Much like the NFL, the electoral college, and Hostess, concerts are a time-honored tradition on the verge of ruin. The camaraderie that initially drew us into the scene and the unspoken set of rules governing behavior has completely eroded. We here at The SIDESHOW Podcast felt forced to act, not just for ourselves but for the benefit of future generations. Thus, we definitively inscribed and enacted a list of commandments to ensure proper Concert Etiquette. We present them now for your approval:
THROW ‘EM DOWN, PICK ‘EM UP
The most basic–and yet recently, largely ignored–rule.
POLICE THE PIT
Enforcers, you know who you are. Dole out punishment as you see fit.
KEEP IT IN THE PIT
Failure to comply usually results in this:
STAKE YOUR SPOT
If someone gets to the venue an hour before doors open just to camp out in front of the barricade for three hours without food, drink, or bathroom breaks then they have earned their right to be there for the headliner.
ADAPT TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Don’t windmill at a thrash show and don’t get pissed at the hXc curb stompers at an Acacia Strain concert.
If the band asks, go for it. If not, chances are you’re drunkenly demanding to hear the most popular song anyways. Shut your mouth and sit tight for the encore.
DON’T BE THAT BAND
Forget not wearing the shirt of the band you’re going to see. Don’t wear the shirt of the band you’re IN.
RESPECT YOUR ELDERS*
Children under the age of 16 shouldn’t be seen OR heard.
*Endorsed by 1 out of every 3 SIDESHOW hosts
So what do you think? Did we miss anything? Have we finally earned a spot in the old folks’ home? If you’ve got something to say then make your voice heard! This is a living document, one we intend on adding to and amending for all time. Personal pet peeves with the potential for future inclusion include:
Kyle the ROCK(jock) – No breakdancing. Don’t tell the sound guy how to do his job.
Brian – Don’t boo the band on stage.
Nick – Three strike crowd-surfing. If I see you a third time, I’m taking your shoe.
But for all our bitching, stodginess, and negativity, there is one universal commandment that we implore you to abide by because too many of us forget it–HAVE FUN. We love this music because we are the outcasts. Shows are one of the few places where we can come together as a community, let loose, and feel like we belong. It’s a special thing that’s meant to be inclusively enjoyed by all, regardless of all other circumstances. Respect that above all else. (Cue G.I. Joe PSA.)
*Go back to Episode 30 to hear our discussion on this last piece of etiquette. While Nick and I understand Kyle’s frustration, and partially agree with him, we believe that if he just follows the adaptation rule, and gave these younguns a little time, he’d be fine. They need to follow the rules, no doubt about that. But, like the three of us 10 years ago, we were still learning too, and thought we were better than everybody else. (We probably were, but that is besides the point.)
A sub-rule to the stake your spot rule: mind the personal space of others if the venue is empty enough. It’s okay to accidentally back up onto someone once, but it is no longer okay once you know they are behind you.