My first concert was in 1999—I saw Jay Z, Redman, Method Man and DMX on their ‘Hard Knock Life’ Tour. Now why on earth would a 6 year old ever go to such a concert? Well my dad used to work at the Air Canada Centre and my 11 year old brother wanted to see them, so I tagged along as kid chaperone with my mum. Despite the fact that I fell asleep from all of the uhm…herbal smoking around me, it was a great first concert – I’ll never forget the rappers dropping from the ceiling, Cirque du Soleil style.
Anyways, since then I’ve been to a wide variety of shows—Everything from Destiny’s Child in elementary school, to Avril Lavigne in middle school, Warped Tour, AP Tour, OP Tour etc. in my high school years to Metric, The Arkells & Macklemore for the second time this past weekend. The point is, I’ve been to a wide range of shows in my 19 year life time.
If you’re curious, yes I went through the fan girl stage—I admit it. Hands shaking, heart beating when I first met John O’Callaghan of The Maine, dying a little the moment Joel Kanitz of This Century told me I had gorgeous hair & happily writing NO ZOOM as the caption of every picture I took while being pushed up against the barricades in the front row. The truth is, I still love all of the bands I waited in the cold for, the bands that I screamed for in large sweaty crowds—but I’ve realized that they meet about a million other people a day, those moments that meant the world to me, were just regular happenings in their lives.
Now, I’m sure you’ve seen the fan girl at concerts—just to clarify, I was never the one throwing a bra on stage or yelling slander (such as “I’ll crowd surf my vagina to you” overheard at a recent show), I was an innocent youngin who thought tattooed, sweaty band boys were damn hot. And let’s be real, they are—but they’re never going to get on one knee and propose to some random Canadian fan girl who can recite all their lyrics back to them. My point is ‘the fan girl’ is at every show, I know you’ve seen her. But she’s not the only one there. I’m going to take this time to discuss 5 other people you’ll always run into.
The Snarky Diva
The girl in 6-inch heels, a skimpy outfit, caked on makeup and jewelry galore. They normally push through the crowd, of actual fans, trying to get up close to the stage and have the artist notice them. Sorry chica, this is a concert, not a fashion show.
Viewed: I saw this girl at The Heist Tour recently. She wore studded Litas, a skirt & tube top. She aggressively pushed through the crowd, telling people to stop getting mad and just smile. She later burned a girl with her cigarette and climbed on her diva friend’s shoulders, dropping her clutch.
Outcome: Macklemore did not notice her (big surprise), her hair looked like a rat’s nest & I saw her fall—Karma’s a bitch honey.
The Illegal Drunk
The under aged teen who uses a fake ID to get into the show. They get a little excited at the bar & forget that this is a concert, not a club.
Viewed: There was once a guy in front of me—must have been about 16. He was your typical outlandish drunk. At one point he started recording a video on his iPhone and as I looked to see his shaky footage I noticed he was not filming the stage but instead had the camera flipped and was filming himself & everyone else around him—including me.
Outcome: He probably woke up with his first hangover, didn’t remember the show & soon realized he got no footage of it either—at least he could hear the video? He most likely didn’t post those videos online – or he did, with a caption something like this: OMFG WAS SO SMASHED LAST NIGHT LMFAO LOL!
The Parent Chaperone
It’s their kids first concert and godforbid they go out there alone.
Viewed: Parents in Mum jeans, holding their kids coats and places in line while they go to run after bands pulling into the parking lot. Or even worse, the parents inside that are so quiet you almost don’t realize their grey hair next to you in the mosh pit, earplugs stuffed comfortably in both ears.
Outcomes: Parents will be super tired and forever question what happened to the music scene. Maybe they’ll trust their kid a bit more after realizing they didn’t die in the ‘scary world’ of concerts. Next time stay home, or go down the street for a drink & be there to escort 14 yr old Freddy home when the show’s over!
The Not so Friendly Giant
Regardless of how tall you are, someone taller always ends up right in front of you. I swear it’s a curse.
Viewed: Last week, not only was the guy in front of me shy of seven foot, but he felt the need to raise those incredibly long arms and capture every moment on his phone. Really man?
Outcome: They get up to the front cause they’re tall enough to see the little gaps they can push through. Everyone behind them is left with the not so wonderful sight of their head.
The Tag Teams
These people are often dressed in band merch, and link up with their friends in attempts to get to the front of the venue. They sometimes even crowd surf to make their way there—nothing will stop them.
Viewed: Last week, I saw numerous tag teams. They were loud, aggressive and disgustingly sweaty. They walk with their arms up, killing everyone with their BO, easily getting right to the front row. They’re not afraid to swear, scream, push or get hurt.
Outcome: They get to the front, but they’ll gain many haters along the way. They’ll leave the venue bruised and so sweaty it looks like they were pushed into a pool. They’ll create many nauseated facial reactions from people in the crowd and it’s very likely they lost something in the craziness that was the mosh pit.
I can go on for days—the clingy couple, the middle-aged group, the person that doesn’t even know who’s performing and more. But I think I’ll stop here. Concerts are crazy fun, and bring memories that will last forever. But sometimes I’ve considered sitting in the back and people watching. The crowd at each concert varies, but it’s very likely that these same 5 characters will always be found.
Tweet us @RUStudentLife and let us know your #personalfave concert moments—and the people you absolutely can’t stand that you’ll find in every crowd.