Concerts attract the worst human beings
These past few weeks the news has reminded us of the worst that mankind can offer, whether it be the subversion of the food chain to earn a few more gold coins, the brutal murder of one’s partner, or simply David Cameron’s continued existence and foray into pop music. In light of this you may be thinking that all the lowest forms of human existence have been exhausted, yet there remains a bastion where the lowest of the low continue to reside, the concert.
For some reason unbeknownst to me, concerts seem to attract the worst humanity has to offer, in higher concentrations than activities such as war or banking do. Below is my comprehensive and fully researched guide to those who ruin our concerts.
The Tone Deaf
The deep raspy breathing of the person behind you in the preamble is enough to anticipate the poor shouty singing which you are going to have to deal with when the band come on. At the time it feels as though it is harder to consistently miss the notes than to hit them, yet they perpetually shock you with their ability to maintain that semitone dissonance throughout the whole gig.
Can be sweaty, sticky, or dry. Speaks for itself.
Whether it be mobile phone or camera (unacceptable) to Ipad (downright insulting) the catalogers inability to live for the moment truly beggars belief. Obviously taking a photo or two is acceptable (if somewhat pointless on such poor equipment) but those that record a whole 90 minute concert stood stoically are without salvation. Even as the lactic acid builds up in their arms they power through making sure all is archived, scorning those who may nudge them by dancing out of their allotted personal space. There is a special place in hell reserved for the catalogers. Within it their phones are perpetually on low battery, every time they become complacent about their situation their battery cuts out. This debacle restarts daily, after dreams of a full battery litter their sleep.
Another particularly low ebb in humanity are the make-spacers as I choose to call them. These people were failed by their parents, they were brought up to have no concept of a work/reward logic thus simply complained till they were rewarded (though they would no doubt argue that this is work in itself). Having grown up sufficiently to find these venues on their own, they arrive as the main act begins and push their way to their desired space. The rest of us, having been stood in place, are now subjected to this new height (and/or smell) discrepancy which we had not accounted for in our previous wait. With this added inconvenience we continue to question why our backs hate us so much and whether our legs are there at all after an hour of imitating statues as the venue fills up. The correct way to do it if you will.
The Competition Winners
These are interesting bunch, more often than not they are dressed for a day at the races and have imbibed half the bar long before the support act has kicked off the evening. At this point it becomes obvious that they’re not of our kind and are here through some unconventional and alien means. In the relative silence between songs, the competition winners attempt to engage with the band requesting songs, quite often songs by Oasis or one of them bands. In between their bouts of witty banter they take time out to throw their cups (liquids unspecified) forward for all to enjoy. During songs they can be seen dancing exuberantly or attempting to cause a ruckus (sometimes both) as we stare and judge. These are the people at your obscure indie concerts who happened to hear a song that one time it was played on Radio 1, below them are the people who won tickets in some local radio competition. They are at their loudest when that one hit comes on and often incorporate all of the above categories.
“HELLOOOO!…*pause checks palm* Liverpool!”
Assuming you are positioned far enough away from the above nuisances, I say positioned as opposed to suggesting that the above may not have attended, because they are always there it is statistical certainty. Assuming you have positioned yourself in this quiet and neutral smelling environment, there remains one last bullet which you will rarely dodge, The bands, after all it’s why you are there. The band can often be the worst offender at a concert, regurgitating lines from the musician’s book of clichés taking it further than any right minded satirist would. There are bands who do refrain from telling poorly timed jokes, or who fail to remind you that [insert local rival] did it much better last night, quite often the majority. They simply accept our applause, thank the audience sincerely and continue their show. These, the better bands, still succoumb to worst non-event of them all, the encore. I have seen so many encores that I no longer know what they mean, I yearn for the day that a band doesn’t return back on stage after wryly stating that X is the last song. Knowing full well the band will return to play, that one song you know they have to play but they don’t really want to play. Audiences still lap it up and go wild during this 30 second interval.
Is it an ego boost?
Is it a case of genuinely not knowing whether the crowd want you back?
Is it to go to the toilet?
Is it necessary?
No-one forces me to go, I hear you say, but I know that when it all comes together a great concert can be a religious experience for want of a better word. A real ‘I was there’ moment which makes up for a large percentage of those gig by numbers experience. It would just be nicer if these ‘I was there’ moments were situated at shorter intervals.
You’ve been great…*paused confusion* Liverpool!