If I’m at a concert, I’m in the front row about 90% of the time. I’m that guy that shows up to concerts hours early just so I can get the exact spot that I want. Being at the front row of shows has afforded me a somewhat small collection of swag, such as guitar picks and set lists. So this post will just be a rundown of how I got certain things, and who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a few tips and tricks to getting some cool items from your favorite band.
The first thing I ever got was a guitar pick from a band called The Pillows. I stuck around the stage after the show had finished up, and noticed that there was a guitar pick that was leftover on the floor of the stage. I waited until one of the stage hands looked like he was free, then I asked him politely if he could grab the guitar pick for me, and he did! So it helps to be nice to the people working the concert. The guitar pick is pretty sweet too. No pictures of it since it’s back home in California, but it actually has the logo of Buster-Kun, the Pillows mascot on one side of it.
A few other guitar picks I’ve gotten have come to me in various ways. I got a guitar pick from St Lucia because I was apparently the only one to notice it just lying on the ground next to one of the speakers, so I asked one of the security guys to grab it for me and he actually did. I got a guitar pick from Rise Against because the camera guy wanted a picture of himself in front of the stage, so he asked me to do it in exchange for a guitar pick. I gladly obliged him. Another guitar pick I got was from Marina and the Diamonds. At the end of the show, their guitarist tossed out a few of them into the crowd and when that happens it’s near impossible to catch one. They usually end up scattered around everywhere. I immediately whipped out my phone and turned the flashlight on and found one on the ground next to me. Stepped on it to claim it’s mine and picked it up as soon as I could. Cool pick too, since it actually says Marina and the Diamonds on it.
The first set list I got is pretty special to me because the guy is actually getting pretty famous these days. It started with me waiting in line for a musician named Mr Little Jeans. Of course I was first in line and I just happened to be hours early for the show. While waiting outside, someone came out the venue and started making small talk with me. I had no idea who this guy was so I was just being polite and talked to him for a bit before he went back inside. It wasn’t until I saw the guy walk out on stage that I realized I had talked to the lead singer of the opening act. They put on a hell of a show and I made it a point to ask their roadie for their set list afterwards. Oh the name of that band? Borns, who is getting plenty of radio play these days for the song Electric Love. I also ended up with the set list from Mr Little Jeans as well. Her keyboardist must of recognized me from being in line so long, because after the show he walked right up to me and handed me his set list.
One of the more random set lists I got had to be from Young the Giant, because I didn’t even try for it in the first place and I even tried to give it away. During the show, this really drunk girl who must have been their biggest fan ended up behind me and practically begged me to let her have the front row just for their set. Me being me said yes and she proceeded to have the time of her life as she screamed and yelled the lyrics to all their songs from the very front. And she was gracious as well because after they got off the stage, she actually gave me my spot back without any hassle at all. Literally seconds after she had disappeared back into the crowd, the stage crew started tossing stuff off the stage into the audience. I wasn’t even paying any attention to the stage at all when all of a sudden this crumpled piece of paper hits me in the face and lands in my arms. I’m all like “wtf is this” and I open it up and it ends up being a set list. That took no work at all from me to get. Now, I’m not the biggest Young the Giant fan at all so my first reaction was to find that girl and give her the set list, but she was long gone sadly. If only she had stayed up front for a few more seconds her night would have been perfect, but I ended up with the spoils.
Maybe the weirdest thing I’ve ever gotten from a concert has to be my purple bear. Purple bear you say? What the heck does that even mean? Well see, I was at this K-Pop concert. Infinite was the band. Yes they’re a boy band don’t judge. Me and my best friend originally had seats, but for some reason we got randomly handed floor tickets so we ended up down with all the crazy fans that had paid way too much to be close to these random Korean boys. So we’re watching them up on stage and generally having a pretty good time, when halfway through they all somehow end up with gift baskets filled with stuffed animals. They start tossing them out into the audience, and lo and behold one of them comes straight to me. Seeing as I was one of the lone males and being about a foot taller than all the preteens around me, I was able to just reach my hand up and pluck it out the sky. Purple bear acquired. Oh the evil looks I got from the people around me. I still have it too. It’s sitting in my car, just chilling on my passenger side door.
I’ve still yet to catch myself a drumstick. I’ve been pretty close at times (stupid Andy), but still no luck. It’s my white whale of mementos from shows. One of these days I’ll get one. All I can do is keep going to concerts, and hope that one of these days one of those sticks will just magically fall into my hands.