Editing your concert etiquette

Tonight I went to see extremely talented Vancouver musician, Dan Mangan, play at the Garrick Centre.

To my delight, both of his opening bands:  The Crackling, and Daredevil Christopher Wright were pretty stellar as far as opening bands go, and I got really into both of them.

To my surprise, however, I noticed that I was surrounded by a sea of 16-year-old kids (yes, it was an all ages show). First of all, at 22-years-old it, made me feel ancient. Second of all, I noticed that most of these kids were extremely lacking when it came to concert etiquette – particularly in a venue in which if you wanted to get close you had to stand for the entire show.

These kids have a few things to learn.

That being said, I felt it fitting for this post to talk about about editing your concert etiquette. Here’s a few tips.

#1. I realize it’s a little crowded, but really – the venue isn’t over capacity so there’s really no reason for you to be breathing down my neck. Please, please take at least a couple of steps backwards and give me even an inch or two of personal space.

#2. If you’re going to stand behind me and talk through the entirety  of both of the opening acts, and then sporadically throughout the rest of the show go to the back of the theatre. I didn’t pay $30 to stand here and listen to you have a conversation. I came to listen to the music.

#3. I get it. You want to take pictures. And that’s cool. I’m one to pull out my iPhone and snap a few photos myself. However, if you’re going to stand in front of me I’ll ask you not to stand there for the whole show with your arm lifted above your head, trying to snap as many photos as you can. I’m short, and I’m standing directly behind you. And now I can’t see.

#4. Everyone (who’s over 18, I hope) wants to have a couple of drinks at a show. Me included. I’m not opposed to this, but, if you plan on having more than one or two drinks throughout the show – get a couple at a time. The fact that you keep pushing your way out of the crowd (and elbowing me on the way out), and then pushing your way back in five minutes later (and elbowing me on the way back in) kind of makes me want to shove you a swift elbow to the ribs and spew a few profanities. There’s really no need to leave the theatre 50 times in a three hour concert. At the very least, if you’re planning on leaving more than once or twice, stand near the back. Thanks.

#5. I know. You’re on a date with your girlfriend. And it’s a great date. I’d be a pretty happy camper if my date surprised me with tickets to a Dan Mangan show. However, I’d appreciate if you didn’t stand in front of me and drape yourself all over your significant other. First of all, you’ve now created a door with no windows, and short little me can’t see. Second of all, I’d really like to watch Dan Mangan strum his guitar, not you throw yourself all over your girlfriend. Fair?

I guess these might mean I finally fall into the grouchy, old concert attendee. I’m sure in my younger days I’ve probably broken all of these rules at least once, and I probably annoyed someone just as much as these things annoyed me tonight. Now that I realize how awful it is to be surrounded by a bunch of young kids who are too busy playing kissy-face; trying to snap a good photo; or leaving to go get beer to enjoy the music – especially when I want nothing more to, I realize how much even these few little things grind my gears.

So next time you find yourself at a concert, look around – you’ll probably notice at least a few of these concert etiquette fails. I just hope you’re not committing any.

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