Five Types of Audience Members Who Should Stay Home Instead

Bozo Porno Circus playing a show in Houston a few years ago; that's me in the back. We loved our audiences, large and small, but a few bad apples can spoil things for everyone.EXPAND
Bozo Porno Circus playing a show in Houston a few years ago; that's me in the back. We loved our audiences, large and small, but a few bad apples can spoil things for everyone.

Anyone who has spent any time at all going to rock concerts or club shows knows that it's an environment where some people tend to go a little wild, and that's all right — it's just part of the experience. It would be weird to go to a rock concert where the entire crowd sat politely in their seats as if they were in church.

However, a few people who tend to make regular appearances at shows can make for an unpleasant experience if one should happen to find oneself near them. Going out to see a great band play can be one of the best feelings in the world, but some people should probably try to control their behavior so that their good time doesn't turn into someone else's bad time. Here are a few of the types of audience members many of us are sick of encountering when we go out to see live music.

5. The Tall Guy Standing Right in Front
Being tall isn't anyone's "fault" any more than being short is. I'm 6'4" myself, so I tend to be one of the taller people at most of the shows I attend. While we "height-advantaged" folks shouldn't feel compelled to always stand in the very back of the audience, we should be aware that other people aren't as vertically gifted as ourselves. Planting oneself right in front of the stage for an entire show while a sea of fans who are 5'5" in heels is stuck watching our wall-like backs instead of the band is kind of a dickish move. I've generally found that I can still enjoy a band up close while allowing shorter people to move in front of me.

Recently I was standing behind a guy as tall as I am at a Roky Erickson gig. He had decided the occasion was a perfect excuse for him to wear a stupidly tall cowboy hat, which effectively blocked the view of anyone standing within ten feet behind him. It was a reminder of why being considerate of others is a good thing, even at a rock concert.

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4. The Drunk
Rock concerts aren't exactly an environment where complete sobriety should be expected, but it's difficult to understand why so many people feel compelled to get so completely shitfaced that they probably won't remember the performance the next day. That's none of my business, but when drunk morons make the show "memorable" for all the wrong reasons, their behavior gets old fast. Anyone who has experienced some nearly puking drunk hobbling into him at a show can probably relate.

There are also those folks who seem to spend the entire event clumsily weaving back and forth through the crowd from wherever their friends are, on constant trips to the bar. They wander back and forth like increasingly off-balance bulldozers, irritating everyone they nudge past. Some of those people should just watch concerts at home on DVD while they get blackout drunk. Do the rest of us a favor.

3. The Loud Conversationalist
This seems as if it's becoming more common than it used to be for some reason, but I've been surprised at the number of concerts I've attended in recent years where some rude person or group of rude people talked throughout the entire show, and loudly enough that it was a constant distraction for anyone anywhere near them. Usually, that behavior seems to be paired with drinking too much, but whatever the case, they need to knock it off; no one else in the audience cares about their stupid conversation more than the music they paid to experience. As a side note, yelling "Freebird" or "Stairway" isn't funny anymore, and hasn't been for decades. People who have a yearning to be heard throughout a concert should go form their own bands or shut up.

2. The Guestlister
This is really a different type of annoying show-goer, and isn't so much a distraction to the rest of the crowd but instead irritating to people in local bands or who work to put on and promote shows. The bane of local bands and promoters are those individuals who believe that they need to be on the guest list every time they play. Unless a person is the significant other or a close relative of someone in the band, expecting to be on the guest list becomes tiresome behavior really quickly. Anyone who is really "tight with the band" should also support them and the people who make their shows possible. Paying a few bucks to see local shows, even when a person is friends with the people who run the club or play in the bands, is a good way to help their scene, but acting indignant when they're not on the guest list or comped free drinks is not.

1. The Filmmaker
Amateurs have been filming concerts for decades — just looking at the often-amazing footage some uncredited individuals shot of punk rock and metal shows back in the 1980s that has appeared on YouTube proves that. Nowadays, any fan has the ability to capture a concert with a smartphone, and judging from what I've seen at many shows lately, half the crowd must fancy themselves to be budding filmmakers. There they stand, with phones raised high above their heads, recording video of the performance or snapping photo after photo. It can seem like more people in the audience are worried about filming the show than are actually watching it. For the most part, that's their business, but it can be distracting to the few people who care more about seeing their favorite band than uploading photos or videos to their Facebook.


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