The Trouble with Gigs

I had the fortune of going to a live concert at the weekend (Muse at Wembley) and a good time was had. However, being my first big live gig experience for some time, I was rudely reminded of several downsides to being in an excitable and lively outdoor crowd. It certainly showing me once again that amongst gig audiences you meet some of the best, and worst, examples of people.

Now as you may have realised, I am not a big fan of crowds, but I had really forgotten about the many pitfalls of being amongst that many people. Sure the music and atmosphere are great, but occasionally you do wish that everyone else, except for your group of friends, would piss off elsewhere.

Here follows a list of the problems with attending a concert or gig. Some of them I experienced last weekend, and others I have seen or heard about elsewhere.

Problem 1: People Who Are Drunk Or High

These people are complete cocks, as they have little special awareness. At the best of times this can be a problem, but when you have no elbow room; are trying to peer over a tall guy in front; and are being continuously jostled by the dancing drunk twat behind you, sympathy and patience become short. Whilst they may appear semi-comatose, unfortunately they are still blessed with motor functions so can still crash into you.

Another danger is the ‘sweaty grip of the moron’ when some drunken idiot decides to try and put his arm round you. This mainly happens if you inevitably get sick of being constantly jogged by the nearby pill head, and then attempt to push back against his/her stupid dancing, and they decide to settle matters by clinging on to you and singing in your face. Still it’s better than them getting aggressive I suppose, but it’s still not very fun.

Problem 2: People Who Fling Beer, Or Other ‘Liquids’

I have never understood this. I know I’m being a bit prissy complaining about the people who suddenly fling their drink into the air, as I have been in many a live music crowd and can/should come to expect it. But still why do people do this? First of all it’s a waste of perfectly good beer, which probably cost about five pounds. Secondly getting beer on your clothes smells, and makes them sticky. That’s assuming it is beer they are throwing and not urine… It’s the not knowing that can be the biggest pain.

Problem 3: Girls Who Sit On Their Boyfriend’s Shoulders

I hate to say it but it’s mostly the ladies to blame for this, which is - I assume – because they believe people will be too polite to stop them. This has been vindicated by the few times I have seen men trying the same thing; they got short shrift from those behind them, and were summarily pelted with rubbish. However, just because people are polite and tolerate it, doesn’t mean they approve of it. Personally I don’t give a toss whether you are man or woman, old or young, if you are trying to appear on the big screen or not. Get out the way you inconsiderate tossers!

Problem 4: Amorous Couples

Now this is something I find awkward in day to day life, but bear with me before you write me off as a bitter goblin of a man (you wouldn’t be far off). This is really infuriating as the loved up drones seem to have no regard for anyone else’s presence. Do they just feel the need to show off how in love they are? Or is it just another level of social ignorance on display, and they really have forgotten there are others staring in their direction?

Then you wonder into the minefield of where you should be looking, as to be fair, what’s to stop the lovebirds turning round and glaring angrily at you for looking at their general direction, assuming you are looking at them – this has happened before I might add. What are you supposed to do exactly? Turn round and miss the show (The music! Not them, you pervs!) or stare in their direction and come across as a sex starved letch. You can’t win!

Also the boyfriends in these cases often make me laugh as they often look more effeminate than their girlfriends, so perhaps they are looking to prove something in the first place.

Problem 5: Smokers

Yes, ever the problem with the outdoor gig; smokers. In fact in any large built up crowd the smoking ban is nearly impossible to enforce, so you could expect this even indoors. Still, cigarette burns acquired from some obnoxious bell end flailing his arms about like a windmill, despite the hot object in his hand, are no laughing matter.

Problem 6: The Feeling Of Being Trapped

Once time drags on and the moment nears that the headlining band will take to the stage, escape from the crowd becomes near impossible. As a result toilet breaks become missions, conducted with military precision and planning.

No longer can one hope to simply nip to the loo. Nope, instead the order of the hour becomes: successfully milling through the crowd; avoiding treading people sitting down; factoring time for queuing (if you are a lady, as let’s face it, women’s toilets are bad for this). This is even before you have to try and track your way back to where your friends are anonymously standing amongst the throng of thousands.

Problem 7: Scary Fans

Once in a while you run into someone, or a group of people, whose fandom is near religious. This is bemusing in one sense as if you do not share the high opinion of the band that they do, you might struggle to see what exactly they are seeing that you don’t. Then you have to contend with them screaming around you how much they love a band, and I think when you focus your attention more on the band than the music, then you have a problem.

No band is perfect - even my favourites have had dud albums in my opinion - but when you find someone who has to like the music of their chosen band, lest their world perception and universal balance be crushed, it becomes a bit creepy.

Especially if, like me, you want to obnoxiously correct them, and say: “whilst you may like this band I don’t see the hype”. I have yet to put this into practice, for fear of being stoned to death for crimes against cool.


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