In the last two weeks, I was lucky enough to spend my nights attending the first Fall Out Boy tour in four years. Every show was fantastic, and every moment and dollar was worth it. Something exciting to see was the huge influx of new fans, or fans that hadn’t gotten the chance to see them before. The boys are back and are generating fans like it’s 2005 all over again.
While it was awesome to see so many new faces, there were a lot of general party fouls that should be addressed. Some of the fantastic new people I met had never attended a show ever, and had no idea what would be coming. Here is the general run down that I’ve gotten over the past ten years of shows. Use it, share it, raise the new generation of baby moshers up right. Starting from the top:
If you are going to be in a seat, or a balcony, wear whatever you feel like! Dress up, dress down. Whatever feels comfortable. However, if you’re going to be in the pit- the standing room directly in front of the stage- there are a few things to keep in mind:
DO wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting torn. Jeans, shorts, tshirts, tanktops. Loose enough to give you breathing room, but not so baggy that it can be caught on someone else.
DON’T wear flip-flops or slip on shoes. I have seen tightly laced sneakers disappear into the crowd, never to be found again. Even if you do manage to keep them on, the extra protection of canvas/fabric from a sneaker or tennis shoe keeps some of the pain of your feet being stepped on at bay. If you can, double knot your sneakers on the way in.
DO put your hair up. If your hair is close cut or bob cut, you can mostly get away with leaving it down. However, if it is long, it will be pulled as the people behind or beside you try to move their arms. Especially as the crowd gets rowdy and people start sweating. It is unintentional and can be avoided with a ponytail or, better yet, a bun in the middle of your head. Too high, and a crowd surfer can knock it down, too low and it gets hot as the show goes on.
DON’T wear hats. Especially as you move up in the crowd. There is nothing worse than not being able to see the band because the person in front of you just had to wear their fedora today. (Bandanas and headscarves and etc are fine and dandy. Just nothing with height.)
Welcome to the world of the diehards. Get up, grab your coffee, and head to the venue. It’s going to be a long day. (Or wait until doors and breeze in at the back of the line. This is also a viable option.)
DO get there early! At almost every show this tour, at least one person has slept over. It’s amazing, and fun and you can make tons of friends by just talking to the people near you. You already have one thing in common!
DON’T save too many spaces. It’s understandable and expected that people are not able to stay in line all day with you. However, the people behind you got there almost as early as you did, and it’s unfair to them for all seven of your best friends to jump in a half hour before doors open. Try to keep it to three or less.
DO bring entertainment! It is a long, long day. If you have somewhere to stash your stuff before doors, bring stuff to keep you entertained. There were board games and cards and books all over the place up and down the line. Have fun. (Just remember to actually put it in your car/send your designated Stuff Person take it home.)
DON’T CUT. This shouldn’t have to be said, but you would be surprised. If you want a better spot, you should have gotten there earlier.
DO leave one person at all times. “My backpack was there” is not a thing that works. It’s unfair to the people behind you, and not safe for things you may have left. If you’re going to wait in line, stay in line.
DO throw out your garbage. The staff has to clean up the seven bottles of water and McDonalds wrappers at the end of the night. They don’t get paid extra, and are not your mother. Usually, someone will come out with a trash can before doors, or there will be one nearby. A little courtesy goes a long way.
Once you’re inside and the show is about to begin, everything becomes a whole new ballgame. It’s every fan for themselves, to the best may barricade be given. You have to earn your spot, but there are rules to how to do it.
DO move to where you want to go. Want to be up front? Figure out a way to get there. There will be shoving from the very back, and people will start filling in any holes left near the stage. Wriggle, jiggle, dance your way up if you want.
DON’T be a bully. Don’t shove, don’t pull on anyone, do not pinch or punch or kick. You’re ruining the show for the people around you.
DON’T bring alcohol into the pit. I cannot count the number of times I went home sober smelling like a brewery. If you’d like to drink, sit at the bar or in a balcony and come in after you have finished your drink. You’ll save your booze, and keep it off of the rest of the crowd.
DO be respectful to the openers. You don’t have to like them, but don’t be rude. Let them play and keep an open mind. Your favorite band started that way, too.
