Welcome to the first installment of the “Battered Bodies Bar!” I’m Matt, your innkeeper at this fine establishment; pull up a seat, grab a drink and let your aching body start to recover after the night you’ve had. You look a little on the worn out and drained side; to say it was a rough night looks to be a massive understatement.
Trust me, I know how you’re feeling right now; I got my first taste of the barrier all the way back in 2005 and have been in your situation many times since. Thankfully I’ve also got an ever-growing of things off stage to add to my collection to show for it!
As time has passed, I’ve found out the hard way that the body can’t recover as easily from the stress and fun of being at the front of the mosh pit firing line; that’s why I have a set routine that I go through before every concert I go to that helps ease the strain on my ever-aging body.
Over the next few columns I’ll be running you through the steps that I follow to make my recovery time as short as possible.
The Night Before The Concert:
So you’ve already experienced the joy of buying your ticket, you’ve also received that second rush of excitement if you chose to get your tickets sent out via post and now the big event is almost here; the excitement can be compared to the same excitement you felt on Christmas Eve during your childhood.
But before you explode on the spot from excitement, you have quite a few things to do in preparation to make sure that you get the most enjoyment out of your experience and can last from until the very end.
First thing I do is look at the weather forecast; if you want to get onto the rail you’ll need to get to the venue early and this usually means spending many hours outside the venue waiting for doors to open. Knowing what to expect from the elements is a must as you need to make sure you’re well hydrated during summer and well protected during winter. It’s also important to know what protection is offered by the venue that is hosting the performance; is there anywhere to hide from the wind/rain/direct sunlight, as well as (MOST IMPORTANTLY) where the closest public toilets are located.
Once you have worked all this out, you need to work out what you’re going to take with you to the venue; obviously you want to travel light because being required to cloak your bag can result in missing out on the rail and all planning going to waste, however pack too little and there was no point bringing a bag whatsoever.
I pack only the bare essentials required, starting with most important thing ever; the ticket! Once I’ve taken that out of the well guarded Fort Knox rented safe where I store my tickets, it goes into my gig hardened bag along with any photo ID that’s required for entry. Next thing I make sure to pack is after gig attire; you won’t always be able to buy merch and put it into your bag, so I make sure that I ALWAYS pack a spare shirt and a plastic bag. The spare dry shirt is a small comfort that is greatly enjoyed after the show and the plastic bag is for your soaked shirt. Depending on the season, I also have a pair of tracksuit pants/a hoodie in there to protect myself from the cold after being all hot and sweaty in a mosh pit for many hours.
After that, I make sure to put my battery pack on charge overnight; there’s nothing worse than running out of phone battery hours before the doors even open! If I’m taking a camera to take photos during the day/night I also make sure to put that on charge as well. Usually it is out in the lounge room so I make sure to pick them up on the way out before the show. Next thing I like to do is make sure that I plan my arrival time at the venue. I like to make sure that I allocate enough time for things to go wrong; unexpected traffic/trouble finding a park if you’re driving or late buses/trains/trams if you’re taking public transport. Last thing to be packed is something small to nibble/drink throughout the day; after all you need to survive without dying of hunger or thirst!
Once all that is taken care of, I start to look at what to do for dinner that night; a good meal the night before is a must have as you’ll need all the energy you can get to get through the long day ahead! Once dinner has been sorted, I prepare the attire I’ll be wearing the next day; loose easy to move in clothing that you won’t overheat in is important as the mosh pit is a very warm and sweaty place…as minimal layers as possible, whatever you do. Don’t forget to wear the appropriate footwear as well; no open toes or thongs please! I’m a personal fan of Chuck All-Star Hi Tops because they are lightweight when they get soaked and almost impossible to have come off in a mosh pit if they come undone.
Once I’ve prepared my clothing I have a shower and start to unwind down for the night; the most relaxation I can allow my body to get the better. Getting enough rest the night before is just as important as taking your ticket/ID, so no matter how had it is to put aside that excitement and built up energy, an early night is very important.
Oh; would you look at the time! I’ve been talking for that long that it’s almost closing time; thanks for listening and here’s your next drink on the house for allowing an old man the ability to ramble for a while.
This stool right here will always be reserved for you if you want to come and listen to me ramble on some more.
Until next time you stop by and pay a visit to the “Battered Bodies Bar”; head bang until your head falls off \m/