How To Survive The Summer Concert Season

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You may be saying, "Rocks Off, how can you guys be doing a summer concert tips blog when it's almost July?"

Well, imaginary naysayer who just had an imaginary conversation with us, here in Houston summer lasts until the trannies off Pacific Street start wearing two pairs of Spanx, which is sometime before Thanksgiving.

Excrement-festooned portapotties, sun-torched skin touched by the very hand of Lucifer, bottled-water prices right out of Cold War-era Yugoslavia and concert tees you'll wear once and then use as bedding for your poodle, not to mention a testosterone-fueled bonfire or two. It's summer concert season. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

Rocks Off has now been going to summer concerts and paying the price for them for 14 years, chafing his ass off and burning his skin on blacktops and grass since before he could drive or buy beer, or even one of those three-packs of porn at the corner store.

This past month Rocks Off did his tour of duty at Summerfest and served as the leader of a recon mission to Buzzfest, and next Friday we get to bake with the punks and posers at the Warped Tour out at Sam Houston Race Park. Sprinkle in a handful of other sweaty outdoor gigs here and there, and you will understand why we carry Axe and baby wipes in our man-purse. Real talk.

Over the years we have compiled a list of dos and don'ts for the novice or experienced summer concert warrior, ranging from clothing choices to alcohol intake. Above all, make sure you have fun, and be sure to make out with as many people as you can, granted you are single.

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 a week later, shedding your skin like a snake in your bed and all over your desk at work. Maybe you start collecting the pieces to make yourself a "you" suit.

The concert-goer puts the lotion on its skin. Get someone hot or in a bikini to do it for you, and chances are you'll score with them. (It always works like that in all the '80s movies we've ever seen.) Do you honestly want to say you got skin cancer at Lilith Fair?


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 mosh pit. Remember that movie Waterworld? Kevin Costner had this filter he made to turn his piss 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. Congratulations, piss-drinker, you can now afford a hot dog.

Bug Spray

This is Houston, as in bayou country, and mosquitoes here grow to be the size of small children. If only someone made a waterproof, nongreasy, odorless bug spray/sunscreen combo. Or maybe we can just stop whining and embrace the smell as our own, like a real man who will fight for your honor.

Seriously, we have never even worn Off! or whatever the hell that stuff is called since we were like eight years old. We like itching at bug bites. Screw you for judging us.


Give it up for today, Mr. Year-Round Hoodie. You too, overweight Goth chick in the latex corset and parasol. Save that stuff for the afterparty. 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 some awful band's flyers. OK, this one chick at last year's Warped Tour pulled it off pretty well.

Stick with jorts, like a real man, and wear light-colored shirts. At Summerfest we wore a black shirt on Saturday and burned up like the Czech sausage we are. Wear a bandana to keep the sweat out of your eyes too. It also indicates that no pretty girls should stand next you apparently. Womp womp.

Adult Beverages

A light beer will be your best bet... if you are a loser! 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 ass in the emergency room. Not that we know about that or anything. Cough, San Diego, cough.

Stick with party drugs and pot.


Not self-explanatory enough? OK, you put these on if you don't want to have the babies. Be safe, guys and girls. 18 years is a long time to be telling your child the story about how they were conceived during a Puddle Of Mudd encore.

The Aftermath

No doubt you will chafe, so stock up on baby powder and Vaseline beforehand. [Ed. Note: We recommend Gold Bond.] You may be walking like a cowboy, but you earned it. Drink some Emergen-C to replenish yourself, and go to the nearest suburban IHOP to show off for all the loser kids that didn't go to the concert. Suckers.

Also, don't call or text that person you made out with during Sarah McLachlan's set.

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