get Your Love.” Politically correct? Not so much. Great show though. The main point of my post is that concert etiquette has changed tremendously over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer that almost anything goes, especially down front. But still . . . a list of my beefs:

  • People who sing the words to every single song. Hey, I enjoy a good sing-a-long as much as the next guy, but when I go see Paul McCartney I don’t want to hear some 65-year old wannabe groupie singing “Let It Be” louder than Sir Paul. Pick your spots people. These tickets were $274 bucks . . . each. It actually hurt to type that.
  • Camera phones. For the love of God, put down the freaking phone. I’ve been behind guys that have videotaped the whole damn show. Are people really going home and watching the concert again on a 2″ by 2″ screen? (For the record, I just got out a ruler and measured my camera screen. Truth in journalism kids.) Also, news flash for ya. For those of you who phone your buddy and yell “Listen to this! I’m at Neil’s show right now!” then hold up your phone so he can hear? He can’t. He can’t hear a damn thing except a bunch of white noise. Stop it. Now. Note: It just occurred to me that maybe you can upload the video to your PC or TV and watch it on a bigger screen. If so, disregard previous bitch session. On the other hand, upon further review it’s still annoying.
  • Losers who bitch about people standing up. You’re at a concert, wackbag. People stand up. A lot. You know it’s a good show when you stand the entire time, right? Are you with me, people?
  • Simpletons who bitch about others passing a joint around. I actually saw a lady summon an usher at a Paul Westerberg show a couple years ago after witnessing the demon weed being passed around. It’s Westerberg, damn it! One of the Replacements! Pot is practically a requirement for that crowd. Plus, there ain’t nothing wrong with a contact buzz. Disclaimer: That’s what I’ve heard at least.
  • Jackasses at General Admission shows who get there late and try and muscle their way up front. Advice – if there’s an extremely attractive 55-ish 6″2″ 200 pound bald guy in front of you, that’s where your journey ends. He got there early for that spot and you ain’t gettin’ by.
  • Ass Clowns who constantly text their friends during the show. What could they possibly be saying? You’re insulting the band and those around you, plus the light from your phone screen is distracting as hell. Cease and desist.
  • Morons who headbang or mosh to the wrong type of music. Buffett? Wrong crowd dude. I mean, “Fins” is a great song, but c’mon. Unless of course you’re drinking tequila, then it’s anything goes. Then again, I guess everyone drinks tequila at a Buffett show. Disregard.
  • Dumbasses who automatically hate the opening band and rip them to shreds. Listen, I know you’re here to see Nickelback but those boys up on the stage just might turn into somebody important down the road. Remember that Hendrix once opened for The Monkees. Ya never know . . .
  • Freaks who pick up on a band only after they hit it big and scream constantly for one song. I went through this with R.E.M. I’d been going to their shows since 1983 and they finally hit it big around ’91. You have no idea how disgusting it is to want to hear some of the old stuff like “Radio Free Europe” and the dolt beside you keeps screaming for “Shiny Happy People.” There should be a quiz required before entering the venue. That or an IQ test.

Finally a non-concert relateded thought. Most of you know that there’s a big trend in vintage rock T’s nowadays with the young’uns. Hell, you can get a Ramones T in WalMart for the love of God. Well, I’m a teacher so I see tons of kids a day, and I’m fighting back. I, my friends, have a policy. Whenever I see one of these T-Shirts, I pull the kid over to the side. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: “Nice shirt.”
Kid: “Thanks.”
Me: “Pink Floyd, huh? Can you name three of their songs?”
Kid, squinting eyes, looking upward thoughtfully: “No.”
Me: “Do you even know what that triangle and prism thingy on the shirt is?”
Kid: “No.”
Me: “Go to the locker room and turn it inside out. When you know more about Pink Floyd I’ll let you wear the shirt.”

Gotta fight the good fight fellas. Remember – they gotta know at least three songs.

True story.

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