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Commentary: The 6 people you will encounter at a concert

Audience members sing, watch and hold up their phones during DJ Kaskade’s set at the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. April 21, 2012. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Audience members sing, watch and hold up their phones during DJ Kaskade’s set at the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif., April 21, 2012.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

When you go to a concert, it’s not only your favorite artist that you are seeing live.

“National Geographic” has nothing on the wild behavior you can encounter in musical venues. When all you wanted was to witness and hear The Naked and Famous perform “Young Blood” live in action before you die, your vision is blocked by Shaquille O’Neal standing right in front of you. Not to mention your eye can’t help but be sidetracked by the backwards progression of man going on by the bar and security playing Sherlock Holmes to find where the mysterious smoke (that does not smell like tobacco) is originating.

And from the calm expressions of the band onstage, it’s pretty convincing that the figurative fourth wall is very real and opaque.

Venues are just as good for people-watching as they are for music-listening. Here are the characters in the side-show you will probably witness the next time you drop $37 to see Passion Pit:

Concert Couple

Concert Couple recently discovered one anothers’ mouths and they’re not interested in anything else. The pair comes in any age, but they always come together, usually unaware that a John Mayer concert is happening right in front of them because their mouths are really, so interesting they can’t break their make-out session.

It’s also important to note the two beings who compose Concert Couple are unable to stand independently. They literally have to support one another by creating a tight embrace for the entire show. Sure, it’s about a million degrees in the middle of the concert pit they’re inhabiting, but for some reason, sharing body heat doesn’t seem to bother them.

We can’t look too far down on Concert Couple, though, because every love song John Mayer wrote is about the two of them. If they are lucky enough to break their liplock for a while, they’ll sing every word to one another, making sure to stand directly in front of you while doing so.

Drunk Girl

Drunk Girl not only pre-gamed, she also in-gamed and post-gamed right before Matt Nathanson’s opening act even stepped foot on stage. In fact, Drunk Girl is practically a linebacker by the amount of grace it took her to tackle and fumble her way through the crowd.

She’ll be sure to find the biggest beer or mixed drink she can, but she probably doesn’t have a very tight grip on it. Whatever precious contents fill her cup are sure to go flying as soon as the band comes out and they start singing “her song” directly to her. Warning: when this happens, her shriek will be so shrill, even if you’re standing right by the speakers, your ears will bleed.

Drunk Girl usually gets annoyed by someone and makes sure they find out. Maybe she’s annoyed that you stood in line for hours and took her spot in the front row, even though she walked in during the last song of the opening act. Maybe she’s irate about the tall guy standing in front of her. Whatever it is, try to avoid her whenever this happens because whatever is left in her drink will end up all over whoever is the source of her anger.

Person Watching The Concert Through His Phone

It can only be assumed that Person Watching The Concert Through His Phone wants to see the world through a Jasper Johns painting. But then again, that would be giving this person too much intellectual credit.

This person has convinced himself that by the single touch of the camera app and the use of the Nashville filter on Instagram has turned him into the Annie Leibovitz of his generation. Better yet, this person will make the harder transition from camera to video camera on his phone to videotape the whole performance, yelling at every person that comes between him and his “super killer” shot.

The person is usually found standing right in the middle of the venue, phone raised like this beacon of martyrdom for not-so-rare footage of Macklemore performing “Thrift Shop” live. This person has justified his actions by convincing himself that someday, when bouncing his grandchild on his knee, he will pull out his phone and reminisce about the “good ole days.”

Belligerent Guy

Belligerent Guy is mad. The Beatles could have been resurrected and reunited on the stage right before him, and he would still be complaining. Whether the bartender looked at him sideways or his backwards ball cap isn’t exactly as askew as he would like, he is making like Michael Jackson in 1983 and wants to be startin’ somethin’.

Of course, Belligerent Guy is sponsored by your local city police station, whose jobs are singlehandedly sustained by the amount of havoc Billy Belligerent is wreaking during Fall Out Boy’s set. At first, you want to believe the guy is some aggressive hype man the band planted into the audience to stir up the crowd’s emotion and excitement. However, when he starts punching Person Watching The Concert Through Their Phone, you realize this guy’s temper is hotter than his deceivingly good looks.

Also, Belligerent Guy is probably dating Drunk Girl.

Biggest Fan

Biggest Fan wants everyone to know how much she loves MGMT. She spent the entire day waiting in line and bought out the merchandise counter so she can wear her brand new shirt and sparkling new hat in the front row to impress the band. She’s probably also going to wait after the show to get her shoes signed by her favorite member and then never take those shoes off.

Even better, Biggest Fan will sing every song in the set as loudly as she can (because, of course, she knows every lyric) and between songs try to communicate with the lead singer. Afterward, she’ll brag about how this is her seventh MGMT show and how the band just keeps getting better, if only you could understand.

Person Who Was Dragged Along

Person Who Was Dragged Along had nothing better to do tonight, but once he got to the concert, he could immediately list 23 better things he could be doing.

But he’s going to make the most of this night. With drink in hand and probably closer to the stage than Biggest Fan, he nods along to the songs, hoping to God the next song Oasis plays is “Wonderwall.”

However, seven songs into the set and no sign of a Top-40 hit, Person Who Was Dragged Along begins to drag you down. Trying to start small talk, he chats with you as if you are a Catholic priest during his shift in the confessional, admitting to not knowing the band, never hearing their music, being single, not liking the beer he is drinking and having to had go to the bathroom for, like, three hours.

So next time you head out to a concert, be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. For some, it goes to show, the beat is just too infectious.

One comment

  1. ran into the drunk girl at the P!nk concert. talk about awkward.

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