The first legit concert I attended was to see Incubus.
I thought I was going to die.
It all started so innocently: scalping tickets, pushing to the front of the crowd, avoiding requests for weed. But once the band came on, the excited nervousness of people waiting for their favorite musicians turned into full-fledged chaos. People on every side of me pushed and moved and rocked out to lyrics I hadn’t quite memorized. I was trapped in between tall sweaty teens and adoring yet emotional 20-30 somethings.
Please? Someone help?
It was only later that I realized this was all quite normal for this sort of concert. Sweat, ringing ears, unsteady footing, and dehydrated fans are to be expected at a concert in Seattle that hosts a band whose musical style has been classified as alternative rock, heavy metal, electro, funk, and funk metal. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
This first concert experience was not wasted on me, however.
Oh, no. I learned some valuable lessons,
four to be exact.
1) The stamp goes on your wrist, dumbass. If you’re 21 or older you usually get a stamp to show you’re all legal and stuff. So, when that huge guy with SECURITY on his chest asks to stamp your hand, don’t actually give him your hand. Flip over your arm and show him your wrist. That’s where all the cool kids put it.
2) Do NOT wear flip-flops. If you want to be close to the action you’ll be standing. And if you’re standing you’ll be stepped on, and if you’re wearing flip-flops, your feet will hate you. Don’t believe me? Just ask my toes. Go closed-toe or go home.
3) Weave and move, don’t walk and shove. The trick to getting from the back of the screaming crowd to the front with the real crazies is to zig-zag your way through and keep moving. As soon as you stop, the people right behind you will be slightly irked. So, only stop once–at your final destination. This technique has worked with every concert I’ve been to from Lady Gaga to Smashing Pumpkins to Bonobo–you just have to commit and go. Oh, and if you’re traveling through the crowd with someone, make sure to hold hands or say your goodbyes.
4) Embrace the sweat. Wear deodorant, brush your teeth, and don’t eat onions, but realize that you’ll be in close quarters with active people. Nothing spoils a good set like nuclear BO, so don’t be that person. And, for the love of Ringo, don’t wear a sweatshirt. That’s just silly. Yes, I would know.