Ideally, one day I’ll be paid to travel around and see concerts but for now, it is all out of pocket. I am trying not to think about the cost. Right now I’m working as a cashier and I hate it but it was the only thing I could find that works with my (unpaid, unfortunately) shift at the school radio station and class schedule. Every time there’s an annoying customer, I add up the money I’m earning that shift in my head and remind myself—hey, that’s a half a ticket to see Kerfuffle down in MD this summer; that’s enough for gas to get me to Minneapolis to see Metallica. Sometimes you just need to find the proper motivation. I plan on living out of my car for most of the summer and I am totally cool with that. For those of us who love music but can’t play an instrument, besides being a roadie, this is as close to on tour as we get. Oh man. I love concert season. Imagine one day getting all those tickets comped, backstage passes, hangin out with the band. Rolling into a Denny’s at 4 in the morning before we have to get back out on the road. Next day, wake up in a new city and start the process all over again. Like Christmas morning over and over, man, I’m tellin you.
This year I am thinking of doing some demo work, maybe work on band intros, descriptions of the concerts, and stuff like that. A band interview or two if I can swing it. I’ll make it a podcast or something. How awesome would that look when I apply for jobs at radio stations? I guess it depends on how good it comes out. I do have all summer to get it right at least.
So if you’re going to do a summer concert tour like I am, you really have to plan ahead. I’m going to be paying off my credit card probably through the end of the fall semester but some of these tickets you gotta get early or you’ll be paying scalpers out front before the show. No thanks. I checked the social media of all my favorite bands between winter and spring breaks and kept track of the major festivals and what their dates/locations were going to be. Once I got all that down, I planned a reasonably doable route—with an actual printed map and a highlighter, guys–to drive it all and purchased tickets for the stuff I was sure I could do. If I can swing more, I am going to try stubhub or vividseats to see if I can tickets to anything extra before I try scalping.
Luckily, I’ll have my phone and internet access while I’m out on the road, so I’ll be able to update this site. Since I know you’ll miss me, maybe I’ll schedule a few to post while I’m gone. I’m just thoughtful like that.
I know everyone thinks, oh whatever, rock and roll, there are no rules. Yeah, no. There are. At concerts especially. Here are some tips so you’re not the idiot everyone hates. By the way, you’ll know you’re the idiot everyone hates when you decide to crowd surf and they drop you, although you’ll probably be too drunk to care.
- Speaking of, don’t be a drunken/stoned idiot. Maybe you don’t give a crap about the opening act but there are people who “paid good money” to hear them and others who “want to get their money’s worth” or are incredibly sober and do not share your stupid dumbass humor. You’re not being funny, you’re being obnoxious, and you’re ruining a music experience for people. They may kill you. If you throw up anywhere, they’ll definitely kill you.
- Be considerate of your fellow concert goers. If you’re a giant dude at a gen ad show, be aware of the people around you. Yes, you have every right to be there. But so does the 5’2 pixie girl that was standing there already when you shoved your way to the front because you’re Paul Bunyan. Let her stand in front of you and protect her from the crazy people. When my mom was in college, she had a friend get her nose broken at a Blues Traveler concert. That’s right, Blues Traveler. I mean, we’re talking guys playing harmonicas, not thrashing death metal. And if you’re the short pixie girl? Get there early, because otherwise you’re just going to see a lot of sweaty backs the whole night.
- Be quiet. If you know the words, great. Especially when we’re at a huge venue, don’t be louder than the band. I didn’t pay to hear you sing, so shut up. I also don’t want to hear about how much better some other group was when you saw them here, and I really don’t want to hear your theory on how the headliner has sold out and blah blahblah. Or about your personal life. Shut up or go somewhere else. I’ve seen people punched in the back of the head for less, although personally I am partial to deadlegging people.
- For the love of crap, put your phone down. Anyone who would be interested enough to read your live tweeting of the concert is—get this—probably AT THE CONCERT WITH YOU. Also, this is not the time to accept a call. If it’s an emergency and you absolutely have to take it, GO AWAY. Also, don’t be that idiot who brings a giant tablet to take pictures/video on. I don’t want to be forced to watch the concert through your stupid viewfinder because you’re blocking my view of the stage.
- If you’re going to stagedive, do it right. Don’t pick a bunch of meek little girls to jump on or that guy who has a full drink in his hands. Pick someone who is both paying attention and is willing to support you when you land on them. Unless you dive into the dude holding up his ipad, in which case I say, well played sir, well played.
Basically, just stand there and be cool. Rock out, sing, do whatever, make sure you have the real estate around you to do it. Just don’t be an idiot and you’ll be fine.