Monday, August 16, 2010

Top Five Most Infuriating Concert Attendees

Posted by on Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 7:33 AM

click to enlarge Think! Are you one of them?
  • Think! Are you one of them?

​You know them well. If you're a regular out in the beer-scented trenches of the music scene, you might even be one of them. See our list of the Top Five Most Infuriating Concert Attendees after the jump.

5. The Ever-Jaded Hipster


Whenever one of your acquaintances posts a "die hipster scum" status update, they are invariably talking about this guy. You see him at all the hip shows. When the Arcade Fire played the Jackpot, he was there (and in the front row, too). He stood with his arms folded as everyone around him let go of their inhibitions and moved to the music. When the show was over, we realized he'd been saving up all his energy for the leap onto the stage to snag the set list before leaving. 

I know everyone experiences shows in their own way, but the "I'm so jaded," emotionless boredom is a downer. On the upside: People feel obligated to make up for Mr. Sour Puss' lack of enthusiasm and dance all up in his business -- thoroughly bothering him -- which is hilarious. Fortunately, the Ever-Jaded Hipster is the most harmless of the bunch and is easy enough to ignore. If his ambivalence is really getting to you, try dancing up on him -- maybe he's just shy and will come out of his shell. If not, you'll probably just drive him to the back of the venue; so, it's a win-win situation.

4.  The Tall Dude With No Tall-Dude Guilt

I have tall-dude guilt. I stand a solid 6'2", and when I'm going to a show I typically make sure not to stand in front of folks. If I'm going to a show for a band I really like and need to be in the front row, my tall-dude guilt negates itself by my fierce rocking-out. If a tall dude wants to rock out and be up front, odds are he will be bending down a little bit to simulate an air guitar or something. However, worse than the ever-jaded hipster: the tall dude who is standing in the front row for the sake of standing in the front row. He is a scourge to everyone around him. Granted, these short people could just, you know, grow a little bit -- but since that's asking a lot, tall dudes need to understand the plight of the five-foot-tall girls at shows, and everyone else who has to stand behind them.

3. The Chit-Chatter


The band has decided to take it down a notch and move the set into slow-jam territory. At this point in the show, you can expect everyone in the audience to let out all the pent up conversation that the band has been so rudely stifling. We're not talking "Oh I love this song" chatter to thy neighbor -- that's perfectly acceptable. We're talking "So Stacy got so drunk she's a slut yeah uh huh like totally" chatter. For those who have expereinced this (see: all of you), you feel singled out as the only person in the venue who has any respect for the band you (and, supposedly, they) came to see. It's best to be proactive about this and politely ask the people in your general vicinity to cease conversing, but if that doesn't work, just tell them to shut the fuck up. They'll give you a look, and they'll act pissy about it, but they do tend to shut the fuck up, allowing you to listen to your sad-core in peace.

2. The "Photographer"


The "photographer" is not covering the show for a local weekly or established music blog, but  his or her excuse will always be the same: "I want to remember this show." At least, that's the excuse I always get when I ask the person standing in front of me to please stop putting their camera up in front of my face every 10 seconds to take another picture. My reply is always the same: How can you remember a show if you aren't experiencing it? 

I'm not against taking pictures at shows; but honestly, pick a song, take three pictures and then just let it be! If you want to spend the whole show discreetly taking photos, that's fine. But when you hold the camera up, people behind you are always gonna get pissed. They want to watch the show on the stage with their own eyes, not through some little doucher's crummy digital camera. 

1. The Harasser

A few years ago I saw the Mountain Goats play the Jackpot and felt embarassed for my hometown. John Darnielle and co. were putting on a fantastic show, but two drunk girls at the side of the stage felt the need to stand there and yell along with "No Children" the whole time. I'll admit, "No Children" is among my favorite Mountain Goats songs, and I would have loved to hear it that night, but when a singer tells you they're not going to play it and has to tell you multiple times, well, it starts to get frustrating. (Notably when Darnielle played "Shadow Song," an incredibly quiet, sad tune penned for Christian Death's Rozz Williams, and the girls still wouldn't shut up. It got so bad that Darnielle had to bend down mid-song and, put his finger to his mouth, and quietly shush them. And then on "See America Right" Peter Hughes almost brained one of the girls with one of the pegs on his bass which would have only been too satisfying.)

This species of asshole is closely related to the chit-chatter, but on a far more annoying level. Remember that time someone threw a CD at Carl Newman during a New Pornographers show and Neko Case threatened to punch the guy in the face? That guy is a harasser. So is the guy who won't stop yelling "Free Bird" at a show when the band playing isn't Lynyrd Skynyrd.

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