concert etiquette

There’s something you should know about me, especially after reading most of these posts. I hate a lot of things. There are a lot of things that make my blood boil. One of those things is other people. Other people suck. If you don’t feel like this, you should probably go out more. Usually, I try to avoid being in large groups. Because people suck. But there are times when it’s unavoidable. And it seems like the worst in people is brought out in large crowds.

Now what I don’t hate is music. Especially seeing artists perform live. And that’s where my problems arise. I’m not rich. So I can’t afford a private show by the artist in my living room. It’s a sad reality for most of us. So I have to go see them in concert.

A concert is essentially combining something I love with something I hate. Usually what I love (the music) drowns out what I hate (everyone else), so I’ve yet to really have a negative concert experience. But there are still instances where my hatred for fellow man can’t be ignored. It seems as if all the biggest assholes in the world have conglomerated in to one room on a quest to ruin my one on one time with ______________ (musical act).

Usually it’s just one annoying thing, so my whole experience isn’t ruined and I just forget about it and enjoy the show. But this last concert was different.

I went to see Lorde at Danforth Music Hall thanks to a friend of mine providing a great early birthday present. She was flawless (read my review of her debut album here if you haven’t), but this isn’t about her. This is about everyone else there. It seems that every type of possible “concert asshole” was in attendance that night. Here’s a list of “concert assholes,” please don’t let this be you.


1. The Guy From Kijiji

Now me and my sister got free tickets, but my girlfriend still wanted to go. So the day of I started the hunt on Kijiji.

Pro-tip: people will usually panic hours before the show and sell them for a lot cheaper.

It was three hours before the show and someone messaged me from Kijiji saying they had a ticket.

Pro-tip: don’t buy concert tickets off Kijiji, use StubHub.

I didn’t really have time to do a meet-up so I told him to send the e-ticket and I’ll pay him using PayPal (the only smart thing I did). We get to the show, and wouldn’t you know it, the ticket is bogus. I leave him a very, polite, courteous, and thoughtful voicemail because of course he wouldn’t answer the phone. I then text him saying I’m filing a dispute on PayPal (this is why you use PayPal, kids) and he messages me seven million times saying it must’ve been a mistake and blah blah blah. I check my PayPal and lo and behold, this poor bastard didn’t even claim his money yet because he is of such low intelligence that he didn’t understand how to use the website. Cancelled. Lucky.

If you sell fake concert tickets for a quick buck, you’re an asshole.

2. The Scalper

Well we drove all the way there, so we did what we had to do really. Scalpers are like eagle-wolves, they see, hear and smell your lack of tickets.

I will admit that this one was very nice and helped us out in a bind. He even gave us a “discount,”

Pro-tip: Always haggle because they will sell for less.

But discount is in quotes because he was still charging $80 for a ticket that was originally $30. I guess that’s the hype behind one of the biggest songs of the year. But it’s still insanity for an artist who has one album to their name.

Scalpers are awful human beings. They take up all the tickets available from people who actually want to see the show, and sell them to those same people for twice as much. Fuck these people.

If you re-sell and mark-up tickets to twice their value, you’re an asshole.

3. The People Who Come Late and Try to Push Their Way to the Front

Assholes three through seven are actually one group of people at this particular show. And of course where would they try to go but right in fucking front of me. There was already very little space there to begin with. And I had the perfect line of sight, but why would buddy who’s 6’3″ care about me and two girls who are under five and a half feet? Him and his legion of slack jawed yokels proceed to push right in front of us and just completely block out everything. Keep in mind this is 10 minutes into a show that was already running late.

We then ask to go in front of them because we can’t see and they graciously (just kidding) eventually move out of the way. But of course, with a group of assholes like this, the fun didn’t end there!

If you come late to a concert and push your way to the front, you’re an asshole.

4. The Talkers

Now that they’re behind me, I think I can finally enjoy the show. Jokes on me, I can now hear every mundane thing these mouthbreathers talk about. Oh my she’s 16?!?! Who knew!!! She’s so adorable? Wow. Riveting. And this wasn’t sparse, or in between songs. This was during the songs. Why the fuck do you come to a show to have a friendly chat with your friends? And why do you have to yell your entire conversation out loud for everybody to hear. Nobody gives a shit about how stupid you are. We don’t need to hear it.

Here’s a little trick: Cup your hands, go to your friend, put your hands near his or her ear, and whisper. It’s weird that the sound actually travels in this magical cylinder you just made! Isn’t physics spectacular?

If you have full-out conversations at a concert, you’re an asshole.

5. The Person Who Doesn’t Understand Personal Space

I’ve already touched a bit on this, but when you invade my spot for one, that space now has to fit two. I can feel you breathing on me. I’m hearing every intimate detail about your life because you’re mouth is one inch behind my ears and you’re yelling. I literally can’t move anywhere. Aren’t you uncomfortable? I get this is a concert and the venue packs people in like sardines, but I should still have some space.

