Jerry’s Guide to Rock Concert Ettiquette

I like country music. The good ol’ stuff. Willie, Waylon, Merle and Johnny. She likes Incubus, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

She likes her music loud. I like mine soft and gentle – you know the kind that makes for good “belly rubbing” music while you hold her close.

She likes some type of music called ‘grunge’. I am grungy…guess that makes a match.

Anyway, in an effort to build harmony in this relationship, I’m working on getting more into rock so that I can speak halfway intelligently about the groups and music that is her world. I’ve even gone to my first rock concert – Incubus in Cincinnati a few weeks ago.

I figure after one rock concert I’m an expert on manners. What to do – and not to do – if you’re gonna be part of the massive movement that sways to the music. So here is a reminder of what you should and should not do at any classic rock concert. These rules do not apply to the mosh pit.

Know When the Damn Show Will Begin. As far back as time began, no rock concert ever started on time. The time that’s listed on the ticket is NOT the start time….that’s just a suggestion…don’t take it seriously. Don’t complain or get anxious that the concert isn’t starting on time. Rock concerts are required to be late…it’s Federal law. Make appropriate plans for a late start just in case you need to check out the bathroom. But please do me a favor; be in your seats before the concert does get started. If the concert has started and you are hurrying to get to your seat, you’ll probably spill your beer and it’ll most likely be spilled on me.

Know Where Your Seats Are. There’s not much in life worse than having somebody trying to find their seats in the dark…once the concert has started. Falling over people only to find out someone else is sitting in your seat is unacceptable. For Pete’s sake, take a look at the venue’s website and check out the seating chart to get at least some idea of where your seats are. If you’re up in the nose bleed section, don’t be wandering around trying to squeeze into the VIP area. How did you get past security anyway?

Are You Too Cool to Show Up on Time? Some folks who go to concerts think they’re just too cool, so they only show up for the main artist. Don’t show up in the middle of the opening act. Your wanting to blow them off doesn’t mean that I want to. I want to watch the show – not you trying to find your seat in the dark.

Standing. Come on, it’s rock and roll and of course you’ll be on your feet for part of the show. It’s expected. Just be alert in your surroundings and look around you every so often. If the folks in the 52 rows behind you are all sitting, maybe you should sit down too. Don’t be upset when I yell “Down in front”. Your payback for not obeying this rule is to be stuck behind some guy 6’5” and 350 pounds at the next concert you go to.

Dancing. Yah, you can get up and dance if the music gets your juices flowing….that’s cool. But limit your dancing and pick your spots where you shake it. The folks sitting behind you paid the same price for a ticket that you did and they probably don’t want to watch you shake your ass for the whole concert.

The tolerance you will be shown is in direct proportion to how good you look and what kind of shape you’re in. If you’re a fat guy dancing like a maniac you’ll be shown on the Jumbotron for about ten seconds before the camera goes somewhere else. It was funny when you started, now you’re just annoying.

Yelling Out Requests. Don’t do it. Just stop now. You’re embarrassing your date as well as yourself. Most rock groups have already made out their list of songs to play before they even got to the venue. Do you really think that your screaming out a song or two is going to make the band stop and take the show in a different direction? Besides, the band will most likely play the song you wanted to hear anyway…eventually. Ever go to a Skynyrd concert where they didn’t play “Freebird”?

Flashing Your Breasts at The Band. This tradition at rock concerts has been around a long time. I’m not gonna mess with tradition. Men, do NOT flash your breasts at the band though, OK? And ladies, flashing isn’t so much of an age thing as it is a “look at the faces around you” thing. OK, ‘nuff said.

Fashion. Females: Unless you’re a kid under 13, don’t wear tops that show your tummy. I really don’t want to spend three fourths of the concert wondering how they got that diamond nailed into your belly button. Besides, it’s been my experience that too many women over 25 just don’t have the body to be showing it off in public anyway. Males: If you’re thirty or over, don’t wear the freakin’ sunglasses on top of your head like it’s a hair band. Face it, you’re probably losing your hair anyway and unless you look EXACTLY like Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, it doesn’t make you look cute…it makes you look stupid.

That’s the etiquette for attending a rock concert. I hope you’ve found these guidelines useful and will save you embarrassment at the next one you attend.

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