Leslie Cook

Seven Rules for Concert Etiquette

In In My Opinion..., Pet Peeves on August 3, 2011 at 8:24 am

Last night, Norm and I attended a concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. It was a lovely summer evening perfect for sitting out in and open-air venue and listening to nostalgia-inducing dinosaur rock. All went well until the 4 “ladies” 2 rows in front of us arrived. If you’ve ever attended a nostalgia tour, you’ll know that the crowds tend to be enthusiastic but not fanatical. We’re usually older people who remember the band(s) when they first hit the music scene. We want to hear their greatest hits and one or two newer songs. We tend not to be the screaming “on your feet” crowds that attend U2 or Lady GaGa concerts. Apparently no one informed the “ladies” of the rules of polite concert attending. As I sat in my seat last night, mostly enjoying the music, but getting annoyed at the antics of the miscreants in front of me, thought it would be useful to compile a short list of rules that will save everyone grief and possibly save lives. With no further ado, here is my list of Concert Etiquette.

  1. Be aware of the type of concert you’re attending. We know, it’s a concert. You drink and smoke and it’s supposed to be the one place you can let go. We get that. But be aware of the type of concert you’re attending. Let’s face it, if you jump up scream during the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, you’re going to be escorted out of the venue or attacked by the patrons. We all love Beethoven but try and contain yourself.
  2. If everyone at the concert is seated and you’re the only one standing, you might want to take a seat. Yes you’re excited to be there. We’re all excited for you. But unless you’re made of clear glass, your standing body is blocking our view of the stage. Don’t spend the entire concert on your feet when we’re all trying to see the stage and the performers though your extended arms.
  3. Try not to spill your beer on the people around you. The only time we want to smell like beer is when we’re drinking it. We don’t want to feel it trickling down our necks or pouring down our legs unless it’s coming out of our glasses. This goes for wine, frozen margaritas, and any fluids that is in or around you.
    Exception: This rule can be waived for outdoor daytime concerts when the temperature is 90 degrees or more.
  4. Don’t touch the person next to you unless you know them. We know you have lots in common with us. After all, we like the same music. But please, please, please, stop putting your hands on our knees or shoulders. Stop poking us with your well manicured nails. If you much touch something, touch the person you came with.
  5. Limit your departures and returns to 4 per concert. With all of that beer in your system, We know it can be difficult to remain in your seat for the entire length of the 2 hour concert. And, hey, you have to get refills on the unlimited cup of Bud that you’re carrying. All we ask is that you limit your departures a little. We get tired of letting you out 10-12 times during a concert. It’s distracting. And sometimes it hurts our feet when you tread on them when you pass. Next time, consider Depends and supersizing the cup.
  6. Don’t talk over the performers. Yes your life is interesting. We’re sure your sex life with Bob Dole is fantastic and we know you need to share this with your best friend. But please don’t do it now. We want to see the concert. We paid good money to see the people on stage. We really don’t care that your new hairdresser is charging you extra for that one gray hair that keeps popping up. Watch the concert. Talk later.
  7. Don’t be the loud singer. Ok, I have to admit that this one is a reminder for me. I do view concerts as a karaoke venue. And I know for a fact that the performers at some concerts want you to sing along. But if the person on stage stops gives you a dirty look and hands you the microphone, it may be time to tone it down a bit. To paraphrase my husband, “I’m paying to hear the performer sing, not to attend a sing-a-long.”

Feel free to let me know what you’d like to add to the rule!


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