23 September 2005

Clap Your Hands Say I Love "Your Body Is A Wonderland"

The summer concert season has wound down. CMJ is now a faint hangover. CBGB is on the verge (or not, I can’t keep track…) of closing forever. What’s a punk/indie/emo-core/rock/alt-something fan to do? Prepare yourself for colder weather and closer venues and remember these handy tips when you’re heading out to a concert (or “show,” if you’d prefer) this Fall.

My concert-going advice (in ascending order of importance), have been anecdotally compiled by me and a few music-loving friends over many concert experiences (and post-concert postmortems) here in beautiful New York City:

10. Dress the part. Fitted t-shirts are a must-wear in the dark clubs and lounges of Gotham, as any NYC concertgoer worth his salt knows. Extra points if it’s the concert t-shirt for the band you have paid to see. That way, everyone knows you’re there for the music, maaan, and not because of some band review you read in Time Out. Extra extra points if you wear the t-shirt of the opening band. This makes you edgy and with-it. Also, you heard it here first: Trucker hats are circling back to ironic. Serious.

9. Sing along. You and the people around you have spent a goodly amount of that assistant/paralegal/intern salary to see this show, so it’s very important that you drown out the singer/band with your own voice (lifted in harmony with your compatriots-in-rock). This will recreate the singing-along-with-your-iPod-Shuffle-in-your-bedroom experience for all of us.

8. Dance, dance, dance! This includes, but is not limited to: jumping up and down with your arms firmly at your sides, waving your arms in a helicopter motion above your head, leaping about as if electrocuted, punching the air in time to the music, and pouring full beers onto the floor at a critical moment in the song.

7. Make requests. Loudly. This shows your vast knowledge of the band’s catalogue. Extra points if you request songs that members wrote and performed while in a different band many years ago (for instance, request a Modern Lovers’ tune at a Jonathan Richman show. He seems to like that.). And it’s always OK to want to hear "Freebird."

6. Display your affection publicly in a confined space. If you are attending a concert with your boy/girlfriend, it is imperative that you spend the duration of the performance making out with and groping (Over the panties, no bra!) him/her. If you don’t make it absolutely clear that you will be leaving the venue to have hot, sweaty, ears-ringing sex in your Williamsburg loft when the show’s over, the rest of us will be confused as to your dating status. And we can’t have that.

5. Throw your empty $4 Rheingold cans on the floor after you’ve dumped the warm dregs on the shoes of the person next to you. Step on and kick the can. Kick other cans that may be in the vicinity.

4. Opine. Take heed, this is different from making requests or singing. When you opine to the band between songs or while they tune, it’s important to let them know, as loudly as you can (and hopefully into the ear canal of the person next to you) just where you think they fit into the Rock Pantheon. Are they “Better than Dylan?” “A LEGEND?” Perhaps you’d prefer to express more intimate feelings, such as “I love yoouuuuu!” All of these are acceptable, as long as you punctuate with a fist in the air and a “Wooooo!”

3. Prolong the rock for as long as you can. When it’s all over, when the encore has been rocked and the last Springsteen cover strummed, you should absolutely continue the applause. Who would want to end this feeling, this rockin’ euphoria? Not me. But when the house lights come up and it’s clear that you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here, you should file out of the doors of the venue as slowly as possible.

2. Opine to your friends on the walk to the subway. This is different from opining during the show. When it’s all over, you might begin to return to yourself and feel self-conscious about your dancing, screeching, groping, or inappropriate-song-requesting. Fortunately, you have the train ride home to recover your aloofness. You should offer a stolid critique of the show – from opener to roadie-stage-change-music to headliner. What went right? What went wrong? What did Pitchfork tell you to expect? Did the experience live up to your expectations? Was it better than Death Cab at Siren that time? Better than Modest Mouse in Prospect Park? Or are you let down? Have you determined to never see anything that isn’t CMJ again?

1. Wear your venue wristband – the one that the bouncer put on haphazardly and is therefore pulling at your armhair and collecting fibers from your vintage t-shirt when you cross your arms – all the way home, to bed, and to work the following morning.

image from gktgazette.com


Joshua said...

Hmm, this is good advice. All I do is hit people with beer cans and yell boo a lot. But I can add all this to my routine.

claire said...

oh my god it's like you looked into my soul and saw my true essence. a-mazing. yes. i must go now to a dashboard show and pick up tweenie boys.

Anonymous said...

hmm, but don't wear the t-shirt of the band you're going to see. don't be that guy!

Sheena said...

You might say, anonymous, that the entirety of the post seeks to mock "that guy." I just decided to couch my mockery in a hyperbolic acceptance, nay, promotion of "that guy" and his baffling concert-going behavior. But perhaps I missed my mark.

Regardless, thanks for stoppin' on by The Blog's TK, where derision is sometimes carefully disguised in a vintage tee and trucker hat.