Welcome back to my Battered Bodies Bar; sorry that security tried to stop you at the door but it’s been a quiet night so I’ve already called last drinks’ as soon as I saw it was you, I made sure he know to let you in!
I won’t be able to stand around and talk with you about too much tonight; it isn’t often that I manage to close up shop early so I’m taking the other half out for a late dinner. If I remember last time, due to a very busy bar I had to leave you right before the headline act walks out…let’s not keep you waiting any longer, shall we?
So the waiting game is finally here; the last support act has come and left the stage, the photographers have made their way back next to the security in front of stage, only thing left to happen is for the overhead music to stop and the lights to go dim…OH HERE THEY GO, can you hear that energy lift?!?
Whenever the lights dim and it is time for the headlining act to take the stage, I always feel rejuvenated thanks to the energy throughout the venue lifting; whether you’ve been surviving the elements at an all day festival (this will be covered in upcoming columns), have gone to shows on consecutive nights or are just feeling a tad run down because of the chaos and excitement so far, I have always gotten a much needed pick me up from the universe to get me through the onslaught that is about to begin.
Make sure you show your appreciation for the headline act as soon as they walk out on stage; you’ve been waiting this long for them, don’t go quiet on them now!! Some bands will play an opening track to get the crowd excited before the entire band explodes out on stage, others will just slowly take their place on stage one at a time; however they decide to come out will always allow you enough time to voice your excitement. Just remember that you’re also cheering for all those fans who didn’t get to come see the band this time around, as you want the band to feel that welcomed and loved they want to come back!!
Depending on the reason for the tour will impact the opening song/set-list ahead for the night; if the tour is for a newly released/soon to be released album, you can ALMOST guarantee that the opening song will be the first single from that album; if it’s a tour for nostalgic reasons (such as an anniversary tour for an album), the band will start with the opening song off that album. Regardless of what song starts, be wary of the excitement and buzz of the mosh-pit as it is only going to get worse as the set goes deeper and deeper!!
The number of crowd surfers and the intensity of the mosh-pit that you will experience will always differ according to not only the band that is playing, but how much the band incites crowd surfing/mosh pit movement; I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve walked out of a concert a lot sorer than expected thanks to the frenzy that was created by the band exciting the crowd…it is usually smart to have taken the next day off from work to allow yourself to recover not only your hearing, but also from a physical standpoint, as surviving a mosh-pit is an intense workout!
Throughout the set, make sure you are keeping an eye on any friends that you are with/have made throughout the day; after all, these people that are surrounding you are your first responders to assist you if something goes wrong (and possibly only, depending if you’re on the rail or in the mosh), so it is MOST IMPORTANT that everyone works together to make sure people are safe and having a good time. If someone needs water, you do what you can to get them water; if someone needs out of the mosh-pit, you do what you can to get them lifted over the rail/up on top of the crowd so they can be crowd surfed down to security to receive the assistance needed.
In regards to common concert courtesies, let me elaborate on a couple of things that are major DO NOTs when you’re seeing a show:
1) DO NOT spend your time constantly recording or taking photos with your camera; not only will they most likely turn out to be shaky/blurry/very poor audio, but you’re also disturbing those around you who can only see your arm or phone/camera instead of the band they paid to see.
2) DO NOT spend all night trying to get attention of band members on stage by yelling out to them; once or twice is okay, but you don’t want to be that loud annoying person who not only keeps harassing the band for attention, but also gets on the bad side of everyone around them who has paid to enjoy themselves.
3) If you’re one or two people away from the rail, DO NOT put your hand on the rail and try to push your way in; the people on there have been waiting a long time to get to where they are and DO NOT want to lose it; as someone who is always front and centre, the last thing you want to do is come between me and my long awaited prized view!
4) If a band member gets close enough for you to touch them, PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY!! If you make a quick or otherwise perceivable as dangerous motion towards the band member, you run the risk of security misinterpreting your actions and get hurt by mistake. Another thing to remember is that it MIGHT be okay to touch the band member; if they don’t want to be touched, don’t keep trying as it will ruin the zone they are in and therefore possibly ruin the experience for everyone else. If they are okay with being touched, try not to grab a hold of them in such a manner that restricts them from leaving when they choose; after all, even though they may be your idol they are just a regular person like us…would you like to be restrained in such a way that you couldn’t move away if you wanted to?
Now that I’ve given you a list of things NOT to do, I’ll also give you a couple of pointers that will help you survive (relatively) unscathed:
1) Throughout the night if you need or someone around you needs water, don’t be afraid to ask the security if they have water they can give you; remember that they are there to help you! Just be warned, some venues don’t give water to the mosh-pit though, meaning you may need to forgo your valued spot for that much needed refreshment…this is a very hard decision to make; trust me, I’m speaking from experience.
2) If you see someone needing assistance, MOST DEFINITELY try to get security’s attention ASAP; after all, how quickly would you want someone to be getting help for you if you need assistance? Another important thing to remember about being at the front of the mosh; if you need to leave for any reason, it will make it a lot easier for security to lift you out if you are waiting with your back turned around to them. The reason being is that they only need to lift your knees over the rail and then can use the natural bend of the body to lower you and pull you out; if you’re facing them when they pull you out, your knees won’t bend in a way they need so not only does it makes it harder for security to pull you out, it also puts you at more risk of getting hurt because it is taking them longer to get you to safety.
As the set gets deeper and deeper (and your voice gets more and more hoarse from singing along at the top of your lungs), you may find yourself wanting to leave the mosh to get some air; depending on how long the band has already be playing for, you might only be one or two songs away from a well-deserved and much needed break…majority of bands will usually be needing a small break themselves, so they will say they are playing what is the last song for the night, run off stage and get some much needed water/oxygen; maybe have a towel off to dry off a little bit before running back out for an encore.
Oh would you look at that; I said I wasn’t going to keep you long but security has already cleared everyone else out!
They’ll walk you out to your car and make sure that you drive off safely; next time you come visit I’ll explain more about what happens after a show, as well as not only how to possibly meet the band but more importantly HOW TO ACT if that happens!
Until next time; stay safe, rock on and keep head-banging \m/