If you know one thing about me, it’s that I love going to concerts. Live music is my thing. Like, one of my greatest fears in life is getting to be so old that I can’t stand up for hours and hours on end so I can’t be front row for my favorite bands. That being said, I’ve got plenty of stories from these concerts, ranging from the insanely awesome like slapping hands with Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park, to the terrible, like getting kicking in the head by a crowd surfer at Warped Tour. So this series will just be me spouting off the various tales that I’ve accumulated through my years of being in tiny spaces packed with loud noises and wild people. This story is titled “How Not to Act at a Concert”
I’m going to start with a pretty recent experience. I’ve got this one filed in the folder of “most annoying crowds”. I’ve been going to loads of concerts by myself out here in Colorado, seeing as how I haven’t made all that many friends here yet. Definitely not letting that get in the way of my music though. That being said, being alone at concerts have increased my people watching skills tenfold. Normally I’d have someone with me to help kill time with in between sets, but when I’m alone I’m not afforded that luxury. This means that I am in full awareness of everything that is happening around me.
So that sets the stage for this show. The venue is the Ogden Theater in Denver. The bands are Lights and The Mowgli’s. Lights I’ve seen before a few times, and she’s honestly a great act to see. Great voice and shes always been full of energy on stage, and her fanbase is pretty rabid so it’s usually pretty hype. The Mowgli’s are a fun indie band that’s actually gotten some radio play with hits like San Francisco and I’m Good. Most of the crowd was there to see Lights though, and this story begins with the group of teenage Lights fans that happened to be standing right next to me the entire time.
Honestly, I don’t know their ages, but they genuinely looked like the “big brother just bought me alcohol” type. It started off with just the usual high pitched screams for no apparent reason that I’ve sadly grown accustomed to at these types of events. Then the alcohol started to really kick in, as in kicking their balance away. Unfortunately, the biggest one in the group was the one next to me, so she kept tumbling sideways into my shoulder. Then the elbows started getting tossed my way and my poor arm took the blunt of those blows. My upper body wasn’t the only part of me in harms way, as my poor left foot got stomped on multiple times by chubby white girl sneakers. Awesome start to the concert there.
It didn’t just end at physical abuse though. The Mowgli’s were the openers that night, and that didn’t sit well with the Lights fans next to me. Apparently they’ve never been to a concert before and didn’t grasp the concept that bands have to take turns going on stage, and that there’s such a thing as an opener. Like, you have to wait for the main act to get on stage. You don’t just immediately get what you want at the snap of your fingers. First they started with their bitching an moaning about why Lights wasn’t on stage yet. “WHERE IS LIGHTS I NEED HER IN MY LIFE WHY IS SHE NOT HERE WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE OMG” when obviously The Mowgli’s were listed on the bill and hell they’ve even had a few really popular songs on the radio. Second, they started taking shots at The Mowgli’s. “THESE GUYS SUCK WHO ARE THEY EVEN WHY ARE THEY ON STAGE RIGHT NOW OMG WHERE IS LIGHTS” like shut the hell up and actually listen to the music, you might like it if you weren’t spouting off such inane bullshit and drowning out the music with your squeals. At this point, they were even getting death glares from other folks around me. How could you be so inconsiderate as to ruin another persons concert going experience just because you’re unhappy that the main act isn’t on stage yet?
The final straw for me and apparently some of the others around me was when the group decided they themselves have had enough of The Mowgli’s, and decided that they were going to sing another bands song right there in the middle of their set. Now this is the point where you can fully understand how annoying this group was. Picture this: a group of teenage girls terribly screeching the lyrics to New Americana by Halsey, while at a happy pop/indie concert where they are loud enough to be heard by all. Just the freakin irony of it all, a group of privileged girls screaming lyrics to a song about diversity and rebellion, when they’re just carbon copies of each other with most of their “activism” done behind a keyboard with reblogs and notes. Get the fuck out of here with that shit. Thankfully, at this point someone around them told them to shut up. Of course they took major offense to this, and tried making a huge scene about it all. When they realized that public opinion was not in their favor, they kept quiet for the rest of The Mowgli’s set.
The kicker is that when The Mowgli’s were done and they were switching sets, the group of girls disappeared. Who knows if they got chased off or if their vibe was killed, but by the time Lights hit the stage, they were gone. They had second row for an act they were apparently dying to see all night long, and when finally presented with the chance to meet that goal, they bailed. That’s maybe the most baffling thing about that night to me; how you could sit there and complain all night long, but leave when you finally have the chance to get what you want.
Such a terrible concert experience, but thankfully the music made up for the crowd. The people around you at a concert can make or break it sometimes, and that night, the crowd nearly broke me and my sanity.