Do You Even Mosh, Bro? (An essay detailing my hatred of most strangers)

Guys! I got to see Jack’s Mannequin last night on their Ten Years in Transit tour! Recently, after playing “Satellite,” I heard a Columbus radio announcer say something along the lines of, “And that was Andrew McMahon. He’s not totally new to the music scene. He used to be in another band you may or may not have heard of.” So… coming from my tiny bubble community, I assumed my Jack’s Mannequin experience here in Columbus would be like my Ryan Cabrera experience, i.e.: 12 people in the audience, physically hugged Ryan afterward. WRONG. At capacity, this venue was full of over two thousand fans screaming every word to every incredibly beautiful song. It was nuts!

Music has been a really cool aspect of living in Columbus. In just a year, I’ve gone to probably 20 concerts about 15 minutes from my home, often just after work. Sometimes you get to see Ryan Cabrera and touch his hair. Sometimes you just hear the Pentatonix and have nothing to say in the way of what they looked like. I prefer the former. Anyway, after a heated argument with some tall idiot girl last night, I thought I’d finally make all of your dreams come true and get really comically angry about something that doesn’t matter :).

And thus begins, Concert Etiquette: A guide to not being a total ass in public spaces when other, normal people, have paid money to have a low-key good time. You effing idiot.

(Oh, that reminds me. So many f-bombs I feel. I’m not sure what sort of content agreement I’m abiding to here, so I’m going to think of some colorful replacements for my potentially offensive vocabulary. Also, if you’re one of those people who says, “Cursing just makes you seem stupid,” you do you, but you could also take a look at this.)

  1. The height variable. Food for thought: What if your concert admittance was based solely on your height? Sure, you may not be able to go to a concert with your sweetheart or friends, but you’d be able to actually view the show (for once) with people that you share something in common with, meaning, near scientific dwarfism. (4’10” and under, I looked it up!) Where my people at? For real though, at venues with standing room only, I am to fairly assume that we all paid a similar ticket price. If you’re Shaquille O’Neal and you show up before me, do you deserve your spot front and center? Sure you do. You made the effort to get here first. If you’re Shaquille O’Neal and you’re looking for a new place to stand midset, is it cool for you to come stand on top of me? FUZZ NO. Back off, dude. #rude Moral: If you’re tall enough to be able to see standing behind me, then for crying out loud, just stand behind me.
  2. Why are you so drunk? Turn up on a Tuesday! Amiright?! NO, I’m really wrong. Assuming that you’re really passionate about this musician because your seven foot eight inch frame has been fighting to get in front of me all night, wouldn’t you like to be present for the experience? Nothing like seeing your favorite artist and having only a few dark and blurry photos to remember it by! And maybe a black eye after you spilled your beer on the perturbed-by-your-existence person beside you. I’m not the fun police, but seriously? Be considerate of other people! Wobbly and slurring drunk in a huge crowd of people is not becoming of anyone. Moral: Have a few drinks before if you must, then enjoy the damn show!
  3. Your freaking phone. Obviously when you go see bands you love, you want to snap a few pictures, and probably a couple videos too. This isn’t what I’m talking about! I am however, referring to the 5’10” (beautiful) girl who kept trying to push in front of me last night, and was on her phone checking texts, email, Instagram, and Facebook for 100% of the night. If you’re not interested in what’s happening right in front of your face, stop wasting space. Moral: This is just another valuable lesson in the ever relevant, “Be present and in the moment,” motion.
  4. Do you even mosh, bro? I have never been to a concert in which the genre calls for moshing. I too, have never been to a concert that didn’t involve moshing. Why is this? I am not the town in Footloose, (Nick Millerisms for the win!) so I can’t tell you not to dance. I would advise though to read the room. Chances are if you’re in the middle of a throng of people with their arms crossed over their chest, subtly head bopping(my people!), your dancing is for sure going to piss off your bystanders. Moral: If dancing is your calling for the night, find the other caffeine buzzed people and let the rest of use enjoy the music.
  5. Your elbows are weapons (and other body awareness issues). This is why I wish everyone had taken dance. If all social gatherings were comprised of people who, “knew their space,” and “found their window,” I think we would have reached concert utopia. What I’m getting at is, even if you’re just dancing, if you’re beating me about the face and body with your elbows, it is no different than you punching me in the face. Furthermore, the only difference between you whipping your facking hair into my mouth at a concert and me finding a hair in my salad at a restaurant is that my ticket doesn’t magically become free because I’ve tasted your hair. -_____- Moral: Take a fucking (Oops. To really drive the point home, though) tape measurer, figure out your dimensions, and work it out or something? I don’t know. If you feel parts of you touching parts of the people around you… stop. This is a major DUH for me. I’m for sure not going to hit you, because I am miniature, but I will definitely talk to you in a way that would make you consider that I indeed, might hit you.
  6. Finally, kindness counts. I mean this all around. At this point, you’re being conscious of your height and elbows. You’re not barfing on me, or equally party fouling by spilling warm beer on me (same difference). You’re not texting Billy to ask him why he didn’t like your #tbt on Instagram. You’re not moshing to non-metal music. I am so proud of you! And then, just like that you ruined it when the opening act announced it was their last song and you loudly proclaimed, “THANK GOD!” Listen, we were all thinking it, but it’s just not nice to say. Talk about that in the car on the way home. These people work hard at their craft! Moral of this whole story: Let’s all fly our freak flags half staff at concerts. You know, so everyone has a shot at enjoying things.

There you have it! I’ve had very little feedback on this situation, but of what little I’ve had, the consensus has been something like, “When is some of your irrational and funny rage going to slip out?” Well, you’re welcome?

xoxo MFEOpt2

P.S. Jack’s Mannequin gave me the maaaajor feels, and I will likely document later how, “I still live with my high school friends, some people never change at all. We’re still the same compulsive drunks (not really, but you get it) we were when we were small.” ❤



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