How to survive going to a rock gig
Happy people, awesome music at ribcage shattering volume… there’s nothing like a good rock gig. From moshing to avoiding creeps, Cassandra Nilsson gives her ten top tips for surving a rock gig with your hair, feet and dignity intact.
There’s nothing quite like a good rock gig. Awesome music at ribcage shattering volume, lots of happy enthusiastic people, and of course, the band. Whether it’s a sexy guy in leather pants and eyeliner or a riot grrrl goddess shredding up her guitar, rock stars own the stage.
However, nobody can ever successfully get across just how manic the whole experience is once the band and crowd start moving as one. Here are some life-saving tips to get you through the evening!
1. Water before all else. Sure, you want to have a drink, it’s all part of the experience. However it’s not nice getting stuck between a huge sweaty, hairy bloke and a bunch of hyperactive mini-goths if the whole world is spinning and rocketing out of your mouth at lightening speed… get a bottle of water at the start and sip it for as long as you can hold onto it.
2. Stilettos are just cruel. Not only to everyone standing around you (broken toes aren’t fun in a crowded environment) but to your own feet. If you want to show off some killer pins then go for New Rock boots or Rockabilly wedges/platforms. Basically a nice wide base that supports and offers comfort.
3. Mosh at your own risk. Mosh pits and slam-dancing rings are fun, but in the heat of the moment the hardcore metal heads will shove you aside without a second thought. You will get helped up… but not before getting sat on, stepped on and fallen on first.
4. Watch out for the lone weirdo. There’s always one and they seek you out like a long range cruise missile. You know the type, shaking hands, trail of spittle, dilated pupils. All they want is to be your bestest buddy ever and show you their collection of dead mice. If you’re alone or feel you need back-up it’s quite easy to find a group of seasoned gig-goers who will understand the situation immediately when you say “I’m with them”.
5. Crowd surfing is undeniably amazing! However, beware of the gropers for they are legion. If you’re wearing a skirt or a very small top then crowd surfing is probably not a great idea. If you want to get down whilst surfing just make sure you’re on your back and bend at the knees, this way you land on your feet instead of your head.
6. Avoid the tall bastard. Just when you secure a good vantage point you can guarantee some tall bugger (and their mates) will stand in front of you. There’s no easy remedy to this as they’ve already made it plain they’re pretty inconsiderate. You can try asking them to move but it’s often far easier if you move, unfair but true.
7. The smell of burning hair. People smoke at concerts, it’s a given. Should you choose to light up though consider your surroundings: are the people around you wearing hairspray, feathers, lace, etc? Of course they are, it’s as likely as vomit on the loo seats. I’m afraid you’ll have to retire to the back, or at least somewhere where people are standing around rather than dancing. If you happen to be next to someone with a cigarette or lighter then don’t be afraid to politely ask if they’ll be careful near your two foot high backcombed extravaganza.
8. Autographs. If you’re lucky enough to be in the position to get an autograph from the band then show your gratitude, but not by gushing “OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU MARRY ME!” Ask nicely and most people will be only too pleased to sign tickets and merchandise.
9. Groupies? Screaming “I love you” at band members will only get you a nod and a freaked out smile. That or it may be assumed you’ll do just about anything to get backstage. Not all the fans that get backstage are groupies but they are all very lucky. Plus, think about it, you may think there’d be nothing better than dancing the horizontal mambo with some rocker, but are you sure? Don’t leave a great gig with regrets.
10. Let’s be friends! No matter how cool the people you met at the show seem, you’ve only just met them. Stick to pre-arranged travel plans and meet up at some other time with a group of friends. Remember, it’s all about having fun!