Department of English

Fall 2008 Edition

Ideal Person for a Concert

Jena Tisdale
Argumentative 1010 2nd Place
Professor: Dr. Bryce Christensen

Who is the ideal concert attendee? After a concert people usually converse about the band and other people that attended the show. At a typical rock concert there are many screaming young girls who have no clue who the band even is and boys who just want to be part of a scene. As a long time concert attendee, I have a rising concern about what qualities the ideal concert attendee should have. These girls and boys trying to follow a scene are not the ideal people for a concert. They are obliviously following a trend. The perfect concert attendees show their true passion for music by using their knowledge, common sense, preparation, toughness, and respect to make every concert memorable.

The first key to being a successful concert attendee is becoming prepared. Preparation for a concert starts months before the date of the show. My mother is constantly checking band websites for tour updates. She has an edge on everyone else who waits for the box office to announce ticket sales. Bands frequently post discount tickets, presale tickets, and even backstage passes on their web pages. But, if the band doesn’t have any of this exceptional information available, it is important to check what information local venues and box offices bear. Ordering the tickets in advance or as soon as possible guarantees the ideal concert attendee a seat at the show when the excitement begins and memories are made.

Another valuable aspect of the ideal concert attendee is his or her knowledge of the venue. The faultless concert attendee will probably know the layout of the venue like the back of his or her hand. This way he or she will know where the supreme spot is in the front, but if it is a venue he or she has never been before, it is a good idea to do everything feasible to find out as much as possible about the place before he or she arrives. This past summer my mother ordered presale tickets for a concert called “Rock on the Range.” This show happened to be the largest rock concert in the U.S. this year. “Rock on the Range” was located in the Columbus Crew Stadium because it consists of several stages and was far too enormous for any concert venue. To become well prepared for the show, my mother looked up the floor plan for the Columbus Crew Stadium. She discovered where to park, where the bathrooms were located, and where she would be able to see all the stages before she stepped foot into the stadium. This way no time was wasted and none of the concert and excitement was missed trying to find these locations.

Likewise, the ideal concert attendee knows how the concert is set up. Most concerts have only three or four bands on the tour and begin around dark, but there are a few exceptions. Typical large tours, such as the “Warped Tour,” have around seventy bands on the tour, and, on average, seven stages, which means it is an all day event. Therefore, the ideal concert attendee must do his or her homework and find out which stage the bands he or she want to see are performing on, and at what time they will be playing. Scheduling what band one wants to see allows one to avoid aimlessly wandering around and missing the bands that were the reason for purchasing a ticket. No one remembers pointlessly wondering, and the best way to prevent this and make a rock concert memorable is to check the set up of the concert.

Preparing for the show doesn’t stop the day of the concert either. The ideal concert attendee must be well hydrated before even arriving at the venue. For the ideal concert attendee knowing how to dress is just as imperative to preparation as being hydrated. Depending on what type of music the concert consists of, will help the ideal concert attendee decide what to wear. Harder music requires a darker attire, whereas lighter rock requires a more colorful and playful attire. Tina, my friend and long-time concert buddy, is a great example for how to dress. When we went to a heavier rock concert, such as Killswitch Engage, she wore black jeans and a black band t-shirt. Her make-up was composed of heavy black eyeliner, and blood red lipstick. Upon going to an Academy Is… concert, on the other hand, she sported jean shorts, a studded star belt, and a brightly colored striped tank top, while her make-up was lighter, colorful, and glittery. One thing the ideal concert attendee can’t stand is others at concerts that are inappropriately dressed. Flip flops, skirts, and shirts without straps are the ultimate concert dress code violations. Rock concerts tend to include physical contact and jumping to the music. People who wear flip flops tend to get hurt when others step on their feet. Tube tops can get pulled down, and skirts can get pulled up. No one can enjoy a concert having to worry about his or her clothes the entire show. Along with knowing how to dress for a concert comes knowing what to bring to the show. Bags and purses are not necessary. The ideal concert attendee only brings what he or she can fit into his or her pockets. This person also brings a quality camera to document the memories he or she creates at the show.

