Last night I went and saw Tim McGraw in concert. Besides it being an incredible concert, it inspired me to come back and write my top 10 music concert survival tips that I think every person going to a concert for the first time should read.
As I looked around at the concert, I could tell there were people who just didn’t get it. Nobody had given them a heads up as to how they were supposed to act at a concert, and so they sat like turds, not getting even 1/10th of the full experience. Now, pay attention, because these ten must-dos could save you a lot of embarrassment.
- Get dressed up for the event. Seriously, no avid concert goer dresses the way they do in every day life. You’re not there to impress others with your chic clothes and stylish shoes. You’re there to support the genre. If you’re going to a rock concert, dress like a rocker. If you’re going to a country concert, dress country. If you’re going to the symphony, dress like a prude. Here is a pic of me and Dave last night. Nobody would know we weren’t real cowboys and that’s important.
- Buy a beer. It doesn’t matter if you drink or not, and it doesn’t matter if you drink it or not after you buy it. You just need to be holding it for a couple reasons. First, when it starts to get crazy, you need to hold the open can up and let it accidentally slosh onto the people around you. Everybody must do their part in making sure that everybody else goes home smelling like beer and sweat. Second, it is really helpful to your cause if you can’t get an attractive person to pay attention to you. You still won’t, but at least the ugly people will think you’re drunk enough to find them attractive and they’ll throw themselves at you with wild abandon.
- Never admit that you are only there because your friend dragged you along. Not even to yourself. You are there because you love the artists playing and, as a matter of fact, they are your favorite artists of all time. If you do find yourself in this position, be careful not to ever discuss your fake love for the artist in a quiet enough environment that somebody could actually ask you a question about why you love the artist. When the music is really cranking, just say things like, “I freakin’ love this song!” or “these guys are SO freakin’ awesome!” or “Freakin’ yes, freakin’ yes!” Just remember to say freakin’ a lot, and people will think you’re sincere.
- Go nuts every time the performer name drops. A good performer will name drop at least ten times in a given night. What you’re looking for are those special moments when the performer yells out something about your awesome city or state. Last night it was Utah is always a party, we never get tired of coming here! [of course we went nuts] or are there any honky tonks in Utah? [go nuts and prove you’re a honky tonk]. They’re showing you the love, so be sure to show the love right back.
- Do not sit down. Every once in awhile you’ll see the entire audience attempt to sit down. And it seems like it would be nice since you’ve been standing up for four straight hours now, but do not give into temptation. There is always one (usually really tall) jerk that doesn’t sit down and keeps everybody behind him/her standing. You need to be that jerk because, let’s face it, concerts were made for standing up. Which takes me to my next point…
- Dance like your life depended on it. Believe me, nobody is watching you (except for that guy who’s gonna post it on YouTube). Find the beat and let loose. If you can’t find the beat, you can always try the swaying back and forth thing. The trick is, you usually have one square foot of space to dance in, so make sure keep your arms above your head most of the time, and then lots and lots and lots of hip swings.
- Clap. And I’m not talking about clapping at the end of the songs. No, at the end of the songs you go absolutely nuts to let the performer know that they just changed your life with their performance. I’m talking at least 50% of any song you should have your hands raised high above your head and you should be clapping to the beat. Just be careful to not clap on every beat. That’s a big no-no. Generally a clap every other beat or sometimes every four beats is sufficient. Also be careful because clapping and dancing at the same time is something that takes a lot of practice. If you attempt both at your first concert… well, we’ll find you on YouTube.
- Sing louder and better than anybody else. There is a reason that they have the music SO loud at concerts. It’s because every Tom, Dick, and Henrietta is singing along to every song at the top of their lungs, trying to out-sing everybody else. And that’s a good thing. You should definitely participate… Especially during the moments when the performer stops singing and let’s the audience take over. Make sure that if they’re recording a live version that night, you’re voice stands out above every one of the 20,000 fans around you.
- Never stop cheering when the music is over. When the performers finish, the lights go out, and the stage empties, you’ll notice that nobody is walking out of the concert. Rather, they are yelling at the top of their lungs, waving their hats, and clapping hard enough to cause the seats to rumble. Don’t panic. This is called “asking for the encore”. And you must participate. If you don’t, the band may not come back on stage to indulge you with a few more tunes. They are watching everybody in the audience on super spy cameras, and if there isn’t 100% participation, kiss your encore goodbye. Don’t be that schmuck who ruins it for everybody.
- Buy an ear trumpet. I had a different, less awesome number ten, but I am so convinced that this will enhance the concert experience that I’m willing to put this one on the list right now, and scrap what I had before. And even as I type this, I’m wondering… would an ear trumpet in each ear trump any level of awesomeness known to man? Everything inside of me says yes. I better go order a second one.
And those are just ten of hundreds of awesome things you can and must do to enhance your next concert experience. I didn’t even get into throwing your bras (and bros) on stage or holding your kids up to be kissed by (let’s be honest) a rock star who probably has more STDs than have even been discovered. No, there just weren’t enough tips available in my top ten list, but if you go to YouTube I’m sure you can get educated on that side of concert etiquette.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing