The first concert I ever attended just with friends was in 1999 and was a Goo Goo Dolls concert where Tonic opened.
Yes, that’s right. And then I saw the Goo Goo Dolls five more times after that.
What I’m saying is, I’ve been to big arena concerts, I’ve been to tiny bar concerts, and one thing is always the same: the people (and, let’s be real, beer always costs at least $7 and someone is always awkwardly passing around a joint).
1. The Middle Aged Group There For A Night Out
It could be a group of PTA moms, it could be some aging hipster dads, it could be a group of married couples. The one thing they all have in common is they left their kids (and/ or worries) at home and they are ready to PAR-TAY.
What to expect: A lot of screaming, a lot of talking loudly to each other and maybe even some “I’m having the best time!” action.
What to watch out for: They might rope you into taking a picture of them all holding drinks or doing their college handshake or throwing a gang sign they know nothing about. No matter what, they’re laughing and you’re annoyed.
2. The Girl Dancing Alone
Now, she’s not necessarily there alone, but she’s THERE alone, if you get what I mean. She’s enjoying the music on a whole other level from her companions (if there are any) and is dancing and experiencing the show as if she is on another planet.
What to expect: A lot of eyes-closed swaying action or jumping up and down, depending on what the song calls for.
What to watch out for: Vomit.
3. The Dude Holding Onto His Girlfriend For Dear Life
This dude is there for his girlfriend/wife/partner and only her. He knows she’s hotter than he is and so when she says she wants to see an indie singer-songwriter he’s never heard of, he’s going to be there in a heartbeat to hold onto her. Literally and figuratively.
What to expect: SO much spooning standing up.
What to watch out for: If he thinks you’re trying to make him release his tenuous hold on her even though you’re just trying to get back to your friends with the beers, he WILL push you.
4. The Person Wearing The Tee Shirt Of The Band AT The Concert
This tends to happen more at arena shows. I guess these people figure they’re already shelling out so much money to be there they might as well get their money’s worth out of the shirts, too. By wearing them as soon as humanly possible.
What to expect: This is a person who came here with clothes on, bought a new shirt and put it ON OVER THEIR CLOTHES. They’re an unpredictable concert breed and can range from small child to old die-hard fans and anything in between.
What to watch out for: Talking too loudly about them within earshot. I’m sorry, but I can’t help it. Unless you’re under 13, you can wait until tomorrow to wear your new shirt.
NB: There is also a possibility that you will see a person wearing a tee shirt of the band from a different tour. That is not who I am discussing here.
5. The Drunk People
These people, much like the Middle Aged Group mentioned earlier are there to have fun and get drunk and MAYBE hear some music. But the concert is really the bottom of their priorities.
What to expect: Drunk people.
What to watch out for: Drunk people. More vomit. Fights. My friend got punched in the face at a Vanilla Ice concert once (in the late 90’s…) by a presumably very drunk man with a large ring on.
6. The Horrible Clappers
I’m against clapping with any song at any concert. The main reason is everyone is terrible at clapping in rhythm. The other reason is that some people think they are AWESOME at clapping and try to initiate clapping on their own.
What to expect: Clapping that makes you cringe.
What to watch out for: The Horrible Clappers trying to START clapping when they haven’t been asked to by the musician. Shut them down!
7. The Overly Enthusiastic Fans Who Know EVERYTHING
Look, I’m not too cool to care about things. I’m really not. I like knowing things about bands and musicians and I like being a fan for a long time and everything. But there’s always that person at a concert who knows TOO much.
What to expect: A lot of chatter to whoever they’re with about what the other set lists on the tour have been like, how X band member is feeling after their illness, how the lead singer’s dog is faring on the road.
What to watch out for: This person might try to strike up a conversation with you. It won’t be enjoyable.
8. The Girl Who Yells “Marry Me”
I mean, I guess a guy could yell marry me to a female singer as well but you mostly hear this from girls. Let’s be honest. #amIrightladies
What to expect: Basically just a girl finding the right moment to yell “marry me” causing an awkward situation. Even if he responds, it’s still weird it happened.
What to watch out for:
Sometimes The Girl Dancing Alone can become one of The Drunk People and then turn into The Girl Who Yells “Marry Me.”
9. The Guy Who WHOOOOOOS As Loudly As Possible During a Quiet Moment
He might be my most hated person at a concert. Because his is a calculated disturbance.
What to expect: This happens generally in between songs. For the truly ruthless Guy Who WHOOOOOOS As Loudly As Possible During a Quiet Moment, he waits for a low moment in the MIDDLE of a song to do it. Diabolical.
What to watch out for: Your buzz being harshed.
10. The Person Dragged There By Their Significant Other
Not to be confused with The Dude Holding Onto His Girlfriend For Dear Life. The Person Dragged There By Their Significant Other is bored. This person is NOT pulling it together for the sake of their significant other.
What to expect: A lot of subtle and not-so-subtle complaints about the experience. A lot of leaving for the restroom, bar, etc.
What to watch out for: If you’re near this person, you might have to get out of their way a lot. Also, you might want to punch them because, duh. Downer.