A few rules mean better time at concerts

17 May

This column originally ran in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.


Daily Journal

I admit, I’m a concert nazi.

I’ve been to many shows, and I’ve hit the major genres, from rap to metal to country to pop. I’ve been in all kinds of venues, from smoky honky tonks to pulsating clubs to huge, airy amphitheaters.

Concerts are my favorite thing; they are where I’m most comfortable and where I feel most myself.

But if I’m near someone who has no idea how to go to a concert, it all but ruins the show for me.

So, to ensure that I and other concert-goers have a good time, here are some ground rules for attending a concert.

First of all, find out if the show is a general admission, standing-room-only show. If it is a general admission show, you’ll need to prepare your body to stand in one place for at least four hours.

Wear the most comfortable clothes you own. Forget high heels or flip-flops and opt for sneakers, and don’t wear a dress or nice suit you don’t want to get sweaty or grimy.

Fuel up before you go. Eat foods that won’t upset your stomach, and don’t drink anything – like tea – that will go right to your bladder. Go to the bathroom before going in the venue. Trust me, there are some venue bathrooms you just don’t want to go in.

If it is standing-room only, don’t whine about not being able to sit down. The only thing worse than standing for hours on end is having to listen to whiners.

Now that you’re prepared to stand, don’t move from your spot. If you move away from your spot – to go grab a drink, talk to a friend or run to the restroom – consider your spot mine. And barging your way back to your lost spot makes you look like the ultimate jerk. Don’t use the excuse, “I’m looking for my kid/significant other/sibling/lost lost relative.” If you got separated from them, that’s your problem, not mine.

The rules for a sit-down show aren’t as strict as those for a general admission gig. Simply be courteous to those around you – don’t stand up in anyone’s way and be mindful of those around you.

For either show, and for your safety and the safety of others, don’t drink. Drunks can ruin a perfectly good time quickly. They’re either yelling out something stupid, knocking others over or spilling their drink. Not classy. And if you get drunk enough, you probably won’t even remember the “good time” you spent $50 to have.

I know, I know – I’m a nazi. But this may be the one and only time I get to see a band, and I spend my hard-earned bucks to get in. A few guidelines mean a much better time, in my opinion.

Oh, one other point: don’t yell “Free Bird.” Ever.

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