Sartre tells us, "Hell is other people," and nowhere is this more apparent than when you're at a show for a band you love and casual fans prevent your full enjoyment of the set. Call me a music snob, it won't be the first time, but I think people should learn there's a code of conduct beyond whatever you learned in high school attending your first Warped Tour. It's not complicated. Don't talk over the music. Don't be invasive. Be seen and not heard. (Wooing is OK in most cases.)
And while it's satisfying to vaguebook admonish these concert intruders, I think it'd be more constructive if we created an open forum to identify and correct these behaviors modeled after Craigslist's Missed Connections. Here are three examples of potential posts. Strike a chord? Recognize yourself? Let's have it out in the comments, if we must.
July 23 Giant tit-jabber at Godspeed You! Black Emperor - wfm
You: tall, endlessly tall, fucking forever tall. Me: normal person height and legitimately into this band on stage. Your girlfriend, also normal person height (perhaps in a different life, we could've been loves?), fastened to the front of you, beaming at the singer. You held your beer in your teeth each time your phone lit up (at frequent intervals); I noticed you have 729 friends on Facebook. Maybe you have more by now. Or less. I don't know if you noticed me, but I wanted to thank you for elbowing me hard in the tit when you got scared of the crowd surfer. How you managed that trajectory from your dizzying height was perhaps the most artful thing I witnessed all night. But that's probably cuz I couldn't see shit over your bulbous, Barber Dan head. I will hate you for the lifetime duration equivalent with the length of a Godspeed You! Black Emperor song compared to normal song length.
July 23 Scarved sirens at Songs:Ohia - mfw
It was a crisp fall evening in Florida, the kind that quickens your pulse and tricks you into believing in everything. And I was going to see one of my heroes, this gorgeous folk singer noted for quiet drama and voice-cracking earnestness. When I got to the venue – a 45-minute drive from my home in downtown Orlando – I was elated to discover it was a small coffee shop. And the singer was already setting up. And there was a small table open directly next to the stage. My heart took command of my feet, and I briefly fretted how I might maintain this table if I went to get some water, as my long drive had left me parched. That’s when they walked in. You: a trio of sirens, whose pedestrian beauty came draped in still-unseasonal scarves you probably got BOGO at the Gap. You were laughing. All of you. You never stopped. One of you was a particular riot, and I twitched involuntarily as I foresaw the inevitable future: You bitches were going to talk over the entire show. I couldn’t keep my eyes from flitting toward you when my favorite song came on, emotional poetry about how no one ever gets it right. The delicious irony would surely contribute to my continued identification with this song. You ladies should consider auto-tuning your laughs, because that eerie pitch of your unnecessary chorus? It’s just not meant for this world. And now, nor am I. I hit the gas hard the whole way home. My angry tears quenched my thirst. At last.
July 23 We've got a jumper at the Beacham - mfm
I used to have this dog, a Boston terrier who could jump 10 times the length of his body straight up, a marvel of physics, I thought then. It’s been years since I thought about Boogie Man (my older sister named the dog after the last track on the Bad Boys From Boston’s Get a Grip). But seeing you now, pogoing three rows back from the stage, I realized this here was the boogie man to end all boogie men, whose one-note dance skills were astonishing. Who knew you could intrude upon the experience of an entire room at once by jumping straight up repeatedly along the exact same path? The Beatles could have used you at Shea Stadium in 1965 to distract that deafening crowd who cheered over their set to the point that John Lennon began banging his keyboard with his elbows to mock the scenario. I bang my elbows on the proverbial keyboard at you, repeat offendererererererererererererererererererererererererererererererererer.