Top 5: live music etiquette

For the audience:

1. Tall guys/gals in the back, please. And don’t use your 5 foot tall girlfriend as an excuse either. And girls- no tall ponytails or extravagant hats. They get in my way.
2. I came to hear the band, not you. I know you sing along to this song in the shower or the car, but this is a public place. Come on, mouth the words-it shows the band you know the words without screwing up their vocals. And please, if you want to chat with your friend, take it to the back.
3. Drunk dancing. is. for. dance clubs. If you bump into me one more time, you are getting an elbow in the gut. If you want more non confrontational techniques to eliminating the bumper, send me a personal note. I can’t share all my secrets here.
4. Cameras-we all love them. I take pictures, too, when it’s allowed. But to keep your cameraphone up in the air through the entire set is retarded. Do you want to see the show, or do you want to see pictures of the show?
5. DO NOT WEAR THE BAND’S T-SHIRT TO THE SHOW. Major faux pax. We all know you like them, why else would you be here? Concerts are supposed to be a catwalk for the masses, a reflection of the fashion of the fan conglomerate. Don’t make it generic by wearing a damn concert T. Wear it the next day to brag about how you went and they didn’t.

For the band (yeah, you have some, too. Don’t think that because you’re on stage you are immune from my critique):

1. Talk to us. We want to know you are there. But don’t talk too much…I want to maintain my idealized version of you, so don’t ruin it by being too normal or something.
2. Change your set list from show to show. I don’t care if you just change the order, I like surprises.
3. Move around. If I positioned myself on stage left, and the guitarist I love dearly is stationed on stage right, and never visits me, I’ll be mad. This includes moving in place. You are not a statue, you are a musician. I want to see you go crazy.
4. Eye contact. It makes me feel like you care that you are there, rather than wishing that you were still in some garage somewhere playing alone. It can be fake eye contact (looking at foreheads, the clock in the back of the room, etc.), just as long as you look up.
5. Encores. Hmmm….definition of encore: an extra or repeat performance, usually given by audience demand. The best encores are unexpected material- a cover song, something old that only real fans know, an acoustic song. Please, don’t save the song that is your number one single for the encore, which we all know that you are going to come back out and sing. And listen to the audience (I’m going to kick myself later for this)- if they don’t yell loud enough, don’t give it to them. They don’t deserve it. Make ’em beg!

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