From Our Readers

Dear Concert Goers…

To Whom It May Concern,

I really don’t want to write this letter. I’ve had an imaginary discussion with myself in my head for a few days now on whether or not this letter is necessary. After attending a concert this past weekend, I feel confident that my concerns are valid and should be brought to light.
In no particular order…

Headbanging: The best concerts are the ones where you get to stand in front of the stage and jump up and down with your rock fist in the air (or depending on the song, sway side to side with fellow fans while holding your cell phones in the air) and headbang to the beat. But there’s a problem when most guys nowadays have a Justin Bieber haircut. If I’m standing behind you, I do not want your hair in my face. I really think if you’re going to headbang, get a hair cut. Yeah, it may not be as fun for you – maybe you like the feeling of whipping your hair back and forth. But unless there is a good 4 foot perimeter of empty space around you, please refrain. I do not want to eat your hair and whatever product you put in it.

Watch Where You Jump: While we’re on the topic of jumping…call me a fun killer, but I do not want my feet to be stepped on buy your clunky shoes or heels (see: Did You Look In The Mirror?) nor do I want to be elbowed. I’m all for jumping and rocking out, but can’t you do it in one place? Do you really have to move around and cause me to limp the rest of the night?

Foul Smells: Just because we’re in a big crowd it doesn’t give you the right to pass gas. If I can smell it, I can narrow it down to the 5 people standing around me. More than likely after about 10 minutes, I’ll figure out it was you. Wait till you’re in the car or with a group of close friends that don’t care. Also, when going to a concert always keep in mind that with all of those warm-blooded bodies in a confined space, it’s going to be hot. Two words: Anti Perspirant. There really is nothing worse that someone putting their fist in the air and getting a whiff of their non deodorized pit. It can be so bad that I want to give that person $5 to go buy some Degree.

PDA/Fights: If I wanted to see PDA, I’d go watch The Notebook. I paid money to see a band on the stage, not you two making out in front of me and blocking my view of the stage. Same goes for couple fights – I don’t want to hear about how you “did nothing wrong to deserve this attitude”….we’re at a concert, for goodness sakes. Why must you fight? Save it for the car ride home.

Did You Look In The Mirror?: Seriously, people. Sometimes I wonder what goes through your mind when you get dressed to go to a concert. Do you really stand in front of your mirror and think, “Oh my, I look good in my jean capris, hoodie and tennis shoes. What a perfect concert outfit.” Maybe you’re the type who thinks, “Yes, I am going to wear my leggings as pants with a crop top, a giant bow in my hair and some heels. By golly, I look good!” Give me one good reason on why you should wear heels to a concert. I dare you. There are the people who buy the merch and then immediately head to the nearest bathroom to change into the band t-shirt so now they look like the 50 other people who had the same idea. Maybe you’re really into the band, or just really insecure about the original outfit you picked out. Hey, I’ve been there, I feel ya. There is a fine line in wanting to look cute but not too cute like you spent 5 hours deciding what to wear. I get it, you want a look that says, “Hey, I just threw this together and I look amazing. Sorry, I’m so awesome.” I’ve seen the good, the bad and the oh my gosh, just go home and change right now. I could spend hours talking about this very subject but if you want to keep it safe, go buy the following clothing items: a plaid shirt, skinny jeans, toms, converse, boots, a white v neck and a couple of cardigans. Quintessential concert wear. Moral of this very long story: there are plenty of fashion blogs out there, Google them. Safe yourself and save my eyes from looking at your astonishing outfit choices.

Tools Should Stay In The Toolbox: You know what I’m talking about. These are the guys who play the air guitar and sing with their heads back like they’re the lead singer. Before you get your underwear in a twist…hear me out. There is nothing wrong with singing the songs you love at the top of your lungs along with everyone else. But there is already a lead singer of the band and you are not it. Keep your eyes on the stage, you don’t see him acting like that. These are also the people who push their way to the front no matter how much you paid for those front row seats. They’re the people who are 6 ft tall and won’t let the short people (like myself) in front of them so we’re forced to stand on our tiptoes all night and only see the top of the band’s head. Would it really kill you to let me stand in front of you? It’s not like I’m going to block your view and maybe if I stood in front of you, you would see me and maybe stop stepping on my feet!