This is especially why I hate shows with a more hardcore sound, because at those shows people just love getting touchy the closer you are to the front. The stage-rush is just a brutal experience, and luckily this show didn’t have that.

If you are almost holding my hand at a show, you’re an asshole.

6. The Ashlee Simpsons

I understand completely that you know all the words and you love the artist and you want to sing until your lungs are sore. Most of the time I’ll accept it. Hearing 30,000 people sing Swing Life Away in perfect harmony is one of my favourite concert moments of all time. Those crowd moments are awesome.

But, if you can’t sing, just shut the fuck up.

Seriously. You are tone-deaf. Can you hear it? Your friends probably make fun of you behind your back about how awful your voice sounds.

I’ll be the first to admit that my singing is not pleasant so I have a very low bar for acceptable concert singing. Her voice was way below that bar. She was also yelling the song as if she was the second coming of Mariah Carey. I seriously contemplated punching her in the larynx.

The worst part is that this self-admitting huge fan got a lot of the lyrics wrong. It was to Royals. Just go home.

If you can’t sing but try anyways, you’re an asshole.

7. The Guy Recording The Entire Show

This guy is literally holding his camera up the entire show recording a video. Why are you doing that? Why not just focus on experiencing it first hand rather than making sure you have a lasting second-hand memory. That video will never compare to what you can witness live, and here you are not focusing on what’s in front of you just so that video will be perfect. Just a waste of space at the show. Just check YouTube for clips of the artist, it’ll be the same.

If you record the entire show, you’re an asshole.

8. The Guy On His iPad

This is similar to number seven, but actually worse. Because instead of a camera, this dude brought his iPad mini. Yes, he’s recording the entire thing with an 8″ tablet. Jesus Christ is this generation doomed. No he ddin’t put it down. Why do I know that? Because his iPad is a distraction. People behind him (luckily not me) probably couldn’t see the whole show because this guy’s stupid tablet was in the way. This affects people a lot more than recording with a camera because it actually blocks the stage. Great job you’re doing for your grainy low-res video you will never watch again!

I mean, at least be number seven and use a camera, this is beyond obnoxious. I actually can’t believe people do this. I’m actually pretty sure he watched the whole thing from his screen.

If you bring an iPad to a concert, you’re an asshole.

9. The Photographer

This is something that everyone is guilty of (even me!) and it’s a product of the new social media generation. If there’s no picture on Instagram or Facebook, were you even at the concert?

I’m not saying don’t take pictures, but some people are excessive. When Lorde came to our side of the stage, every phone was up within seconds to get that glorious, in-focus, up-close, post-able picture. And it’s never enough, because the next time she appears on the side of the stage it’s the same thing. Everyone has their phone out trying to get that perfect picture. Here’s the secret of life though. Every concert picture (unless you are in the very front row, in which case fuck you) in existence is actually the same. If you don’t caption it, I will probably never know who’s in the picture.

And the pictures aren’t even for ourselves anymore. It’s for other people. To prove you’re there, to show off, to get that all important like.

It’s a sad life we all live, where getting a like is more important than the moment that created it.

Watch the show. Enjoy it. Live in the moment.

And here’s possibly the best pro-tip of them all.

Pro-tip: Take pictures during songs you don’t like so you can pay attention to the ones you actually do.

If your phone is constantly out at a concert, you’re an asshole.

10. The Artist


Lorde was amazing. Her voice was on point, hitting every note. She’s a real talent. As a performer she’s still a little awkward, I’ll admit with her creepy dinosaur hands. But she was great. She even covered Hold My Liquor by Kanye West in her own fantastic way. She also came out in a Leafs jersey. This is where I ask myself how one girl can be so perfect, and then remind myself that she is still underage.

But Lorde has all of 14 songs on her catalogue. They’re also not very long. She could’ve played them all and still had time for the covers that she did. And yet she didn’t.

That’s okay, maybe she just didn’t play the weaker ones?

Nope, the girl decided not to play her current single, Team. Why would you do that to me? Not play one of the best songs on your new album, especially when you don’t have many songs to begin with.

Maybe she ran out of time?

Nope, she played for about an hour, with no encore.

I’ll admit encores are the stupidest thing ever (just play the extra three songs, we know you’re coming back from behind the stage), but when you only play for an hour and leave the fans hanging like that? C’mon now.

If you’re an artist who plays for a shorter period of time and excludes one of your better songs, you’re an asshole. Just kidding, Lorde, I love you.


That’s 10 assholes. They were all at Lorde. Despite them, I still managed to enjoy the show. But if you’re at a concert and you’re one of these people, I hate you. Just kidding, I probably already do.


people are jerks!!!


say something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s