Let’s talk about concerts. Concerts are great, right? That band you love finally playing in your town. It’s exciting and awesome until everyone around you suddenly becomes an idiot. There’s a strange disconnect now where it’s every man for themselves. People just genuinely lack self-awareness especially in a setting such as a concert. Lately, I’ve attended a few concerts that have annoyed me to no end. So much so, that I had a terrible time and questioned whether I’m just too damn old to attend concerts anymore. That’s not even a real thing, and I’m only 26. Of course I’m not too old. That’s just a stupid thought.
So, for this post I teamed up with my friend Rachael to rant and discuss the most annoying things about concerts. I know I should keep negativity out of this space, but let’s be honest sometimes you have to stop and say, “WTF?”
Camera phones are great. We all know that. Technology has allowed us to share photos of our meals, our pets, and even our faces on days when we look great. And there’s a time and a place for everything. Concerts are no such time or place. The moment you’re capturing digitally will not feel the same as it does at that very moment. Not only that, why are we paying money to watch a show through our phones or the phone of the person in front of us? We certainly didn’t pay the money for that, and your phone is obstructing the view. Photos and videos of live shows are poorly lit and blurry. The audio on videos is fuzzy and loud. Why overload the internet with these things? It’s fine to take a couple of photos. Especially if they are silly moments other shows may not have gotten to see, but if you can live without doing it: don’t do it. Most larger festivals and concerts now have online webcasting so we definitely don’t need your amateur video. And certainly refrain from taking pictures of you and your friends when the artist is playing. It’s rude, the flash is annoying, and we REALLY do not want to be an unfortunate looking photo bomber.
Solution: If you must show off to all your friends, stick to a one or two picture limit. Take a photo, slap a filter on it, and put it away. You’re not rude for wanting to show people you’re having a great time, but if it can wait, it definitely should. Everyone around you will be grateful.
Various Audience Members
First up, pre-teens. Why are you here? Is One Direction not coming here and you thought this would be the next best thing? Especially at a reunion tour for a band that existed when you were a toddler. Girls in high heels, you’re up next. This isn’t a nightclub. What are you even doing? You’re going to be standing for hours, and I really don’t think a musician is going to be amazed by your ability to dress like you’d rather be somewhere someone is dropping the bass on a Katy Perry song. Frat guys, can you not spill your beer on unsuspecting concert goers? Moms + Dads: It’s really awesome you want your kids to have a good time, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of anyone else’s. And your ear plugs are stylin’. Now for the general population: lines are long. Don’t wear the shirt of the band you’re going to see. It doesn’t matter if they have been broken up x amount of years, it’s still not okay.
Solution: We don’t have a solution for people, but we can give some sage advice. Pre-teens: don’t be rude to people older than you. Stop screaming about how you know so and so in the band. It’s great you’re dedicated and by meet and greet to hang out with them, but I don’t need to hear about it at the top of your lungs. Girls in heels, just go to a nightclub instead. You probably have a better chance to get lucky there. Everyone else: Lines will be long. Just do what security says and it will fly by faster than you think. Lastly, just go ahead and return that shirt to the nearest Hot Topic.
We never understood this one. We even live in the desert and still don’t understand it. People step on your feet. It gets messy and gross. It’s really a bad idea. Usually the concerts are indoors unlike festivals, say Bonnaroo or Coachella, which are outside. Sandals there are appropriate. See sandals, not flip-flops? Take note. Even at a festival we’d advice against them, but at least there they are more acceptable. They aren’t the most sensible footwear. They are slippery and just make no sense. Great beach footwear, but not great for concerts.
Solution: Just don’t do it. It doesn’t make sense. There are millions of other kinds of footwear. Choose any of those.
This one has nothing to do with people, but are still the bane of any concert goers existence. Why are they so damn expensive? It’s understandable that with the state of the music industry today artists stand to make more money with live shows and merchandise. Except, if it’s too much money to attend a show, what are they going to do then? It’s no surprise the reason this is a topic is places like Ticketmaster and Live Nation who charge insurmountable fees on ticket sales. The dumbest part of their business is charging for a convenience. As if somewhere there was a magical unicorn who also sells tickets and I’m choosing Live Nation instead. Honestly, if there was a magical ticket unicorn we’d probably use them instead. They act as if a ticket purchaser has had some choice in the matter. No one has a choice. They pay your absurd fees or they don’t go. It’s not a convenience. And online ticket purchasing leads scalpers and resellers, but more about that in a second.
Solution: There’s nothing that can be changed about the practices of ticket sellers. Fortunately, more ticket sellers are deciding service fees shouldn’t be so high. Local venues using smaller ticketing companies or selling tickets themselves are cutting out the middle man all while making concert attending much less of a pain in the ass. Stick with those shows whenever possible.
Scalpers are the salt of the Earth. They come along when you least expect them and steal all the tickets to the show you’ve been looking forward to. It’s not that they have quicker fingers than you, a faster internet connection, or even a robotic purchasing algorithm. It’s really a wonder how they do it. At the same time, it could be that rarely there is a ticket limit. They turn around and resell the tickets for 4x the purchase price. Something else that shouldn’t even be allowed. And if a fan loves a band so much, they might just be willing to pay that over inflated price to get what they want. Then there’s in person scalpers. Those annoying people who stand outside the venue despite their chosen activity becoming a thing of the past. They stand on the public sidewalk (not to break laws), hold signs, and pester people walking by.
Solution: Set ticket purchasing limits. That’s really the only solution. Places like Stubhub are great for reselling tickets, if you can’t attend the show. It shouldn’t be used as a place to inflate the price 4x. As for street scalpers, there’s really nothing anyone can do about that except watch them get pulled off of private property for being annoying pests.
There’s one main solution here: take others into consideration. We are all there to have a good time. Why unintentionally ruin someone else’s experience? There’s not much that can be done about ticket sellers or scalpers. That just has to be one of life’s little annoyances. These are just a few little gripes. We aren’t saintly so sure a few of these have probably been done by at least one of us. Except, we learned from it. Let’s all just have a good time listening to the music and being in awe of the performers in front of us. The performers we love playing the songs we love. That’s why most of us are there in the first place, right? Not because they have one hit song we’ve heard a million times, but because of those nine or so other songs on the album no one else cares about. Those songs we know everything about. They speak to our emotions and soundtrack our memorable experiences along the way. Let’s just enjoy it live in the moment.
Okay maybe an overpriced moment….
Photo: Vampire Weekend at Coachella by Chris Tuite via Pitchfork