Back in the old days, when smoking was still allowed everywhere, I never noticed the smell of other people. One of the advantages of a venue filled with smoke is that it literally covers and blocks all other nasal sensations. Having said that, smelly people is hardly my biggest concert annoyance. Here’s my personal Top 10.
- Tall guys (and ladies too). Why do the tallest people always stand in front of me? Why do they stand still if they’re right in front of me, or continue to move if I found a gap on their left or right side? Why do they never offer me a place in front of them? Or…why have venues, especially the bigger ones, still not implemented a sector based floor plan, allowing smaller people to stand in front of taller ones?
- Big hair, platform boots and hats. Height is damn luck, big hair and platform boots hats are a choice. Who told you to bring fashion to a concert? Do you really think we are interested in the way you look? And by the way…aren’t platform boots a thing of the 70s and isn’t big hair a thing of the 80s. I will allow you your big hair when you go to The Cure and want to imitate Robert Smith, and I will grant you a temporary platform boot license for soul concerts. But that’s all.
- Expressive dancing, especially with long hair. Dancing can be nice from an esthetic point of view. Having hair swung in your face is not. If you want to dance, tie your hair in a knot…even…especially…when you’re a guy. Even…especially…at Heavy metal concerts and you want to do some start-to-finish headbanging.
- Old sweat and other smells (including perfume). Spoiler alert: perfume doesn’t necessarily smell good. It’s all about quality and quantity. Still, if you wear perfume you probably find personal hygiene important, which cannot be said of those who only seem to shower once a year and had their last shower 43 weeks ago.
- Talking during the show. I get it, you are with a girl or an old friend and you either want to impress or share memories. But…why take them to a concert? A restaurant, a bar, a museum, outdoor hiking, I understand it all, but taking someone to a noisy place with the purpose of talking…in which reality is that a good idea?
- Sing-along, in my ear. There is a reason you are not the singer in the band on stage. You have a bad voice, you sing out of tune (and key) and you can’t even keep the most basic rhythm. You sing the wrong words at the wrong time and collectively all of you overpower the one nominated for this activity. I know it adds to your emotional experience of the concert, but also to mine, in the most negative way imaginable.
- Bored artist. It is a job as much as a calling, and sometimes you don’t feel like working. You’re tired, life on the road is taking its toll, and on top if it tonight’s gig is far from sold-out. Tough luck. Dealing with adversity makes you a better person. Be a professional. Cut your set short if you want, make it interesting for yourself by playing some old or unknown songs…but please don’t look at us, your audience, your fans, like you want to be anywhere else but here!
- Bored audience. It’s a two-way street, guys! If you want a great concert, start with being a great audience! Your responsibility didn’t end with showing up. You have to make noise, applaud, show enthusiasm. I really don’t like it to be only person applauding. By the way, that also applies to the support act! And oh…before I forget, don’t start begging for an encore after failing to be a ‘good audience’ during the regular set. It’s rude!
- Switching instruments. Dear guitar players, take a good look at your drummer. Does he ever switch equipment between songs? Exactly! Ask yourself…is it really needed to pick up a fresh guitar after each songs…and…do you really need to tune it for 2 or 3 minutes before starting the next song?
- Late movers. It’s no problem to arrive late. A lot of people have difficulty with time management. Just stay at the back and enjoy the concert. Just don’t wriggle yourself (and your new girlfriend) through the whole audience to still claim a first row spot. She’s not that interested (and interesting) anyway…