Time for some Concert Etiquette 101
After my recent Bonnie Dune excursion with my bestie and music-loving friends, it came to my attention that while at the concert, there were a few fans who really disappointed me in their conduct towards band members, completely disrespecting and embarrassing the guys while on stage. With many disgruntled fans stepping up to voice their disdain for the situation, I had an idea. In an effort to make this negative part of the experience a positive, I decided to create a "guidelines" list for anyone who plans on attending concerts in the future. I've also included a few pointers based on my experience of dating a musician. Granted, this is not for everyone, since most people can be civilized, but for those who apparently don't know how to act and behave when seeing a band they like.
1) Respect the band members. Granted, in some bands, there are certain members fans gravitate to more than others, but that's no reason to be mean or rude to other band members while they're putting on a show. Keep in mind that all the musicians/performers on stage are working hard to give you a great time, so don't give them any lip for it. For example, telling the lead singer to move so that you can look at the drummer? Not cool. Screaming out for only one band member the entire time? Disappointing. If you really loved the band, you'd be cheering hard for every person....instead of just the one you think is hot. So while you may be in love or crush on that hot guitar player/bassist/keyboard player/drummer/lead singer....just be mindful that that one musician wouldn't be there without the rest of their band backing and blending that music harmoniously for you.
2) Don't be "that fan." You know the type of fan I'm talking about....the annoying one who shouts stupid crap when the audience is quiet or the musicians are trying to talk and connect with their fans during the show. Frankly, hearing someone scream "Did you read the sign?" over and over while a lead singer is talking about the significance of a song is hardly appropriate. Of course they read the sign, they get it. Now move on and let the band do what they were meant to do....give the audience a great show!
3) Be enthusiastic and energetic (when the show calls for it)! While you shouldn't be annoying, don't be afraid to have a little fun....especially if you're at a rock concert! Dance, sing along, tell the musicians you love them at the top of your lungs, cheer loudly at the end of each song, hold your phone up like a lighter, paint your face with the band name, wear the band t-shirt....whatever strikes your fancy! The whole point is to have a good time, so why not?!?
4) Don't be trashy or slutty, especially if a musician has a significant other. I speak from personal experience on this, especially since my bf is in a cover band. (And yes, this concept applies across the board, so listen carefully.) There have been many moments where while at a show, a girl has thrown herself at Matt, flirting and giggling and slipping him their phone number in hopes that he'll call her. (A few have even called him out on not calling at the next show they attend.) I know he won't, unless this girl has proven herself to be chill and into the music more than anything else. But there is that small percentage of girls/guys who don't care that the significant other may be there in the audience and would love nothing more than to prove they're a "better fit" than the musician & their partner. So a word to the wise: do not venture down this road. Keep your self-respect and self-worth intact. Granted, I'm the chill gf who enjoys seeing Matt talk to the adoring fans and keep them coming back out for more. I encourage conversation and casual flirting if it means they'll come out to the next show. Hell, I've even become friends with a few of the cool girls, especially when I've won them over with my charm, kindness, and sweet dancing skills. But some significant others aren't as chill and won't hesitate to draw blood over the girls/guys that disrespect them and their relationship. (And yes, from time to time I have wanted punch a girl that disrespects me.) Remember this the next time you flirt inappropriately with a taken band member.
5) Keep in mind the type of audience you're a part of. I've had my fair share of concerts where I've seen the various posters saying "Marry Me" or "[insert band/performers here] Rules!" Or people shouting how much they love the band. In fact, I've even made a few of those posters when attending concerts (and screamed a few "I LOVE YOU"s in my day!) For the most part, I think it's cool that fans take the time to make posters and things of the like, even if the messages can be a little bit much. But if you're at a concert where a good portion of the audience members came with their parents or look like they're still in high school, please refrain from any obscene phrases or sexual offers. If that's your angle, check out when Def Leppard or Whitesnake will be in town. The audience will be suited much more to your liking.
6) Don't get upset if a band member doesn't contact you. Sometimes upon meeting your idols/favorite musicians, you may give them a letter or token of your appreciation. I'm even guilty of doing this. And in those letters or little gifts, a way for them to contact you has been provided. Now, I know this is going to sound mean saying this, but please know that while you think this may be the beginning of an epic friendship, 99.999999999% of the time....they will never contact you. While you may be mad, consider that you're A) 'not the only one who has thought of this idea' and B) 'they may not have the time to respond to you'. But do know that they're appreciative that you've taken the time to give them a part of you, especially since they give you a part of themselves every time they perform or release new music.
7) Get creative with your gifts! Bands do love receiving cool stuff from their fans. Like in my previous listing, giving a gift is like giving a part of yourself. It's meaningful and extremely touching. So if you're going to give a gift, feel free to have some fun with it! I've seen fans make bracelets/t-shirts, bake treats, make scrapbooks, etc. Don't hesitate to brainstorm and dig deep for a cool gift idea. Sometimes, it's those fun, unique gifts that get you noticed.
8) Be yourself. This is hard to do sometimes, especially when there's a chance you may get to meet the band/performer, but it's extremely important to remember! Combined with the above guidelines, just remaining chill and calm will gain you the opportunities you desire. For example, one of my favorite bands in college (Jupiter Sunrise) hung out with me and my friend Colleen just because we were cool. We joked around, I complimented the lead singer on his awesome Weezer shirt (and was rewarded with a hug), and didn't try to be anything we were not. I consider those band members friends to this day. Even when I went to see Bonnie Dune, my bestie Vicki & I just talked to the guys about how we had done karaoke the night before and only had three hours of sleep under our belts before driving out for the concert. Result? Cory Monteith asking my friend & I where this karaoke existed, sounding interested in participating in said activity. The point being, if you can just be you, band members will appreciate you more for it. Besides, aren't we always told that it's great when others can accept you for you?
I hope that these guidelines have been helpful. They're not rules, but just some friendly tips to remember. But the most important one? HAVE FUN!
Thanks for listening.