I just finished up my millionth rock show, yes I’m over exaggerating. I’ve lost count of how many shows I’ve been to.
My comfort zone is the tight quarters of a heavy metal show. It’s a bit of a religious experience. I feel energized and less stressed about the world. It’s a great escape for anyone passionate about music.
I attended my first “Rock” show when I was 13, I’m 27 now which means I’ve done a lot of moshing and I’ve seen some shit. So why not share some expectations and courtesies for those who have never been.
Number 1: You have to be comfortable around crowds
Your space bubble is non-existent at a rock show. Be prepared for every part of your body being touched. By the end of the show, it smells like a sea of homeless drunk people. People are going to be at times, underneath you, on you, on every side of you, and you just have to enjoy the ride. My first time pressed in a sea of people I panicked. I couldn’t move and I didn’t have control of myself. I ended up pushing and pulling my way out. Now, I love the feeling of the crowd swaying.
Number 2: Wear something comfortable.
You’re gonna be standing for about 6 hours, I have my dedicated concert attire, black leggings, rock shirt, and converse like shoes. Every show that is my exact attire. I tried the dressing up thing and I was miserable. You’re gonna sweat and get pretty gross if you’re near the pit. There’s always that sweaty excited motherfucker who rubs their armpits all over you.
Number 3: Be understanding at all times.
Everyone there is there to escape and watch a show. Leave your fucking ego at the door and enjoy yourself. If you’re there to fight or be an all around asshole you’re gonna ruin the experience for yourself and everyone around you. Don’t be that person. Help people off the ground. Don’t fight over stupid shit. Help people navigate through the crowd. Get the crowd surfers to the front. If you bump into someone smile and rock out with them. Just don’t be an asshole.
Number 4: Don’t protect your girlfriend.
Nothing pisses me off more than the rocker dude taking his girlfriend to her first show in the pit and then tries to protect her the entire time. He’s the one who gets angry cause people from the pit are slamming into him and his girlfriend is miserable. If you’re in the pit you HAVE TO HOLD YOUR OWN. It’s a fucking free-for-all and no one can be protected.
Number 5: Weed, Cigarettes, and Beer Crowd Surf Too
A lot of questionable things get passed through the crowd. When someone finishes a beer the cup, almost empty, gets thrown into the crowd. You’ll get occasional cigarette ash burn, just take it like a champ. There’s always someone smoking weed in the crowd. He or she lights up about 4 joints and passes it around for the rest of the stoners. If you don’t smoke, just keep passing it to the next person.
Number 6: Bands love mosh pits
If you get caught in a mosh pit you don’t want to be in, the best thing to do is move away from the center of the venue stage. It’s also a great way to get to the front stage. Mosh pits work like a cell, the inside of the pit is protected by a circle of dudes acting as a shell to keep the pit going. If you hear from the stage “OPEN THIS FUCKING PIT UP” figure out where you want to be.
Number 7: Always have an escape plan set
In this day in age, we have a lot of assholes on planet earth who want people dead for no reason. the first thing you need to do when you walk into a venue is knowing where all the exits are. In case of an emergency know where you and your friends are heading.
Number 8: People go to shows to Crowd Surf, help them.
Lend a hand to get those people up in the air. Boost them, throw them up, whatever. Keep on the lookout for people coming above you. You don’t want to get kicked in the head cause you weren’t paying attention. And don’t drop people. In really super tight crowds in order to get out is to surf to the front. We once surfed a girl who was experiencing heat stroke. She was unconscious and it was the quickest way to get her to the paramedic.
Number 9: Wear Hearing Protection
I used to be able to be at shows without earplugs. But now I can’t do it. I like to be close to the stage right next to the speakers. I saw disturbed in Midland and was sooo thankful I stopped and grabbed ear plugs. You can actually hear the show better when you wear them.
Number 10: Stop watching the show through your FUCKING cellphone.
You paid to be there so be there. No one gives a flying fuck about the shit quality video from your phone. Stop being that person. Take a few photos cool, but don’t let it be a distraction to those around you. Watch the show, connect with the crowd and the performers on the stage.
Most importantly, enjoy the show.