In conclusion, I really think that if everyone adhered to the above issues, we’d all have a better concert experience. After all, we all paid money to see a really good show. We don’t really want all those distracting foul smells and bad outfits to ruin that…

All my love (unless you’re a foul smelling, bad dressing, headbanging tool…then I really just can’t love you),

Jenn Kelso

You can read more from Jenn on her blog.

Feature image via we heart it.

  • Audrey Hemzy

    Couldn’t agree more! I, being the regular concert goer that I am, have experienced those awful things; so tragic and sometimes so horrible you want to cry… Especially with foul smelling people!! Really, it’s plain horrible.

  • Sepideh Zarrinkelk

    I agree with all your points except the PDA/Fights and look in the mirror parts. I can’t really care less about how others dress…really it’s just none of my business or maybe it’s just me who doesn’t pay much attention to other peoples attires. The same goes for PDAs and Fights. If it blocks my view, I just change my spot and let them do their stuff and tbh once I’m hooked on the live act going on I don’t really see what others around me are doing or wearing. The thing is I’m also very short and most of the time I won’t even see the band members but hey, isn’t it all about the music?

    • Audrey Hemzy

      I think that what she meant by “looking in the mirror” is because it can be dangerous. Just imagine a SKA concert, people dancing in the pogo and there you find a girl dresses with mini skirt and high heels… Isn’t it dangerous for her if she falls in the pogo? of course it is, so she should have known how to dress according to the place she was going to. So yeah, dressing code in a concerts is important.

  • Patrick Quiring

    Since I’m of the all variety I would like to apologize on behalf of all of us 6 foot giants! If you ask to get in front of me I will surely say yes to your request. I always feel super bad for getting in front of people so make sure you block off the space in front of you if you don’t want some 6 footer to get in front. We can be sneaky like that.

    Please don’t be afraid to ask to get in front of us though. I’ll happily say yes

  • Ksenia Vassilieva

    Your attitude is all wrong. As someone above me said, if you’re really into the music, you won’t even notice what’s going on around you. Sometimes I’ll snap out of my trance and realize how much talking/bullshit is going on around me… but rather than getting annoyed, I just get back into my stoned-off-the-music trance! You can always find things to be irritated it (and making fun of people’s clothing choices is seriously low). Either rise above and don’t pay attention, or stand at the back.

  • Dianne Pater

    I’m with you on some of it, but I can honestly say I’ve never given a damn what anyone else wears to a concert. In fact, I often find it amusing to see girls tottering in heels at a show. But please don’t preach your hipster wardrobe choices on me. I will wear my Frye boots , and never ever a pair of skinny jeans and toms. Anyone checking a fashion blog before heading to a show is there to be seen instead of enjoying the music.

    • Julia Hogg

      I agree. There are things which affect other people’s experience of the concert, like stepping on you and singing so loud you can’t hear the actual singer, and then there are the things which really shouldn’t make a difference. Unless someone is wearing a huge hat so I can’t see or keeps stepping on me with their heels, I really don’t give a crap what they wear. See also: people who wear massive backpacks and have no spatial awareness so keep bashing you with it. But it’s going a bit far to prescribe a concert ‘uniform’.

    • Elisabeth Miller

      Agree with the clothes thing. I was unaware that there was concert “attire.” When I lived in LA, I went to a lot of gigs, sometimes right after work (which was being a nanny for young children). If I made it to the gig without any bodily fluids on my clothes, I was happy, even if I was in an old t-shirt, hoodie and sneakers.

      As for the other “no-nos,” my biggest pet peeve is people who are completely oblivious of personal space. Look, I get it, we’re going to be packed in tight, but you can still be polite. I saw Jenny Lewis at Coachella and the audience was so smushed that I couldn’t raise my arm, but every single person made sure to ask if they were in someone else’s way (we also all made sure that the people who were dehydrated got some sort of liquid). It was a beautiful experience all around.

