Excrement-festooned porta-potties, sun-torched skin touched by the very hand of Lucifer, prices right out of Cold War-era Yugoslavia for bottled water and concert tees you'll wear once and then use as bedding for your poodle, not to mention a testosterone-fueled bonfire or two. Ah, it must be time for the whirlwind summer concerts.
Rock fans will do anything to see our idols. As a teenager, I survived four Warped Tours on the heated blacktop of the Astrodome/Reliant complex before I realized that second-degree sunburn on your forehead isn't exactly a magnet for babes. Just so that you don't suffer the same fate, let us help you navigate those rough-and-tumble seas filled with mud, bare feet and stale Miller High Life. Here's our summer concert survival guide.
Water It won't be cheap. The booths don't take debit cards, and you can't survive on the water that the lead singer spits out onto the churning pit. Remember that movie Waterworld? Kevin Costner had this filter he made to turn his wizz into drinkable water. Get yourself one of those and strap it to your leg. Drink a gallon before you go through the gate, and you say goodbye to price-gouging watermongers. (Hope you can hear the show from the nurse's tent.)
The Sun The heat from our nearest star will be merciless. No matter what, you will not escape this. Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen. You may think sunscreen's for sissies, but you'll be singing a new tune when you find yourself molting like a parrot. Man-up and slather on the lotion. Get someone hot to do it for you, and chances are you'll score with them. (It always works like that in all the '80s movies I've ever seen.) Do you honestly want to say you got skin cancer at an Uncle Kracker show?
Bug Spray This is Houston, as in bayou country, and mosquitoes here grow to be the size of hamsters. (If only someone made a waterproof, nongreasy, odorless bug spray/sunscreen combo. Hey, you think NASA is busy these days?)
Fashion Give it up for today, Mr. Year-Round-Hoodie. You too, overweight Goth-chick in the latex corset. Save that stuff for the after-party. True, we all have that nagging need to look cool, but no one looks foxy while turning clammy and white, or while fanning themselves with a tour program. Stick with shorts, preferably cargo shorts to hold all your swag, legal and otherwise. Too jockish for you? Rock some shants with a pair of black Converse sneakers. Also, your liberty spikes and other “scene” hair probably won't last in the high humidity. Wear a hat instead
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Adult Beverages A lite beer will be your best bet. Drinking vodka in hellish temperatures may seem cool, but think twice. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics. They deplete the water in your system. Don't be Joe Cool drinking a whole case of Guinness. You'll end up Joe Heatstroke with a silver bullet thermometer lodged up your rectum. (True story.)
Flashlight Sunburned drunks don't see very well in the dark, and you're going to have to find your car somehow.
Condoms Self-explanatory. (We might be a little optimistic when we say condoms, as in more than one, but a guy can dream, can't he?)
The Aftermath No doubt you will chafe, so stock up on baby powder and Vaseline beforehand. You may be walking like a cowboy, but you earned it. Take some Emergen-C to replenish yourself. And promise yourself that no Smashing Pumpkins reunion tour is worth this shit.