Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Concert Hazards: A Guide

Ah, "going to shows". So worth blowing money on, and so many fabulous ones to go to this fall! Some stuff I’m excited for includes Chelsea Wolfe on Friday the 13th (perfect), Clinic at Glasslands next Tuesday, the Frankie Rose release at Bowery Ballroom, and the Pendu showcase at Europa. All of this is wonderful. But do you know what is not wonderful? CONCERT HAZARDS. They can be night ruiners: people ODin' (electric zoo-yikes), creepers creepin', jacked-up alt bros knockin' fools to the floor! These are all things that any seasoned concert-goer will (hopefully) avoid, but what about the littler things, the less-serious things? These less-serious things are unfortunately kind of unavoidable. Here are a few of them:

Okay, so I gotta own up to something: on labor day weekend I took a picture of Liars performing at MoMa PS 1 with my phone. I felt like kind of a bitchass, but not really, because I didn't spend like ten minutes composing my ultimately-shitty concert picture. I raised my arm, pointed my phone in the direction of the stage, snapped a picture, and waited until AFTER the show to post it on Instagram. The whole thing took maybe two seconds. I feel like this is acceptable behavior. Get in and get out, as they say.

But, as always, there are those who cross the line. I do not understand people who will hold their glowing phones in the air for one minute-plus, which, in cell-phone-picture-taking land, is an eternity. It's like, look, I know that you are "killing it on Vine" or whatever, but don't you think you could maybe, I don't know, watch the show?! Also, I don't know if you know this, but you are ruining the show for other people. Your phone is in my line of vision. Your phone is BLOCKING MY VIEW OF WESLEY EISOLD.
Why would you do this to me? Deplorable. Unforgivable. (Good God, what a handsome man!)

Why do they hate me? All the time it's like I get this super "fresh" attitude. Normally I am in support of "fresh" attitudes. I am not one of those people who complains about how the people at Beacon's Closet or whatever are soooo mean. I am not afraid of shop girls, I am not afraid of bartenders, and I am not afraid of goth-y artisan jewelry makers at the flea market. It's the door people who scare me. The Silent Barn door people are the scariest. 285 comes in a close second. Over the Fourth of July I had purchased two tickets for the Gigawatts festival, one for myself and my one for my good college friend, Ben. We entered the courtyard outside the venue and I told the door girls that I had two tix reserved under my name.

“Aw, really?” one of the girls said disparagingly, like I was some fresh-off-the-boat person who didn’t know anything about anything around here. It was just another way of saying “oh how cute, she reserved tickets for the big cool concert. ” Ugh! Why is that shit necessary! I don’t know. Maybe it’s good that door people are often dicks because somebody needs to be mean to all these vanilla bastards who are ruining everything for everyone. But shouldn’t they at least be civil to me, a non-bitchass? Whatever. I ain’t special and neither is anybody else. Bring on the death stares, I guess? Speaking of door drama, check it out:

Huh??? The shock, the embarrassment, the forking over of your money to the door person who hates you! After she stamps your wrist with a little black star you walk into the venue, shamed, disgraced... and dang mad! What is the meaning of this! When you are romantically involved with somebody and they do not put you on the list even when you say that you are “almost positive” you're going make it... I have no words. And then you stand in the crowd and all of the other band girlfriends got in for free and you didn’t and it’s like, fuck. It’s not even about being out seven bucks (b.f.d.). I should be on the list- not just the guest list, but your list! I should be number one on your list of favorite people. In a case like this, not being on the list is a hazard that lingers far after the show has ended.

Oh well, some things are not meant to be. There are other shows, other people. I’m cool with not being on any list right now. Nothing beats the thrill of racing against the clock to purchase tickets to a show that is about to sell out! But anyway, let’s end this list of concert hazards on a crass and maybe humorous note...

Last year I bought tickets to see Magik Markers and Psychic Ills at 285. However, I couldn't go because I think a pipe burst and shit was raining everywhere? Obviously, the show was subsequently cancelled. Which reminds me: I heard a rumor that a certain promoter claims to have reached inside "the throne" at 285 way back in the day to remove the turd that was clogging the toilet WITH HIS OWN BARE HANDS.

Hahahahahaha. Luckily I have never witnessed anything akin to the above situations. Normally it goes a little something like this: there is never toilet paper. There is never soap. There are never paper towels. You will wait in a long-ass line for the one bathroom in the whole place and you will be on the verge of peeing your pants. When the dude in front of you exits the bathroom you burst in there "like a bat out of hell" and slam the door behind you, barely having time to fumble with the shitty little lock on the door knob. After you finally get to go, you will wash your hands and wipe them on your jeans and and stare helplessly at all the beer cans on the back of the toilet seat. Which one of them is yours? Fuck it, you say, and you grab a beer that you are pretty sure is yours and hope for the best. then you hurry back out and hope that nobody hates you for taking too long (did I take too long? Or was that like, normal speed?) or thinks you spilled beer all over yourself because there are dark wet spots on your jeans.

As you can see, I get really stressed out about using the bathroom at these kind of things. Sometimes I will just walk up to the roof but that's kinda nasty and disrespectful to the intrepid maniacs who are letting hundreds of people get fucked up and listen to live music in their freaking house, so I try to keep that behavior to a minimum.

You know what, I would like to retract one of the above statements. Sometimes there is soap, but when I say “soap” I mean a bunch of water that somebody poured into an empty softsoap bottle and shook up a bunch of times in the true DIY spirit. However, nothing is more DIY than digging shit out of a toilet with your own two hands. Bravo, bravo.

It’s amazing how one little annoyance can tinge your evening with a dull sense of disappointment. After spending all day getting ready and painting your nails and planning your outfit like it was the prom while blasting the new album with the new songs that you can’t fucking wait to hear- it hurts when something happens to make the whole thing not-so-fun. Usually these little things are easy to brush off, but sometimes that withering look stays with you and the cell phone auteurs make you feel depressed for your generation and you hate all those people in the bathroom line who are staring at you because you didn't piss fast enough. What to do? I’ll tell you what not to do: DON’T be a Debbie Downer and harsh everybody’s vibe. That is a concert hazard in itself. Suck it up, try to ignore whatever petty trifles are pissing you off and just enjoy the show. Remember how you were counting down the days? Remember how you were in such a great mood on the day of the show at your shitty job? Don’t forget that. Here you are. There is loud music playing. Later in your life you can tell people that you saw them live and that they were fantastic.

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