Tuesday, 29 April 2014

What Kind Of Gig-Goer Are You?

The next time you're at a gig, take a look at the people around you. How different are they all, not just in appearance but their attitude when it comes to the show environment? I'm a self-confessed people-watcher, so no matter what situation I'm in, I'll be keeping a subtle eye out for all the people around me, just to gauge what to expect from them. There's the ones to steer clear of if you want to leave with all limbs intact, the ones to cling to if a pit forms near you - but what kind of gig-goer are you?

The reckless mosher.
Personal space and safety aside, these guys are the ones to avoid if you value your nose. You'll usually see them coming, generally through the parting of the Red Sea crowd as they make their way like a devastating hurricane towards you.

The one that does absolutely nothing.
Do they even breathe? Either they don't know the band and were just dragged along by a friend/partner, they don't know the band well enough to join in, or they're just far too socially awkward to show any emotion or enjoyment.

The one that knows every word, and lets everyone else know about it.
Whether they're mouthing, singing or screaming the lyrics back to the band, they think they know it all. But these are the ones to watch when it comes to a commonly misheard lyric or a particularly fast rap, watching them suffer is golden.

The drunk/the one that's on acid.
Stumbling over thin air, accidentally starting pits in between songs... they'll be your best friend in a crowd as long as you stay on their good side and sing along with them.

The nodding dog.
This needs no explanation.

The one who keeps throwing shit.
Not literally faeces, well, not always anyway. They'll hurl anything they can get their hands on, whether it's a full cup of beer/unidentified liquid, a shoe or another person. You're safe as long as this guy is standing right next to you, and gives you enough warning to duck.

The one that just bought all the merch.
You can see them from a mile off - everything you saw pinned to the merch boards on your way in is now on their back. No matter how cold it was waiting for doors, they purposefully wore as little as possible so they could throw on the entire merch stand later. From hoodies to tour shirts, bandanas to beanies, right the way down to the novelty hot pants, they're coated in that same band logo. To the untrained eye, they look like the most dedicated fan known to mankind, but in reality they just brought a hell of a lot of cash with them that night.

The one holding their camera up the entire time.
You do realise that iPhone quality video won't show anything more than a dark room, blinding lights and crappy audio? Nevertheless, I think we're all guilty of this, even if it's just to take one photo to assert our self-confidence in the fact we definitely attended this gig.

The one that's only there to drool over the singer.
Because nobody loves the bassist, right? You're safe with this kind of gig-goer providing said singer doesn't make eye contact with them, or worse, point at them, by which point they've lost their proverbial shit and spontaneously flailing limbs occur.

The one who will stop at nothing to catch a pick/drumstick.
These kids are snipers in the making - eagle eyesight, perfect aim... okay so that last one is interchangeable, if you're slapped in the face by one of these, don't take offence, it's not intentional, it's all in the name of taking a miniscule pick home to immediately lose down the back of the dresser.

The one who can't dance but tries to anyway.
1. Gauge the tempo of the music.
2. Judge the style of dancing acceptable for the genre.
3. Scope whether there are any attractive girls/guys nearby that you don't want to embarrass yourself in front of.
4. Measure how much space you have around you to jig effectively.
5. Ignore all of the above and do whatever the hell you want.

The one who's trying to make friends with everyone.
You're standing at the barrier and you can hear the faint mumbles of a mouse in the Grand Canyon. Guess what? It's Mr Friendly stood next to you, trying to spark up a conversation when you can't even hear yourself think, never mind his small talk. In any other situation, you'd be flattered by the attention, but right now, you just don't have the supersonic hearing of Wolverine to listen to what he has to say about his day. This is what we gig-goers invented our sign language for. We only know the signs for 'drink?', 'let's go', and 'corr that drummer's gorgeous, I want to add him to my collection of kidnapped band members'.

The moral of the story is - it's okay to be any one of these kinds of people, as long as you follow the wise words of Bill and Ted...

I'm the nodding dog and the one who knows all the lyrics (or pretends to) - what kind of person are you at a gig?

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