(This post originally appeared on the Click Track blog.)
We're all sensitive people, with so much to complain about when it comes to our fellow fans’ behavior at concerts.
Some crimes are forgivable, (singing along too enthusiastically, dancing your way into someone's personal space). Others are not, (talking incessantly at high volumes, blocking someone's view so you can film the performance on your iPhone).
Bon Iver performed a double-header at the 9:30 Club this week where fan etiquette was observed by some and ignored by others. David Malitz found himself annoyed with the people surrounding him at Monday’s show, while Chris Richards was surprised to find himself being the annoyance at Tuesday's. Here are their accounts.
David Malitz: Singing along is not always a crime. If it was, the cops would send 20,000 people to jail every time Springsteen played Verizon Center. Usually, if you wait long enough, the performer will even ask you for your help. Bon Iver ended Monday’s show with “The Wolves (Act I and Act II)” and instructed audience members to shout along. But during the rest of a Bon Iver set, Justin Vernon’s singular, enchanting falsetto should not be imitated. This didn’t stop the bro standing next to me from singing along — in a nauseatingly off-key falsetto — for roughly half of Monday’s set. Easy solution: Pick the one song you’d do at karaoke and go all out on that one, if you must. Then leave the rest to the person everyone else in the club paid big bucks to see.
Chris Richards: I was posted up in the back of the 9:30 for Tuesday's Bon Iver gig, when a man behind me tap-tap-tapped me on the shoulder. Could I stop swaying from side to side? I was blocking (and then unblocking, and then re-blocking) his view. For real? I’m 5’9” in my best shoes! We’ve all been victims of overzealous dancers stepping on our heels, spilling beer on us, rubbing their sweaty body parts up against our non-sweaty body parts. But swaying from side to side? I tried rocking back and forth but it just wasn’t cutting it. Bon Iver is swaying music. Sorry, buddy.
What fan misbehaviors are you most tired of suffering through at concerts? Do you speak up about it? Do you feel you’ve ever been unfairly scolded by a fellow fan? Tell us your stories in the comments.