You’re at a concert crammed between a sweaty dude in cutoffs whose ripe armpits just happen to perfectly line up with the flares of your nostrils, a couple who are basically using your back as a bed and a group of kids sporting some seriously dilated pupils trying to talk, or rather screech, their friend down from a really bad trip. You’ve been standing for hours, your shins screaming and your toes wiggling, desperately gripping on to the last few oxygenated blood cells hanging on for dear life. You’ve pushed, shoved, endured elbows to the ribs and near third-degree cigarette burns just to get to this spot – the pit right in front of the stage.
Regardless of how you feel you’ve earned this spot and you’re not giving up. You know everything will be okay when the lights go up and you hear the first few chords of the guitar. Electricity fills the air and you take it all in. Everything else dissolves away and it’s just you and the band.
I used to be a concert rat. I lived to see the albums that I connected with the most performed live by the artists that dramatically affected my life. There were a very small number of audience personality types that could really kill my buzz – here are my top three:
Crazy Drunk Girl
It first starts out with a cute, droopy-eyed girl, giggling and stumbling her way toward the stage. As she hits the wall that separates buzzed and sloppy her eyes pop open and she’s ready to slap anyone in her way. Her false bravado cause people in the audience to part like the Red Sea as she blazes a path of fear in her wake. Somehow this young lady always ends up parked right next to me flitting from emotional wreck to “I love everyone and everything!” Not to play into stereotypes, I'm a girl myself afterall - but dang, how can you enjoy a show if you can't remember it?
Being at a concert requires a bit of flexibility. The audience has to possess the ability to adapt to both the music and the atmosphere when the need arises. Tough guy is the guy that, despite how packed a venue may be, has to plant himself with his arms crossed threatening anyone who breaches his bubble. Without warning he’ll start moshing. He inevitably ends up pushing the most petite girl he can find whose boyfriend happens to be a tough guy too. So Tough Guy #1 and Tough Guy #2 get into it, forcing the band to call said tough guys out and ruin the atmosphere just like Dave Grohl did last year.
This is the person that thinks everyone around them is a poser – no one is a bigger fan than him. “Do you know the B-side of the band’s second independently-released LP? No? LAME! Why are you wearing said band’s T-shirt to their concert? HOW CLICHÉ!” This guy stands around smirking with his brow cocked waiting for someone to personally offend him.
My theory is, if you shelled out the moolah to see an artist live then you have every right to see them regardless of your level of obsession. The guy below gets major MAJOR points for not giving a flying, well, you know.
But in all honesty, if the company is good and the entertainment is nothing short of amazing – these little annoyances don’t matter. It’s all about the hair-raising shock you get down your spine when a chord, one you’ve heard a thousand times on the radio, is struck. It’s about the sing-alongs and the camaraderie. And when it’s all done, the muffled ringing and temporary deafness experienced from blasting sound systems. Magic. What audience personalities bother you the most?