10 Things To Know For Your First Concert

10 Things To Know For Your First Concert

Concert culture is like nothing else. Make sure you're prepared.
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Going to your first concert is an exhilarating experience, and it's definitely something you'll never forget. Ear-bursting bass, screaming fans, and lines a mile long, these type of events are like nothing you've experienced before. Make sure you're ready to face the inevitable chaos of concert culture. Whether you're seeing Katy Perry or Metallica, you need to be aware of exactly what you're getting into. Here are some tips for making the most of your first concert.


1. You're gonna have to leave your house early. Really. Early.

Lines start at least three hours before the show begins. Especially if it's general admission, you're gonna want to get to the venue A.S.A.P. Make sure to account for traffic, parking, and any walking you may have to do. Also some time because you'll inevitably get lost. Just hope your show begins at 8 P.M., rather than 11 A.M.

2. You'll be standing for four hours or more. Dress comfy!

Concerts tend to be three to four hours long, and that's not even including the wait time in the line outside, waiting inside for the first group, or waiting between sets for tech to reset the stage. You're going to be doing a lot of waiting. So skip the tightest jeans or your four-inch heels. It's dark, and no one's going to be looking at you, anyway. Everyone's there to see their favorite band. Just relax and enjoy yourself!

3. Stay hydrated!

Regardless of whether the concert is indoors or not, you'll likely be doing a lot of jumping, dancing, and moving around. So make sure to keep a bottle of water on you at all times! Some venues allow you to bring your own, but don't be afraid to hash out that six dollars at a bar so you can avoid passing out in the middle of your favorite song.

4. Eat before!

Concert food is ridiculously expensive, and usually ridiculously gross. It's similar to football stadium food: acceptable, but not desirable. Save your money for merch! Be smart and grab something before you leave or on the way. Your stomach and your wallet will thank you.

5. Be social!

You're in a room full of people that like the same music as you! Everyone's there to have a good time, so don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone. Most people are going to be really friendly and appreciate the relief from the inevitable boredom before the show begins, anyway. You'll already have something in common and who knows? You could meet your new best friend!

6. People will smell. By the end you likely will, too.

It's a packed building. It's guaranteed to get hot, so don't freak out if the person next to you begins to sweat a lot. It's perfectly natural, so don't act like a baby that doesn't know how the human body works. By the end of the night, you too will have sweat so much it'll look like you just swam. Just enjoy the show and... don't sweat it. (I'm sorry.)

7. It'll be one of the loudest things you'll ever experience. And it will be awesome.

Super-deep bass, shredding guitar, and thousands of screaming fans. It's not going to be a trip to the library, so make sure you're prepared. Feel free to get earplugs if need be, but there's no feeling quite like your heart jumping in time to a hard bass line. After all, you'll hardly notice the volume once the show's over and you go outside to near silence. You'll likely lose most of your hearing for an hour or so, but don't worry. It's all part of the fun!

8. Don't talk to scalpers.

It's better to miss a concert because it was sold out than waste $75 on fake tickets and make a fool of yourself when you try to get in. Nine times out of ten scalping is a total scam and, real or not, you'll always pay way more than it's worth. Buy tickets early or don't go, but don't take a bet on some stranger on the street with a "NEED TICKETS?" cardboard sign.

9. Post-concert depression is real.

The night's gonna end, and you're gonna head home, still high off the concert adrenaline. You'll go to sleep with a smile on your face. But the next morning, you'll wake up and feel like a ton of bricks have hit you. Your favorite singer is no longer within arm's reach of you, and reality sets back in. Go ahead, listen to every album, cry a bit, eat way too many potato chips. You deserve it.

10. Don't be afraid to look stupid! Enjoy every moment.

You get this one night to hear your favorite people performing your favorite songs. You don't know anyone there, so why worry about how you'll look? You'll have great memories of an amazing night if you make the most of it. You'll regret it if you worry too much about what everyone else is thinking. Go crazy! Dance your ass off like there's no tomorrow.

Cover Image Credit: http://cdn1.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/11/concert-audience.jpg

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A Letter To My Humans On Our Last Day Together

We never thought this day would come.
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I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

Thank you for letting me grow up with you.

Love always,

Your family dog

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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The Top 10 Gay-Themed Commercials That Should Be Celebrated

Gay-themed advertisements are an important part of our representation in pop culture. Here are the ten best gay-themed commercials that deserve celebration.

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Advertisements have a long history of reflecting and influencing popular culture. As someone from one of the boroughs of New York City, I've always been surrounded by advertisements. So it is extremely obvious to me why representation in these advertisements matter. Commercials online and on television are no exception. As a gay man, I'd like to present you with ten commercials that make me feel a sense of pride.

1. Israeli Gays Get Distracted On The Beach

Israel is a safe haven for LGBTQ people living in the Middle East. While places like Saudi Arabia and Iran treat gay men horrifically by enforcing Sharia Law, Israel welcomes them with open arms. That open minded attitude was even more obvious with this commercial from 2006.

2. Pepsi Brings Out The Confidence In One Guy (With A Gay Twist)

This Pepsi ad from the UK has a comedic twist that will delight the viewer with the main character's confidence. I find the women's reaction to him passing by each of them even more humorous than his friend's reactions.

3. Doritos Gay Sauna Contest Entry That Could've Gayed Up The Super Bowl

This commercial was created as a contest entry where aspiring filmmakers could create commercials for Doritos. The winning entry would be aired during the Super Bowl and the filmmaker would win a cash prize. This viral smash didn't make it, however. It seemed unfair, as several straight-themed commercials feature tons of innuendo. Unfortunately, it seems as though gay male sexuality is still threatening to some.

4. Campbell's Soup Portrays The Adorable Gay Household We All Wish We Had

This Campbell's Soup commercial is a short and sweet depiction of two gay dads sharing a sweet moment with their son. If it proves anything, it's that gay households are just like any other.

5. Marriage Equality Gets An Endorsement From Tide

While marriage equality has been a source of debate over the years, the only thing wrong with this union was the attire chosen for it. A brilliant twist ending courtesy of Tide.

6. This Heinz Commercial Is A Gay New Yorker's Dream Come True

As a gay man and a New Yorker, this commercial makes me very happy. Affection between same sex couples hasn't always been something we could see on television. However, this Heinz commercial squashes all that.

7. A Sweet And Unexpected Coming Out At McDonald's

This McDonald's commercial from Taiwan features a twist ending that is heartfelt, not comedic. For anyone who has struggled coming out, this should hit you right in the feels!

8. Sister And Brother Fight Over The Hot Pool Boy... With Coca-Cola

A nice bottle of Coke is quite refreshing. Who knew it was the perfect ice-breaker to approach your crush? This ad features a brother and sister competing for the pool boy's attention. However, it seems like someone else beat them at their own game.

9. This IKEA Commercial Was A Historic Turning Point

This classic IKEA ad from 1994 was groundbreaking for gay representation in advertising. It would be remiss of me not to include this important commercial on the list.

10. What Happens When Your Dad Sets You Up On A Tinder Date?

It's always nice to have your parents acceptance. However, even for gay guys, parents can get a little too close for comfort. This Vote Savvy ad portrays just that. But hey, they mean well, right?

Whether comedic, heartfelt, or provocative, these ten commercials have done wonders for gay male representation in advertising. It also reflects the representation of gay men around the world. From Israel to Taiwan to the UK, these commercials reflect the growing acceptance around the gay community. As far as I'm concerned, that's something to be celebrated.

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