I think its safe to say that attending a live music show is one of the most communal experiences you can possibly have. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of people, are all crowded in one space, sharing a love of one particular band or performer. And so, interacting with other fans is one of the cornerstones of being in a crowd. And that’s a good thing! Well, in most cases. Here is my list of some of the best, and worst, fans you could possibly meet at shows.
1. The Drunk
This is quite possibly the worst situation you can get yourself into: standing next to the drunkest guy in the crowd. Identifiable by their smell, excessive use of you as a arm rest, and their cries of “I LOVE THIS BAND! I’M GONNA GO HARD WHEN THE PIT OPENS UP.”, the drunk will make your life a living hell. He will never shut up, he will be continuously loud, and he will most likely spill some type of alcoholic beverage on you at some point in the night. Avoid this at all costs, and try to move away if possible, especially if you’re underage. There’s nothing more embarrassing than the excuse “Someone spilled beer on me, I swear!” Yeah, okay.
2. The Creepy Guy Who is Trying to Get Your Number
Or girl, depending on your lifestyle choice. Albeit annoying, this person is going to try harder than they normally would to entertain you. And this is good, especially between sets, when the roadies are being obnoxiously slow in taking their own sweet time setting up. But chances are, they are either far too weird, not attractive, or far too old to even be talking to you. And things can get out of hand when they pass you their iPhone and ask you to add yourself to their facebook friends. You are stuck next to them, after all. My advice is to just add yourself and reject the request when you get home. No harm done. And try not to cringe when they ask for a hug goodbye. Yeesh.
3. The Fan Girl
“Like oh my god. No seriously. If they don’t play my favorite song, I will die. I will hurt someone. Hurt someone. OH. MY. GOD.” If you get stuck next to the Fan Girl, be prepared to hear this sort of dialogue all night long. Depending on the crowd and the band, you may be able to avoid the most excruciating varieties of this fan, but if you plan on attending a pop punk show, your worries should be especially high. If you’re wondering whether or not you’re in the vicinity of a Fan Girl, and she hasn’t begun to talk yet, you should be able to spot her by her outfit, which is most likely head to toe merch of the headlining band, with a posse of similarly dressed friends to match.
4. The PDA Obsessed Couple
I have perhaps had the worst experiences with this set of fans. Attached at the hip, it is literally impossible to pry these two apart. Not that you would want to; the risk of being completely engulfed by their saliva should be reason enough to want to put yourself as far away from them as humanly possible. I have actually encountered couples who have refused to stop making out or cuddling while the band is playing. In fact, I’ve been in crowds where people are pushing so hard that surrounding fans are falling to the ground, and the cuddling continues! What’s the point of even going to a show? Get a room!
5. The “Douche Bag” Bro
Rough. Tumble. Completely unaware of their surroundings. They’ve got a bad attitude, they’ve got bad manners, and they’re probably going to direct of all this negativity at you. Ranging anywhere from simply pushing you a little too hard and not apologizing, to actually bitching you out, this guy is set on taking all the fun out of your concert experience. And I don’t want to leave out the girls, either. I’ve encountered plenty of completely bitchy girls who have taken out their personal issues on me. I’m sorry if you’re unhappy, but you don’t to push me, shove me, and verbally attack me into feeling the same way. The best thing in this situation is to wait until the crowd really starts to move and then jab them in ribs when they are distracted. Oops, just kidding…
1. The Merch Guy
Truth be told, the merch guy could possibly be the crabbiest guy at the show, but he also easily the most amusing. He has to deal with ridiculous customers for weeks and sometimes months on end, but if you’re lucky enough to catch him in a fun kind of mood, he can provide some of the most choice quotes of the night. I once had a merch guy at a semi-local show refer to me as “youth large” for the remainder of the night after I purchased a shirt in said size. It was funny. Just like many merch guys’ reactions to seemingly clueless clientele. So basically, don’t be an idiot and its easy to make nice with this merchant. (Here’s a side note: If you can’t get enough of merch guy humor, be sure to follow @themerchdude
on twitter. Classics in the making.)
2. Your Friendly Line Neighbor
This person is what gets you through the 2 hours you spend in line waiting for admission to your favorite band’s sold out show. It’s a good idea to make friends with the person behind or in front of you, simply to help stave off boredom. Of course, you may run into one of the aforementioned worst possible fans, but if you’re lucky enough, you’ll get this guy. He is simply there to have a good time, listen to some great music, and have a conversation with you about it before you get in. You will most likely lose him upon entering, so if you feel so inclined, ask for his digits. You may be able to catch up with him next time the same band tours.
3. The Body Guard
I am not referring to the actually venue security in this section. I’m referring to the guys and girls, who look out for the little people in the crowd. Those of you who aren’t exactly vertically challenged might not appreciate these guys, but they have been a huge part in making many of my concert experiences much more enjoyable. Let’s be real, there’s nothing more heart-warming than hearing someone you barely know say, “Watch out, sweetie, the pits about to open right beside you and I’m not sure if you wanna be caught up in that.” Some may argue that their assumptions can be condescending, but as for me, I’m not looking to be crushed. So thanks!
4. The Good Samaritan
This one is a true gem. Every once in a while, you will come across a fellow fan at a show who is truly a joy to be around. Whatever it may be, they will do something that will make your night even more fantastic than going to a show has already made it. I encountered my personal favorite at a Four Year Strong show last year. He was a guy I had (obviously) never met before, who offered me a brand new hoodie he had just purchased. With no strings attached and no explanation! He asked kindly if I wanted it, and after a few rejections, I finally accepted. He smiled and we parted ways. Truly inspiring. And even though it was three sizes too large, its probably the best piece of merch I own. You can’t really look out for fans like this, they sort of just appear. So be nice and your good concert karma will bring one of these guys your way!
5. The Roadie
Alright, I know this one’s debatable. Most roadies are tired, rude, and downright surly. So I’m gonna give it to you guys straight. Making friends with this guy is probably the only way any of us are getting back stage, point blank, bottom line. I admit I may be encouraging you to use people for their connections, but what can I say? Sue me!