Down In Front! Rock Concert Etiquette
This was the view from my second row seat at the Dave Matthews Band concert this week in Vancouver. You would think that with such excellent positioning I'd be able to catch more than just a glimpse of Dave himself. Instead I got a different kind of show. And sadly, these two just didn't do it for me.
Yes, I know this is a rock concert and that standing up, cheering and singing along is to be expected. But I draw the line at continuous groping. I attend a lot of concerts and weirdly, this is a common occurrence. I estimate it has been an issue at 8 of the last 10 shows I’ve attended. What is it about Dave Matthews, Bon Jovi and Tom Petty that makes the people in front of me need to get it on? I don’t exactly consider “Lost Highway” makeout music.
To all of you who are guilty of such rudeness, please keep in mind that two bodies smooshed together is that much harder to see around or through for the people unfortunate enough to be stuck behind you. And while it’s dark and you’ve had several cocktails, we can all see you! If you can’t keep your hands off each other, get seats in the last row or better yet, get a room!
Graphic public displays of affection aside, basic concert etiquette starts with the type of music at hand. When I saw Andrea Bocelli a couple months ago, the audience was seated and quiet until it was appropriate to applaud. At a classical performance the cardinal rule is to allow others to enjoy the music undisturbed. Here, voices and instruments are typically unamplified and fans want to hear every detail. Smartphones should be turned off and anyone who doesn’t arrive before the show starts will wait for a break before being seated.
At a pop or rock concert, the mood is much more relaxed and the music is louder. But still, fans should take a cue from classical concert etiquette and be aware of their surroundings. Go ahead and dance like crazy to your favourites but respect the other fans. If everyone behind you is seated, then take a break once in awhile so they don’t have to stare at your butt for the entire show. It’s give and take. Be quiet during the quiet songs. Don’t sing along at the top of your lungs to every single number. You might know all the words, but so does Dave Matthews and he’s got a better voice.
If you’re partaking in cocktails, please be mindful of others while dancing. And don’t get blind drunk! Doing so will only promote your rudeness.
While some artists request cell phones be turned off, for the most part limited use is acceptable. Cell phones have become the new lighter at rock concerts. But please, resist the endless selfie shoot. It’s distracting. And if you’re going to take a picture consider dimming the screen so as to not blind others.
The make out performance at this week’s show got so sloppy that at one point, a security guard came and asked the lovers to cool it. They left a few minutes later, thankfully, giving the rest of us the view we’d paid for. At least I got to see Dave’s encore, because I don’t want to think about the other encore that was going on in the back of some taxi.