10 Types of People You Meet at Shows (and Wish You Hadn't)

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Concerts are supposed to be fun. A group of your closest friends, your favorite music, drinks and dancing — what could possibly go wrong? Well, if you’ve spent any amount of time in a venue, chances are you’ve run into a few regulars. And while barfly-shaming may make those who recognize themselves on this list uncomfortable, it could also be a wakeup call that you’ve met that one annoying concertgoer stereotype who needs a check.

Hey, it happens to us all. We’ve all run across people at a show we’d just…rather not.

This person is going to recite his dissertation about yappy, irrelevant bullshit while your favorite band plays. Bitter, acrid beer breath churns out of his gums as a soliloquy of sadness is spun over your weary ears. Worst part? You gotta lean in to hear this mess because the music is so loud. No amount of negative body language will shut the person up, either. You can pretend not to hear him, sing along to your favorite band — hell, you can crowd-surf — and Talking Ass will still interrupt and pontificate on some tedious point you’d rather not hear.

The saddest part about this person is someone somewhere calls her “Mama.” But Mama ain’t home — she’s up at the club reminding everyone in earshot she knows the owner — and not just the owner, but the bartender, the door guy and even the janitor, because she is at the venue every damn night. She mumbles about random unintelligible nonsense under half-closed eyelids, and you can only hope this person takes Uber instead of driving. Someone please introduce her to No. 10.

This person can’t possibly admit to enjoying the show because they have to dissect it as it occurs. They maintain the same posture as a doctor listening to a patient’s list of maladies. Brow furrowed, arms crossed, they’re taking it all in. Don’t fall for the Critic’s trap and inquire about their disposition out of concern; they’re just going to give you a rundown of what everyone is doing wrong onstage. From the sound engineer to the drummer, Critic is going to referee all the plays. As soon as they start in on, “They really sucked after their third album…,” introduce them to No. 10 and get the hell outta there.

You know you have a significant other who can’t just go out and have a good time. You know this about him or her, yet you bring their Drama Bitch Ass to shows anyway. Something upset them, however minor, and now Hurricane Butthurt has hit landfall during the headliner. At first it’s just a quiet disagreement; then their friends hunker down, provide alcohol and wait out the storm.  And when they're asked if everything’s okay, news cameras roll for their Category 5 response. Naturally, Drama Ass has a dirty side and will attempt to flirt/pick up/sleep with anyone who has a pulse. If that doesn't work, Drama Ass will resort to overt groupie tactics. You’ll be leaving early, too, which is fine with everyone else. Go on, take your Drama Bitch Ass home. 

After pushing your way out of a drunken and furious mosh pit, you pass up a row of women who have decided to flash the crowd their breasts, and some dude continually roaring “FUCK YEAH! SHOW ME YOUR TITS, BITCH!” while grabbing his crotch, and you find yourself eye to eye with someone’s child. A tiny person whose age hasn’t even reached double digits. The sobering, disheartening thought of the kid's innocence being ruined by viewing humanity at its drunkest results in a sad, nihilistic reckoning. This is the ultimate party-foul buzzkill. The bar is no place for your child. Get a sitter.

Face it: You don’t want to see your ex anywhere ever, but you especially don’t want to see that person on a night when you’re hanging with friends and possibly a new romantic interest at a show. Maybe you expected your ex to arrive, maybe not, but here he or she is giving you the side-eye and posting about your Ugly Ass on social media ruining his night. Forget the show; you’re now distracted with feelings that can only be drowned out in the bottom of a shot glass. Just make sure when you throw that first punch, you have enough money to make bail in the morning.

It’s not enough to whistle, hoot, holler and scream any variation of “FREE BIRD!” or “SLAYYYERRRR!” Super Fan is going to start a pit during the slow song, push their way to the front, have their phone out the entire show and eventually make their way onstage and launch a dozen alcohol-fueled stage dives. You can spot Super Ass because they’re alone — no one they know can handle their intensity — and wearing one of their favorite band’s many concert shirts, because that’s all they own. Engage them in conversation and be subjected to their many stories of past concerts and tattoos of said band commemorating their obsessive and unhealthy fandom. Another tell-tale hallmark of Super Ass is that they smell as if they haven’t performed any hygienic rituals since their last favorite band toured…in 2006.

Oh shit. Is that who you think it is? Unfortunately it is, and now you’ve made eye contact, the kind that comes with guilt-laden recognition. You only thought ghosting this person would be a nice form of closure, but this ghost has turned zombie and now, in a somnambulatory shuffle toward you, embarks on the most awkward conversation of your evening" “Hey! Do you remember me?” Unfortunately, yes. Tinder Ass will now throw you shady-mug glances all night. Expect a sad-face emoji text at 2 a.m.

Your friend needs a ride to the show. They will also need help with the cover charge if they haven’t weaseled their way onto the guest list. Once inside, Drunk Broke Ass wants to split a pitcher of beer, and by “split” they mean YOU buy THEM beers all night and watch them burn through your bud, saddle up to your crush and spend a bunch of their own (surprise!) money on merch. Promises to “pay you back on payday” abound with shoulder-claps and professions of “best” friendship as Drunk Broke Ass guzzles the last of the fourth pitcher on your tab.

That loner who keeps staring at you standing near the patio door? Yeah, that one. See, you were invited —you and 2,000-plus other people — to the show. And Stalking Ass found your selfie, scanned your mutual friends list, quietly followed you, viewed all your public check-ins and pictures, and has been doing so for weeks. You’ve been posting about the show for days and even updated with a picture. Keep posting; he’s watching. Hold your drink close and get a friend to walk you to your car, ladies. This one ain’t right. 

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