  • Rosanna Pangelinan

    every situation you mentioned adds to the whole concert experience. makes it all the more fun.

    • Tedi Smith

      I agree!
      My boyfriend and I love going to shows and chuckling at the atmosphere. We went to see Tokyo Police Club last winter, and there was a guy grinding on his girlfriend like it was the High School prom. We still laugh.

      Moral: The diverseness of a concert is what makes it fun. Kind of with the mindset of, “I wonder what kind of people I’m going to see at this show tonight…?!”

  • Bridget Martin

    The worst thing of all, in my opinion, is the whole camera phone thing! I HATE when people can’t just enjoy the show without needing to take endless blurry photos and 30 second clips of a song. I ruins my experience and view of the band. Seriously people, when are you ever going to watch that 15 second clip of that song? Just enjoy the fact that you get to see the band live and not through your smartphone!!

  • Mili Pasino

    sorry… but… you ARE a fun killer

  • Jenn Kelso

    Please note that I wrote this after just one particular concert I went to where literally everyone had the exact same types of clothes on (I.e. skinny jeans and toms…) aside from the other ones I mentioned. Thanks for all the feedback, it’s good to hear I’m not the only one, and for those who disagree….I’m going to a New Found Glory show and will be completely out of my element, but I, planning on having the best time!

  • Shannon Esman

    I read this and thought “really?!?” For starters why don’t you just try having fun at the show and stop complaining about everything? None of above said problems bother me at all. Want to know what does? People like you!!!

  • Anne Mari Donato

    I’m sorry, but it’s really hard to have fun if you keep all of these in mind while at a show! I’m more perplexed when I see people who just stand there like a bouncer bobbing their heads… stay at home!

  • Bianca Koolmees

    I agree with most of the points in the article (particularly hair- boys may be bad but receiving a whole ponytail to the face constantly is not fun, and the body odour issue)- and to those who say stay at home if you don’t like it or don’t act like a crazy person (seriously, windmilling should not be allowed at concerts. I don’t care how much you love the band, people can not enjoy it when receiving an arm in the gut and being pushed over.) I may stand in the one spot and bob my head but I’m enjoying the music in my personal space Just because I’m not jumping up and down constantly does not mean I don’t have the right to see my favourite band or enjoy it in a manner which is not harming others. Your jumping on my foot however is affecting others. I generally avoid mosh pits due to this issue, but in venues were there is no assigned seating, just a stage and a floor, you have to be relatively close to the stage to actually SEE the band. And I get to see the band whilst standing in relatively the same spot, the people who push to the front to pay more attention to their own dancing or air guitar rarely look at the band however and should consider moving back.
    Can I also add to the list people who get off their faces drunk and people who have brawls in the middle of a crowd? How can you enjoy the show when you are so wasted you can’t walk straight? (I don’t mind if you drink, but when it impacts other peoples enjoyment of the show then maybe its time to stop.) And brawling in the mosh pit is just stupid, most likely you’re going to be thrown out but not before you inadvertently hurt some innocent bystander thanks to your rage issues.

  • Cailey Grunwerg

    i’m sorry and i’ve commented on something like this before. yeah you can hope that people might try to be considerate of others a t a show, but you’ve got to take into consideration, when someone goes to a show, they’re not thinking “how can i be a complete asshole or what can i do to not be an asshole” they’re most likely thinking “this is about be awesome and i can’t wait for this band to go on, i wonder what the set list will be, etc” at least on my part (and i try to be as considerate to others as possible) i know i’m not thinking of other people when i go to a show. As far as the way someone dresses, who cares, you’re all there for the same reason…so some people like to get all done up, that’s their business. i don’t know about you but i go to shows to have a good time and if i have to worry about someone else and how soemthing i’m doing is gonna make a complete stranger feel? well then what’s the point. If you’ve got such a problem with all these things maybe going to shows isn’t for you.

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