With summer officially underway, that means one thing for music-lovers – it’s time for summer concert season. Whether you like to tailgate a country show, mosh in the pits at metal show, or just dance at a pop show, summer tends to kick off the busiest time of the year for various artists’ touring schedules. You might have more free time with school being out, or might need to use those vacation days – and artists want to give you incentive to spend time with them.
While this list may be far from universal, when you start going to as many shows as some of us, you might start to notice a few trends with the actual concertgoers. While most fans at shows can make the experiences enjoyable for everybody, some are the epitome of why people can somehow hate being around live music. A bad crowd can lead to a bad time at an otherwise awesome show. So, without further ado, here are some of the worst types of people you may see at every concert this summer.
The Karaoke “Expert”
Singing along with your favorite vocalists can be one of the most fun things about seeing a live show in the first place. Even singing along to every song when it’s a band you absolutely love can be a lot of fun and leave you without a voice for the next few days. Some people tend to take this too far though, once the booze starts to hit. Rather than singing along and enjoying the ride, or even following the prompts from the singer, they’ll be the obnoxious, off-key snob who thinks they’re the show. We didn’t go cheap on lawn tickets because we wanted a secondary concert – we want to hear the actual band and couldn’t afford something better. Singing along is great, but running up to people to scream in their faces makes us want to punch you in the face.
The Sloppy Drunk
Every show has them. They’re that guy or girl who pre-gamed too hard and doesn’t care who knows it. You’ll probably find them shirtless falling over, maybe even on top of you in your seat! Sometimes they’ll have the apologetic friend with them who keeps saying they aren’t normally like this, but that friend never bothers to do anything to stop them until you start shoving the disheveled person back over to them. If you’re lucky in the seats, they’ll just fall asleep. If you’re not so lucky, they’ll go the extra mile in not being able to hold their liquor, conveniently next to you.
Unfortunately not confined to a single genre of music, these losers exist in the real world, but have to ruin things at shows too. Whether it’s passing a crowd surfer along while being extra grabby, immediately running up to a group of girls dancing every time thinking he was invited when he wasn’t, or trying to film people hooking up (we all saw you, guy at the Slayer show), they’re everywhere. In the worst cases, they’re despicable and should face the consequences for their actions that they would anywhere else in society. In the cases that seem to have the least severity in their harassment, they’re still an annoying nuisance. Shooting your shot and getting rejected is one thing, but being a scumbag and harassing people is different.
The Guy Who Would Mosh To Taylor Swift
Mosh pits have their place in rock and metal shows. Mosh pits do not have their place at the old emo band you liked in high school doing their 20th anniversary show for their one hit album. Mosh pits today are not always like the mosh pits of the 1980’s. People go to pop shows to escape reality and have fun, not to avoid jagoffs who think they have to flail their arms to impress people who think they’re losers for trying to start anything. This music is acoustic, not Cannibal Corpse, so why are you trying to start a wall of death that nobody asked for?
Mosh Pit Folks Who Don’t Follow Etiquette
An increasing annoyance with newer metal bands and metalcore bands tends to be the trend of (largely) younger fans who don’t know the unspoken rules. When you’re in a pit you’re supposed to protect each other. Moshing can be violent and dangerous since you’re already running around and pushing each other. Flailing wildly, kicking people, not helping people up or putting up human barriers when someone goes toced in venues. If someone drops a hat, hold it up for them; if they drop their body, help pick them up. Don’t pull people in who clearly don’t want to be involved, and don’t slingshot people at the people who are visibly annoyed that the circle opened where they thought they would avoid it. Not everyone at the show wants to participate in the Anthrax “war dance” when “Indians” starts playing.
The Tailgate “Expert”
So you’re going to a festival and you want to get there early and tailgate. Maybe you take the bigger cars with your friends, coordinate for some parking spots and set up shop in the appropriate lot. Don’t be the one trying to micromanage everybody’s good time because things need to be grilled a certain way. Don’t be the one setting up the games in a way that stops the rest of the lot from being able to actually park because you just know that nobody else knows what they’re doing. Don’t be a buzzkill during the setup stages of a good time.
The Tailgate Jackass
So you’re tailgating, probably with the “expert”, or even already being that “expert”. Clean up after yourself. The fact that it’s a necessity for people leaving the lots to have to check their tires for bottle caps and shards of glass before leaving is ridiculous. Flat tires are bad enough, but have some of you just never seen the results of drunk tailgaters stepping on the broken glass your lazy ass left behind because you couldn’t find a trash can? It isn’t pretty. The tailgate jackass is an all-encompassing category of annoyance because they don’t actually know how to party, they’re just jackasses. Maybe they will even clean up after themselves; they’ll just wait until they vomit everywhere to do it first.
The Undecided Merch-Buyer
At most concerts you’ll likely find merchandise tables to buy shirts, the band’s latest album, or other fun things. For smaller artists you might even get to meet them because they might be selling the merch themselves or posing for pictures. You can typically clearly see the merch from a distance or from the sides of the stands, and at most festivals, the merch stands tend to have the same things to purchase. People optimally try to buy things before the band they like comes on, during an intermission, or quickly near the end before the people working the stand close up for the night. With things clearly visible, why are you taking so long just to decide which thing you want to buy? It isn’t your card getting declined and you stepping aside to fix it that annoys people, it’s the fact you’ve had the entire night to pick something and can’t come close to making up your mind for that extra five minutes when it’s your turn in line.
The “Stan” That Takes It Too Far
Most concerts have “Stans” to go with their fans. For those who didn’t listen to Eminem, the term has been broadly used to identify obsessive super-fans. Instead of typically being violent at shows, you’ll catch them wearing every single piece of merch you didn’t know existed, loudly complaining about the set list before the show begins, and acting like the keeper of something sacred because they touched the singer’s hand once. Enjoy the show, be supportive of the artist, and “Stan” the artist respectfully. Don’t be the person who tries to rush the stage for a strand of hair and start fights over being the biggest fan.
The One Who Was Forced To Go
This person is basically the opposite of the “stan” that goes too far. They were forced to go so that a legitimate fan didn’t have to miss the concert. They were dragged along because the other person liked the group and wasn’t comfortable going solo. They’re probably not dressed even close to appropriately for the music they’re seeing, they’re probably being a hipster, and they’re probably sucking the vibe out of the room just by existing. If you find yourself in the situation where you’re taking one for the team by being there, don’t make everyone else feel like they’re the ones suffering. Loosen up, you might actually enjoy yourself.