My wife gave me a little binder to hold my ticket stubs a while back. It’s chock-full mostly of faded and worn paper bits from the concert scene of the lat 90s. Growing up in Dallas I went to see either Tripping Daisy, Hagfish, Course of Empire, The Toadies, or Reverend Horton Heat1 on a weekly basis, it seemed. I still have the Dr. Martens on which I spent all of my extra cash to survive the mosh pits. Yes, I was one of those.
Speaking of stereotypes (or maybe just of types), I put together this list (in the order they occurred to me) of the various kinds of people I encountered at concerts in those days. It’s been over a decade, but something tells me things haven’t changed much…
Gets to the concert who knows how early in order to secure a kung-fu grip on the rail – a grip they will not release until the last encore is over and the lights come on. Will inevitably become annoyed as the movement of the crowd behind squishes them against the rail, and will push back with their rear to try and make some room.
Doesn’t wear a shirt and their skin is like fire (although not necessarily sweaty). The only ways out if you find yourself stuck next to one of these are to squirm away or be the lucky recipient of a water bottle shower from the band.
A strange anomaly in the concert scene, but they do exist. Don’t let them get too far.
the Girl Protector
I’m not sure what he expected it to be like when he and his woman came into the pits, but no matter how firmly you plant your feet, how deep you furrow your brow, or how strenuously you extend your elbows, your woman will eventually get smacked.
Sometimes I fount it better to not fight the crowd – to just let it take me where it would. Leaners take this to the extreme, either losing or giving up the will to stand of their own accord. It’s borderline acceptable while the music’s playing, but downright annoying between songs.
the Inaccurate Mosher
Earth to this guy. This. Is. A. Slow. Song. So, go get a drink, bust out your lighter, sing along or even sit on the floor – but for the love of Mike, stop jumping around and pushing people doing those things.
Constantly surprised/scared at the goings-on. “Whoa!” and “wow!” are common sayings. Really annoying for some reason.
the Hit Single
I don’t know why people would endure hours of very loud and possibly toxic circumstances to hear the one song they’ve heard a million times already, but their blabbing it’s fun for anyone.
the Perpetual Surfer
“Dude, can you throw me up?” Over and over and over.
the Lyrical Bragger
Ok, we get it. You know the words. All of the words … to every single song. So, next time please wear a button because we didn’t come to hear you sing (if that’s what you call what you’re doing).
the Backseat Playlist Driver
Maybe I’m wrong and bands actually do take into consideration what people yell out, but it really seems they have a set list and they play it. No crowd input. Don’t get me wrong; I understand the desire. I’ve even yelled out a few times myself. I just don’t have one-hundredth the persistence these guys do.
the Sweat Snob
Yes, other people’s sweat is gross. But you can’t avoid it in the pits. So, come in your grubbies, endure the nastiness, and try to enjoy the unique perspective of the band and concert culture.
I don’t know if it’s intentionally mean-spirited … or maybe a joke, but there are those who actually shave their arms before a concert. Leads to some scuffed up neighbors.
the Corporate Dork
Related to the First-timer, this older gentleman is usually a friend of the band and is always overdressed, inebriated, and often injured.
Finally, all of the hours in the gym and using spray-on tan pay off when you can de=shirt in the middle of the pit … in front of a crowd of 95% males that 100% didn’t come to see you. Or, if not then, at least when you give an extended, exaggerated nod of your capped head while doing the Hogan flex.
1 Dead, dead, dead, resurrected and still kicking, respectively.