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Down In Front! Rock Concert Etiquette

Friday, 4 September 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

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.

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  • Carriebear

    OMG thank you for this. This happened to me at Prince when he was here in Toronto recently, except they were the tallest couple on the planet. It brought out my ugly.

    • Anna Wallner

      I hear you Carriebear. At the same concert this week I noted a woman sitting on a guy’s shoulder’s, right near the front on the floor. Together they were about 11 feet tall. So lame.

  • Leanne Cooke

    I took my 16 year old daughter to see One Direction this summer in Seattle (we live in Calgary) … our seats were on the floor so I expected to stand the entire time … the chick with the huuuge poster right in my sight line was not in my plan 😛

  • Roxanne

    Okay I have to tell you… My sister and I went to the Shania Concert in Edmonton for old time sake. We try to meet and take at one concert a year together. Right in front of us is a young couple and they are seriously aroused by the music. (and about 5 beer each that I counted!) They left and we were thrilled, but they were only gone for a ‘quick’ few minutes and then back and at it again! Uggh. So gross. It was so disturbing that I made a few comments to which they ignored. The person beside them finally asked them to cool it! Big thank you to her! They were sitting on/over each other the whole time, but it was getting extremely uncomfortable to be near them! They decided to miss the last three songs with another exit.. hallelujah!

  • Drake

    You sound more envious/jealous you can’t get more lovin’ in public, ladies!

    • Cynthia

      And, you Drake sound like one of the “public displays of perve-fection.” Save if for your dad’s car.