In 2014, Alternative Press posted an article called 10 Commandments Of Show-Going. These rules were set to help concert goers stay safe as well as create an open environment for themselves and other attendees, so everyone has the best concert experience.
Over time, social behavior and popular culture have changed, as it's an ever growing part of society. What was socially acceptable 20 years ago may no longer be valid or is obsolete. While some of these rules are basic common sense, others have caused controversy within the concert community. My question: is are they still relevant? Does Generation X or Z even know what "FREE BIRD" refers too (regardless it's still an amazing song so don't @ me)? Who knows?
1. "THOU SHALT NOT CALL IT A “CONCERT.”Giphy
Concert or show? Does it really matter what you call it?
Personally, I call most of the shows I go to concerts. It's more specific as to the type of event one is attending and how it could mean play or recital. Mostly when I'm talking to my parents, I call it a concert, but when I'm with friends, I go back and forth between a concert and show.
If we're following Alternative Press' definition of a concert: as a show in an arena, does that then mean a musical on Broadway isn't a play, but a show? Are football and baseball then considered concerts?
Is referring to a show as a concert really that disrespectful or necessary still? I would say not, but that's also my own personal opinion.
2. "THOU SHALT NOT WEAR THE T-SHIRT OF THE BAND YOU ARE GOING TO SEE TO THE SHOW."Giphy
Recently, I wrote about concert attire and whether or not it actually matters what you wear to a concert. To read more about this topic, you can check out my article here.
The never ending debate is this: Is it disrespectful or appropriate to wear the headlining band's merch to their concert?
Some say yes it is because, in sports, you wear your team's colors to show which team you're rooting, but it's not a competition like in sports, and you're all there for the same reason: to see the headliner.
Personally, I think you should be able to wear whatever you want to a show as long as you're comfortable. You're there for the same reason everyone else is, to have fun, so why should it matter?
3. “THOU SHALT NOT LISTEN TO THE BAND YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE ON THE WAY TO THE SHOW”Giphy
Never really understood this rule. I get that by not listening to a band helps to hype you up for a show. I feel like listening to the band before the show can also get you hype.
Personally, I don't see the issue or why it's considered a concert "sin." It's like a last minute cram session to remember forgotten lyrics.
4. “THOU SHALT SPEND DISPOSABLE INCOME AT THE MERCH TABLE BEFORE THE BAR.”Giphy
See, I'm the opposite. I'd rather spend my money on band merch than alcohol. Personally, I find food and alcohol at shows too expensive. I can't afford to spend $8 on beer or chicken fingers. Maybe 10 years ago prices weren't as high. Again, I'd personally rather have band merch.
5. “THOU SHALT ALWAYS TIP."Giphy
I feel like this is common sense and therefore shouldn't need to be said, but I'm going to say it anyway. PLEASE TIP THE BANDS MERCH GUYS OR WAITER/WAITRESS/BARTENDER (IF APPLICABLE).
It's like if you're going to a restaurant. Unless your waiter or waitress was completely awful and didn't actually wait on you or there was a situation under a different set of circumstances, you should be tipping.
Now, I'm not one to get into or give a lesson on how much you should be tipping (generally I tip 15-20%) but the merch people work very hard when dealing with fans by themselves that they deserve something for helping you. Most likely, they also don't get paid much if anything at all. Please show them some love and make sure to say thank you.
6. “THOU SHALT NOT YELL, “FREE BIRD!”Giphy
While yelling "Free Bird" at a band may not be exactly relevant nowadays, please don't heckle the bands. It's not cool, and it's obnoxious. Just leave the bands alone during their set, being disrespectful and rude isn't fair to the other fans.
This hasn't been much of an issue at many concerts I've been to, or I just haven't been paying attention, which is always a possibility.
Also, nobody wants to listen to a 10-minute song from the '60s.
7. “THOU SHALT APPRECIATE THE OPENING BANDS.”
These bands work so hard to get to where they are. They practice and prepare a set they think YOU will enjoy. Being disrespectful is not how they should be treated. The headliner's hand pick who they want to go on tour with. They are picking bands who they think their fans will enjoy.
I won't pretend that I've fallen in love with all the openers that I've seen because I know there are some I haven't been crazy about. Just because you don't care for them, doesn't mean they don't deserve your respect or attention.
The important thing to remember is that your favorite band used to be in the exact same place. Before the magazine covers, interviews, playing the main stage at Warped Tour (let alone playing Warped at all) and being signed to a record label, they were playing in local venues and bars as support bands.
99% of the bands I'm listening to now are because I saw them as openers at one point or another. Waterparks, The Wrecks, Seaway, Mainland, As It Is, All Time Low, Simple Plan, Mayday Parade, etc. all started as openers and wouldn't be where they are if they hadn't been. You never know your new favorite band could be at your next show.
8. “THOU SHALT NOT BE TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL.”Giphy
There's a difference between having a good time/being a little crazy and being an asshole. Pretending you're better than everyone else or the one being the joker in the crowd isn't cool. It's obnoxious and annoying. I'm all for having fun, but don't be an asshole.
9. “THOU SHALT RESPECT SECURITY.”Giphy
This is another thing that's considered common sense. Security is there for YOU. They are there to protect you and keep you safe. This really shouldn't need to be a commandment, but I understand why it is.
I know sometimes fans can get a little rowdy at shows because they're excited and energized, but that doesn't mean being an asshole to security is ok. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone or saying anything happened, but I think sometimes we forget where we are and that security is there to protect us.
10. “THOU SHALT RESPECT THE VENUE.”Giphy
I know part of the concert experience is letting loose and having a good time, but we also need to respect the venue. As fans, we are a reflection of the artists and are responsible for how we act and treat the venue. If bands are attracting fans who destroy the venue, the venue isn't obligated to bring these bands back.
We're also considered guests. You wouldn't go into someone's home, spend a few hours there, then leave the place trashed.
Please be respectful of the venue. It's common courtesy.