Monday, May 14, 2007

Why I Haven't Been Posting Concert Reviews

I realized last week, while thinking about May 5th's excellent Arcade Fire concert in Philadelphia, that I haven't posted about any concert experiences of late.  In fact, I've seen four shows since March 1, and neglected to discuss any of them.

The reason is that each of the more recent concerts I've been to, with the exception of the seated Arcade Fire show, has been tainted by my absolute favorite kind of asshole show-goer.  I have tried in vain to write concert summaries without mentioning them, but my insatiable wrath towards these worthless human beings keeps popping up.  And nobody wants to hear about that, right?

Well, tough titty, because until I let it out, it's just gonna keep turning up elsewhere.  So, here goes.  Apologies in advance.

I like going to concerts early, because it's easy to find room up near the front without having to actively displace anyone else.  I'm satisfied to stand around bored through the opening act(s) and the lulls between sets, because I know I'll enjoy the headliners that much more if I hold my ground.  After all, I'm there for the concert, not the bar or whatever.  I willingly sacrifice increased convenience for increased enjoyment of music.  It leaves me bored, but in the end much happier.

The problem is when, right before the headliner goes on, I end up elbowed out of the way by some stumbling drunken idiot who just showed up at the club.  You put in all that work to get the spot without having to be a dick about it, and along comes some dick who takes it away from me.  Imagine my joy.

What's the real problem?  A disagreement over entitlement.  I feel entitled to the observation of "first-come, first-served" when it comes to general admission concerts.  The crowd is basically a big, fat line.  Nobody, I mean nobody, cuts in line in this country without consequences.  The whole system falls into anarchy once we stop paying attention to lines.  And that Cuntmaster General is doing precisely that.  Maybe you don't make a big deal out of that stuff, but I do.

He, meanwhile, feels entitled not just to have his cake (show up whenever he wants, hang out by the bar) and eat it too (still see the show from the best spot in the club), but to take your cake if he ends up with none.  I'm sitting here pissed that he took my cake, and he's like "whatever... it's a rock show, man."  My favorite excuse ever!  Total absolution for concert-goers!  Diplomatic immunity!!!  I guess that means I can rape the shit out of his asshole with my keychain.  Hey pal, no worries... it's a "rock show."

Whenever anything like this happens to me, I start down that path towards ridiculous "there oughta be a law!" statements.  Like, if you blatantly violate one social norm, you're exposed to retribution based on the blatant disregard of another.  For example, I say that if you cut in front of me at a show, anyone you shoved out of your way is allowed to wipe their taints all over their hands and stick their fingers in your mouth.*  I think that's fair, don't you?

Anyway, what really, really kills me is that these folks have rationalized their actions to the point where the problem doesn't even exist to these people.  So I'm left to determine their justifications based on their actions, rather than their words.  Therefore, here's why it's apparently OK to muscle a grown man out of your way:

  • "I'm drunk."
  • "I'm with my special lady."
  • "DANCE!"  (This pill-popping twat is the only person I've ever shoved in my life.)
  • "I'm a huge fan."
  • "What's the big deal, brah?"
  • Lastly, but not leastly: "hey dude... it's a rock show."
You may disagree as to the import of all this, but you cannot disagree that these are stupid reasons to justify acting like an asshole to another person.  Now, just in case you still don't know how I really feel, here's what I think about those excuses, in order:

  • Booze is no excuse.  Or was I "asking for it" by "dressing up like that"?
  • Your special lady looks like a dogshit taco with eyebrows.  Where'd you meet her, the zoo?
  • I was dancing until you elbowed me in the nuts.  Just because I'm not skanking like you (memo: it's not 1996) doesn't make you the fucking Fun Police.  Like you're gonna get the party started.  Eat a soggy dick.
  • If you're such a huge fuckin' fan, get to the show before 10.
  • That's called "nihilism," brah.  This isn't 'Nam.  There are rules.
  • Covered earlier.  But for good measure, choke on my pubes and die, you selfish, inconsiderate, worthless fucking cumstain.
There, I said it.  And I feel much better.  Maybe now I can talk about other stuff again without going nuts.  Or maybe I'll just turn into this guy.  [sound; nsfw]

* One that's been knocking around my head of late: if you park illegally, your vehicle is no longer protected by the law.  "Hey look... free car!"  Then we'll see how fast people start acknowledging parking restrictions.


  1. Have you ever noticed that at the vast majority of shows, especially before the headlining act comes on, the bouncers and security guys at the front have basically nothing to do? I have often wondered why they aren't specifically tasked with booting the cobags you describe when they try to muscle their way in. I wholeheartedly agree with your post. At the Arctic Monkeys show last year, a whole rugby team worth of drunken English louts bowled their way to the front right when the AMs came on, and there was not a damn thing anyone did, or could do, about it.

    My response to this behavior is pretty passive-aggressive. What I do is rigidly stand my ground (so the nudger doesn't get by easily) during the "jostling period" and give the jostler (or his ho) the old stink-eye as he goes by if he happens to look at me.

  2. dude- you guys are like... old.

  3. The people who inspired this post are, to a person, older than me. Age is not the issue. And I would have had a much, much angrier speech on the exact same topic ten years ago. So that right there's a bunch of bullshit.

    In case anyone else missed the point, I am not saying you are not allowed to rock out. I never once said that. Go nuts. Shove people around. Have a great time.

    But if you can't rock out where you were, tough shit. You do not push people out of the way to get what you want. That is not acceptable on any level or in any context in this world. Thinking that way is entirely devoid of merit or respect.

    You want to be close? Get there earlier. You want to push me out of the way instead? Choke on a fat dick and die. I don't care how much fun you're having.

    You want to defend that behavior, Lehr, here's your forum. Knock me out. Fire away.