Once the ideal concert attendee has arrived early at the venue, he or she will find exactly where to park to exit without the hassle of traffic. Early arrival is imperative to getting a good position close to the stage at a general admission show. The first place the ideal concert attendee will go is the bathroom. There are two reasons for this: one, so he or she doesn’t have to leave the front of the crowd once the show begins, and two, because they will have first dibs on the posters and stickers that may be placed on the bathroom walls, which can be kept for memory’s sake. The most important part of going to a concert is knowing never go alone, especially for women. Concerts aren’t the safest place for women. Venues have a tendency to be in dreadful parts of the neighborhood, and are usually held after dark. Besides a safety issue, the ideal concert attendee knows not to attend a show without another person because he or she needs someone to share the excitement with. Taking a friend to a concert is a superior way to connect through the music. These connections can lead to unforgettable memories.

The ideal concert attendee being able to hold his or her ground is essential to concert attending. Frequently at rock concerts, there are mosh pits and crowd surfing. Moshing is where audience members of a live performance create a ring where they aggressively push, slam, punch and kick one another. Crowd surfing is where people are passed over the heads of the crowd, like “surfing” over the crowd. It is extremely important for the model concert attendee to be alert and warn others when a crowd surfer is coming. Also, the ideal concert attendee keeps his or hands around his or her chest. This position prevents his or her hands from getting trapped down by the hips. He or she must be capable of raising his or her hands for crowd surfers, taking pictures, and maintaining the space between them and the person in front of them, so he or she has room to breathe. Toughness is the answer for enjoying a show. It is highly likely that one will be kicked or punched during a concert. The ideal concert attendee will embrace the pain along with the enjoyment of the music. I myself have been intentionally punched in the face at Bury Your Dead, and unintentionally kicked in the face while at The Taste of Chaos. Of course these incidences hurt, but brought a heightened sense of awareness, enthusiasm, and exhilaration to the concert. It makes each particular concert that much more memorable.

Once more, comprehension can influence one’s experience at a concert. Ideal concert attendees know to make eye contact with members of the band. This may result in them recognizing you at another show in the future, or a member of the band may try to throw you a drumstick or guitar pick after the band’s set is finished. Even though this may seem like the highlight of the night for an ideal concert attendee, there is more to it. The best part of the ideal concert attendee’s night will be when he or she relaxes, sings, and dances freely with the music. The connections between the model concert attendee and the person that came with them make the concert what it was. Songs performed at a show and songs one hears from a CD eventually begin to blend together after going to concerts frequently. The connections make each show, or each song for that matter, distinct from the rest. Memories from that show will be stimulated every time the song is played.

Coupled with the knowledge and preparation is respect. The ideal concert attendee shows appreciation. Applauding after each song is one way of showing appreciation, but the ideal concert attendee does more. If the band performed well, he or she will invest in the band’s merchandise, at the merchandise booth towards the back of the venue. The support the ideal concert attendee does more. If the band performed well, he or she will invest in the band’s merchandise at the merchandise booth towards the back of the venue. The support the ideal concert attendee gives ensures that the band will be successful and tour again. Brooke, a long-time fellow concert attendee, always buys merchandise from concerts, especially from the smaller warm-up bands, such as Lola Ray, to help them get a good start in their tour careers.

Once the concert is over, the ideal concert attendee knows where the band’s buses are parked, and heads in that direction. After every Aiden concert at Bogart’s, Tina and I run to the back of the building where Aiden’s tour bus is parked. We show our appreciation by telling them how much we enjoyed their show and can’t wait until they come back to perform in Cincinnati again. One specific time, Tina made a shirt with lyrics to one of their songs on it and gave it to the lead singer. The next time we saw them perform a few months later, he still had the shirt and remembers Tina.

Accordingly, before leaving the parking lot of the concert venue, it is essential to check under the tires of the car. Nothing is worse than getting a flat from an empty beer bottle late at night on the way home from a concert. This incident can lead to a nightmare instead of the astonishing memories that one should take away from a rock concert.

All in all, finding an ideal concert attendee is difficult. In fact, I haven’t come across one yet, but I aspire to be the ideal concert attendee. With these fundamentals of the game in mind every time I go to a show, I’m hoping that others at the concert are becoming closer to the ideal concert attendee as well. I invite anyone who wants to go to a concert to consider these qualities before going to a concert. In the future, this will ensure that everyone enjoys and creates priceless memories at a concert.