You can head bang, but can you behave? Here’s our 10-point checklist of how not to be that person who ruins it for everyone else at a performance
1. Don’t become a body block: You are the biggest fan of the band on stage (at least in your head) and know all these obscure songs by heart. But that doesn’t give you the right to elbow your way to the front and park yourself in a spot that blocks the view of someone behind you (who clearly got there before you). When at a gig, show respect.
A young heavy metal fan sits on the shoulders of a grown-up fan at the Rock Hard music festival in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The Metal sub-culture fans celebrate to the sound of bands called Deathfist, Motorjesus, Dr. Living Dead, Hell or Bolt Thrower. AP/Martin Meissner
2. Leave the kids at home: Nobody wants wailing infants and toddlers for company at a rock show. And if you think taking children to a show will give them early exposure to music, how about showing them concert videos at home first? Bringing a kid could not only mar your experience (leaving between your favourite songs because the kid needs a pee break, or worse...), it can leave a child weary and bored after getting over the initial excitement of watching a live act.
3. And the pets as well: Even if the festival allows pets, trust us, they would be grateful if you rather left them at home. In a worldwide survey conducted recently, all the dogs and cats concurred that they don’t really care much for rock stars. Plus, being dragged by an aggressive, leashed canine at a concert doesn’t do much for your social standing.
4. Ditch the iPad: Try catching a concert through your eyes and not the display of your humongous tablet or iPad. For the menace they cause when their inconsiderate owners don’t care about blocking others’ view, these should simply be banned at concert venues.
5. No oral sound effects please: When at an acoustic/jazz gig, do everyone a favour and put away that bag of munchies. Everyone’s paid to listen to the musicians, not to you.
6. Put your phone on silent: Phones have the ugly habit of ringing at the most inappropriate times. So save yourself the embarrassment and the angry glares while you fidget in your pocket or bag for the ringing device. It’s also the only time you have a valid excuse to avoid annoying calls (from girlfriends, clients or telemarketers).
7. Don’t litter: When the organisers have been kind enough to allow beverages and eatables inside the concert arena, the least you can do is not litter.
8. Know when to applaud: If you like a song or a performance, applaud after it’s over. During a classical concert, be mindful of when to applaud, as sometimes, it could be tricky knowing when the song’s ended. There’s no harm in waiting for others to do it first.
9. Don’t seek attention: Don't holler requests or shout out things in between songs unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb in the crowd.
10. Save the talking for later: The worst kind of company at a gig is a person who whispers in your ear or shouts over the music almost every second minute. Don't be that person. No one really cares that the bassist’s dentist is your best friend. Don’t talk while others are enjoying the performance.