Concerts are awesome. There are few pleasures in life greater than that moment when you and your fellow fans erupt in a cheer of recognition as one of your favorite bands launches into one of your favorite songs. You feel good to be alive at such moments, and instantly connected to a roomful of strangers in a way that can be profound, even life-changing.
But at other times, some of those strangers can be a serious buzz kill. Whether they're outright rude or just oblivious to their surroundings, they encroach on your space and take you out of the moment with a mixture of cluelessness and entitlement that can throw off your whole night.
Here are the 10 worst types of concertgoers, listed roughly in order from mildly annoying to downright infuriating. Avoid them if you can — and whatever you do, for God's sake make sure you're not actually being one of them. By practicing basic concert etiquette, together we can all make one another's live music experiences that much more enjoyable.
10. The tall dude who shows up right as the band starts playing.
You've staked out a prime vantage point and guarded it with sharp elbows and a wide stance through the entire opening act and changeover. Now here comes the headliner you've waited months to see — and five seconds into their first song, a shaved Sasquatch appears out of nowhere and posts up directly in front of you. Not cool, Stretch, not cool.
9. Anyone who yells “Free Bird.”
You know that shit stopped being funny since before Allen Collins died, right? And if you don't know who Allen Collins is, you really have no business yelling “Free Bird,” even if you happen to be at an actual Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.
8. The couple who are way more into each other than the music.
All you happy concert couples holding hands and sharing the occasional smooch? Adorable! Let your love light shine, you crazy kids. But when holding hands turns to groping and smooches turn to tongue wrestling, you're just making it awkward for the rest of us. Keep it in your pants until after the show, please.
7. That one guy who keeps unsuccessfully trying to start a mosh pit.
Chill out, bro. You're at an Interpol concert, not Warped Tour circa 1997.
6. The vape chimney.
I don't care that it's vapor, not smoke — it's still gross and it's still obscuring my view of the stage. Take that shit out to the smoking patio, Mr. Vape Ape.
5. The people shooting video on their phones the whole time.
So here's a thing no one in human history has ever actually said: “Dude, I'm so bummed I missed the show last night! Can I watch your shaky video with its blown-out sound and pretend I was there?” Put down your phone for two seconds, Tarantino. All you're documenting is your inability to live in the present.
4. The chatterboxes.
Yelling in your friends' ears at loud concerts is fun and I heartily endorse it. When you offer to get your pal a drink and he replies, “Yeah, I'd love to see Drake!” — it's high-larious. But when the band breaks out a quiet ballad and everyone goes on yelling at each other — including your pal, who is now loudly telling you about this awesome “Fake Love” remix he just heard — well, it kinda makes you feel sorry for bands who still insist on playing ballads in this shrill, shouty world of ours.
3. The bro patrols on the prowl.
Contrary to popular belief among certain male members of our society, single women do not go to concerts looking to hook up. A lot of them are actually just really into the music! Which means they're super-duper not into repeatedly declining your crew's offer to buy them shots.
2. The selfie squads.
Listen, I get that we live in a “pics or it didn't happen” world. But when one quick group shot would have sufficed, you're now 20 photos deep in an orgy of narcissism, pouty lips and faux gang signs. Trust me, your fellow Snapchatters aren't that impressed with how close you got to the stage or how on fleek your outfit is. And yeah, I bet you still say “on fleek.”
1. The “this show sucks but I don't wanna give up my spot” guy.
This one seems to be a uniquely and dishearteningly L.A. phenomenon: At almost every show, there's at least one dude (and it's usually a dude) standing square in the middle of the dance floor or that sweet spot about 10 feet in front of the sound board. His arms are folded and there's a scowl etched on his face that looks as if it's been there since the Clinton administration. Who is this guy? Why doesn't he just leave? Could he at least move to the back and not be such a flagrantly positioned fart in human form? Presumably he works in the music industry, or he's a critic, or maybe he's a bitter, washed-up musician who takes perverse pleasure in going to shows and sending “you suck” vibes in the general direction of more successful bands. Whoever he is, he's part of a sourpuss army that inexplicably goes to way too many shows in this town. Keep that scowl at home, guys. Life's too short to be mad at a concert. Unless there's a selfie squad blocking your view.