DON’T throw things on stage. It’s a safety hazard. And rude.
DO make your way to the back if you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or are having trouble breathing. Do not try to go to the front to get pulled over the barricade. It will be easier on you, the people around you, and security if you head backwards toward the back of the crowd.
DON’T watch the show through your phone or camera. Take a few pictures, call your best friend for their favorite song, take a 15 second clip of your favorite band member shredding. But then put your camera away. If you’re too busy making memories for later, you won’t get the experience of being there.
DO expect to be pushed around and to have people touching you on all sides. If you cannot handle this, move into the balcony or to the back of the crowd where there is more room.
DON’T bring backpacks or large bags into the pit. You’re taking up space that other people could be in and hitting the people beside or behind you. Only take what you need. Girls, put your cash and keys and small items inside your bra if you have no pockets (it fits a surprising amount). Boys, use all the pockets you need.
DO dance, sing, have fun. Move around! Jump during the choruses, sway during the slow songs. The best part of being in the pit is the energy, for the band and us.
The scum of the earth. They will buy up tickets, mark them up, and sell you busted down “merch” on the street.
DO use Stubhub if you need to buy tickets from somewhere other than a licensed source. They have a guarantee on everything sold. The seller doesn’t receive your money until after you’ve gone to the show, and if the ticket is bum you get a refund.
DO buy your merch from the merch table. Yes, the scalper is selling “merch” for $10 instead of $25, but exactly all of that money goes straight into their pocket. Bands make most of their money on merchandise sales. Support them and fork over the extra $15 dollars.
Meeting the Band
If you’re lucky enough to follow a band like Fall Out Boy, you’re likely enough to get a chance to meet them after the show. This is a privilege, not a right.
DO stop by and say hi. Compliment them on the show, tell them what parts you liked, let them know this was your first show/seventh show/best show ever. This is the feedback portion of their night. The applause is great, but this is a person’s voice saying, “I really like what you just did. Thank you.”
DO ask before touching. Patrick Stump, the nicest person on the planet so far, will pull you into a hug before you even know he’s there. It’s pretty great, and as a fan you feel a great connection. However, not everyone is so fond of being touched. Ask for a hug before going in.
DO try to have a conversation. Instead of grabbing a signature or photo and running, try to say something to them. They aren’t factories. Some human contact is good.
DON’T squeal, yell, shout etc in their faces. They play loud shows every day. Don’t damage their ears anymore than they have. Say hi in a regularly pitched voice. If they can’t hear you, they’ll let you know.
DON’T BE CREEPY. Don’t ask about their wives or kids, don’t ask about their houses or personal lives. If they have made something about their private life public, mention it with discretion. Do not shout, “Oh my god I love you!” at them. Do not ask them to marry you, or lave on sexual innuendo. You wouldn’t do that to a stranger on the street, and no matter how many times the drummer has tweeted you back, you are still strangers.
Some general tips:
DO drink lots of water, especially if you are going into the pit. It gets hot very fast, and you will sweat a lot. I cannot count the number of people I have seen pass out in the last two weeks. Stay hydrated.
DO eat before the show. Even if you’re squished within an inch of your life against the barricade, you’re going to be burning a lot of calories dancing around and moving.
DO dress appropriately for the weather. If you’re standing outside in the line, make sure you have sunscreen in the summer, a coat in the winter, and an umbrella in the rain. Put what you don’t need into the car/have someone hold it in the back/etc before doors. If you have nowhere to put it, many venues have coat check.
DO drink responsibly. Soda and alcohol both dehydrate you. If you drink either, make sure you also up your water intake.
When I was 13, at my very first show, I had a group of hardcore boys show me the ropes. I feel like this tradition has been let go. This is a small portion of what every kid needs to know and learn and embrace to be both safe and to enjoy the show. Teach the new kids, learn from the veterans.
This is a community, not a war. Have fun.
Hey so i’ve seen a lot of people asking other people about a lot of concert information and for a lot of people this is going to be their first concert, and I remember seeing this before my SRAR date and it helped a lot, so i thought it be a good time to bring this back.