Make the most of your concert experience

Tickets purchased, numbers confirmed and plans set, your long awaited night of dancing your heart out and listening to live music has finally arrived. Going to concerts is definitely an outing that I find most favourable and unlike my new-found passion with going to the movies alone, this is a hobby that I like to share with as many people as possible (as long as they like the performer). Regardless if you are on a date or make it a friends’ night, there is nothing better than grooving along to live performances.

Marching straight up to the usher, I flashed my ticket and made my way into the venue to see Foster the People — a concert where surely everyone would be pumping up their kicks and having a blast. Turning back at my friends who were slowly making their way in, we grabbed our spot and waited anxiously for them to get onstage.

The lights flashed and speakers blaring, the concert was a riot and I found myself jumping up and down, dancing and singing along to my favourite songs. Looking at my friends to see their reactions, I noticed something very odd. We were the only people dancing at the concert. Did we do something wrong? Were we not supposed to dance? Were people not having fun?

The behaviours and specific codes of how one should act in public is an extremely grey area that to this day, I still can’t decipher. Ever since I was a kid, I found concerts to be the best opportunity to wiggle around like a maniac and get away with it. We see people in music videos, movies and on television all the time being energetic, so why did people look like they were having the worst time ever?

It has become clear that there are two types of people who attend a concert: those who like to dance and those who just wish everyone would sit back down on their seats and watch. There is nothing wrong with either of these two categories but depending on the venue and genre of the band, one of the groups is going to get outnumbered. Not that I really cared that everyone else looked like they were having a lousy time, I think regardless of what concert you’re going to, there is some way where you can act like you are having a good time.

Seeing a John Mayer concert or any artist that you know will be at a slower tempo, will not inspire you to get off your seat and bounce around. That is okay. But give an occasional sway or nod – it’s good to acknowledge that the music you’re listening to is at least somewhat enjoyable.

Think of this: if you were close to the stage and a band member looked straight at you, would you want them to see you staring back at them like the Queen’s guard? No. I am assuming that if you have planned and paid for this night of live music, that you must like the band. Show some enthusiasm. You do not have to dance but even nodding to the beat and having a facial expression that makes you look like you are enjoying yourself is a great way to start. There are always obnoxious people who will flail their arms and accidentally bop you in the arm – you do not have to go to that level of energy. But do your friends and the people around you a favor and don’t look so miserable by just standing there.

This view of “concert etiquette” may be completely off and maybe I should reconsider bringing my dance moves to the concert venue. However there is always something uplifting being able to sway to tunes of the songs, singing back towards the stage (whether the lyrics I sing are correct or not), it gives off a special energy that can not be repeated by just listening to the songs on your iPod.

Therefore non-dancers, I challenge you to move at least an arm or a leg (maybe start with tapping your feet), next time you go to a concert. Once you start grooving, it may initiate others to come out of their shell and do it too. And to those who love to dance, I salute you.

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